Our unofficial roving reporter, Lance In PA, checks in with the second and final installment of his "Road Diary" from Coca-Cola 600 weekend in Charlotte. Last night, he got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to race against the NASCAR stars at the "Craftsman For A Cure" event, organized by former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton. Lance writes:
"The generosity of the drivers and fans was quite remarkable. It was a shame that Bobby was not able to attend the event he organized, but at the same time, I'm glad he is listening to his doctors, so he can recover as quickly as possible. The idea that fans could race go-karts against the drivers was the coolest thing. Ryan Newman was like a little kid, having fun being spun-out and also using his `chrome horn' on others. He received a large boo when he took out an eight-year-old… pick on someone your own size, Ryan! Mikey was Mikey, yukking it up with the fans and even stealing a pair of large ladies sunglasses and racing with them on. Imagine him with that wild hair and those shades….scary!
My first on-track session was with DW and David Reutimann. DW spent a lot of time recovering from multi-car spins. I passed him many times, and he was always facing the wrong direction! Reutimann also had no problem using a little side-slam to get by. When the race was over, DW and David were very friendly, and happy to share a laugh and shake your hand. Talk about a cool experience.
My second session was with Bobby Labonte, and it provided more racing opportunities than the first race. I played my cards right, and let Bobby get up on my bumper to see how I could race him. I did a good job holding him off for two laps, with him lightly beating on my bumper. I was actually looking forward to Bobby taking me out, but just as he was getting ready to knock me out of the way, some crazy fan wrecked him!
I cannot say enough about the character of the drivers, and how they made themselves so accessible to the fans to support a great cause and a good person. One of the most striking things was the generosity of the fans in the Silent Auction. There was a ton of stuff donated by drivers, and the amount of money bid on these items was pretty high. The highest bid I saw was $3,500 for a Tony Stewart firesuit, and there were many other items over $1,000. It's a testament to the sport that fans and drivers will join together in support of such a worthy cause. Fight the good fight Bobby, we're all pulling for you!"
I couldn't have said it better myself, Lance.