>> Monday, April 13, 2009
I promised that I would tell you all about my trip to Martinsville, Virginia for my very first NASCAR race. In a word... WONDERFUL!
This was a trip that I won through a sweepstakes with Goodys Headache Powders. I was not sure what a free trip would be like, but I am always up for an adventure. Well, I can not say enough about how wonderfully my husband and I were treated for the three days of this trip. The folks from Goodys were generous and treated us like VIPs. Our hotel, the Downtown Marriott in Greensboro, NC, was very nice. I met several of my fellow prize winners, the promotions people, Goodys executives, and other race fans the first night in the hotel bar. Any nerves that I might have had about the trip quickly erased.
Saturday morning they bussed us to the racetrack, about an hour away. They had coolers and snacks on the bus. Once we arrived at the track, we were escorted upstairs to the Goodys corporate suite and treated to a buffet and complimentary drinks. Our seats in the suite were phenomenal. We were in the front row of the suite on the Start/Finish line. Martinsville Racetrack is a "short-track", so our view let us see the entire track. The truck race was rained out that day, but we didn't care. We ate, drank, shopped and laughed a lot throughout the day. We also got to meet some celebrities. I met Darrel Waltrip, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmy Spencer, and A.J. Allmendinger. They were all nice guys.
On Sunday, we were up bright and early (well, maybe not bright) and back on the bus to the racetrack. When we arrived, the stands were not open for fans yet, but being with the Goodys people (the race sponsors) we were allowed in and up to our suite about an hour before everyone else. More food, drinks, and race swag awaited us. They even loaned us these new gizmos for watching/listening to the race that include a scanner and a mini personal t.v. I was hooked up! Richard Petty came by the suite and so I got to meet him and have him sign some items for me. Trace Adkins was the grand marshall for the race, so he watched the race in our suite.
One of the coolest things that I got to do was go down to the pits. We got to actually go through the tunnel under the track, and wander around the pits and garages while the crews were preparing for the race. I dodged lots of moving tires, and equipment. This "behind-the-scenes" experience was definitely an exclusive perk. I loved it.
I want to give a shout out to Chuck "Trouble" Carland. He is a well-known NASCAR radio announcer that Goodys arranged to host our suite. He is hilarious and one of the nicest folks I have met. He answered all of our questions about racing and entertained us with fun stories and trivia.
Overall, I want to thank the people from Goodys. These folks treated us like VIPs for a weekend and have created a new race fan.