Wow, where do I start?? Evan, through the generosity of those he works with, was able to fulfill one of his bucket list items. Saturday morning we flew to Las Vegas to go to the NASCAR race. When we got there we picked up our rental car and we were surprised to be able to drive a brand new, convertible mustang. We went to the hotel (Bellagio) and checked into our suite that had three bathrooms and a doorbell. LOL it was great!!! The room was beautiful and very comfortable.
We drove to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and went straight to the pits because of the generosity of one contact at Larry Miller Motor Sports that gave us “Hot Pass” access, where we got to stand right next to the pit crews. The sound of all of the cars was so loud that we could hardly talk to each other. The Saturday race was the Nationwide race where we watched lots of action including Danica Patricks wrecked car.
That night after a very enjoyable day at the race, we decided to eat at one of the hotel restaurants. As we were eating a man came in and sat next to us. We started up a conversation with him and he introduced himself to us as Herbert Ames who happens to give personal tours of behind the scenes at NASCAR. He offered to give us just such a tour Sunday morning for the Sprint cup race. He also gave us another ticket for the race to give to anyone that we wanted. Evan called his buddy Doug and he met us Sunday morning to claim his ticket. :o)
Herbert gave us a tour that we are still pinching ourselves over. He took us into places that most people are not allowed to go. We sat in the pre-race meeting with all of the drivers, then we took a tour of the inspection center where they check every car to make sure it measures to meet all of the requirements. We also got to go into a hauler truck where they haul the race car as well as a backup car and all the parts they need to maintain the vehicles.
Herbert then walked us out onto the track and across the field to the pre-race stage where they announce the drivers and have a pre-race show. All of the drivers and their families were gathered all around us as they prepared for introduction. Herbert then did the most amazing thing, he took Evan up on the back of the stage and introduced him to Dale Earnhardt Jr, Evan’s favorite driver, where he got his autograph and had pictures taken with him. I have never seen Evan so excited before, he was shaking.
Just when you think that you have seen and done it all, they invited three people that were also taking the tour with Herbert to go up on the stage and present a gift to Jeff Gordon. The three other people were with ESPN and one of them by the name of Chris came up to me and told me that he wanted Evan to take his place and have that experience. We called the kids and told them to watch the TV because Evan was going to be on TV. I’m not sure if they showed the presentation but the kids did say that they saw both of us on TV behind others that were getting interviewed.
After the introductions, we went back to the pits to watch the start of the race. We were allowed for a short time to stand at the cement barrier that separates the pit crew from the track. They started the cars and the sound was deafening (Evan was in heaven) then they were off. We then left to enjoy the race from our seats in the crowd.
We are still in awe over the experience we were able to enjoy and we express our deepest gratitude to those who made this possible.
4 years ago