My magical weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway had way more than I thought it would. For example, Sunday at the track was drastically better than I was expecting it to be. One tweet changed my day that morning. That was the tweet that gave me some unprecedented access to the garage area during the pre-race hours. When the Michael Waltrip Racing girls “MWR Girls” had a morning contest for some garage tour passes, I jumped right on and got the experience of a lifetime.
At some tracks, getting into the infield is a chore. During the race weekend at New Hampshire leading up to Sunday, I couldn’t obtain any way in. I badly wanted to see the one-miler from the inside. When I won the MWR girls’ contest, I finally got that access and it was all I dreamed it would be, and more.
The girls’ lovely PR Amanda gave me a ride through the tunnel to meet up with my tour guides, the girls. Now I was in the infield and about to go somewhere I had always wanted to go, the garage on race weekend.
New Hampshire’s garage is rather small, which made for a quick trip down the lane, but it was filled with great memories. I was able to see many teams preparing their cars for the 301 mile race and it was requiring much more work than I had ever imagined. Everyone on the crew seemed to have a job and basically, a part in the car’s performance that day.
Once we watched some action, we headed to Clint Bowyer’s hauler for a peek at what was happening inside. On TV, you always see those reflective doors that lead into the hauler and I have always dreamed of entering. After chatting quickly with a few of the crew guys outside of it, we entered. Making yet another one of my dreams come true.
As you could imagine, the hauler is a tight squeeze. The hall is very small and it felt sort of short to my six feet self. There was not much on display in the hauler except the snack area. At the end of the hauler, there was the lounge area where the team meets and inside was a few of the most important guys on the team getting ready for the day. Brian Pattie was there along with another gentleman.
After lifting up a flap near the lounge, I could see the backup car waiting on top of the hauler. The car wouldn’t get any action that weekend, but I bet it will be on the track sometime soon.
We then exited and grabbed some fuel a.k.a water and headed for the pits. As you would expect, the pits were packed as teams were setting up and fans were trying to take some pictures. We casually walked down the pit boxes and soaked everything in. Every once in awhile, the girls would throw on their incredible smiles for a picture with the fans. With the pictures, came some pretty funny encounters as well.
Then it was time to head back to the garage to get another look at the cars on the other side. To my displeasure, we had to part ways after arriving at where the incredible tour began. The girls couldn’t have been any nicer and that hour alone allowed me to live three of my dreams, something I did not wake up thinking I would do that day.
It was just an amazing experience to get to look through the busy garage area along with going inside Bowyer’s hauler. It was one that I will never ever forget. Getting to do things that ordinary fans aren’t able to do always makes me smile and everything in that tour was extraordinary. Living out dreams as a race fan just throws chills down your back and I got to do more than I bargained for on that tour.
I want to thank the MWR girls and Amanda (their PR) for everything and then some on that day.
By Jason Schultz