In 2010, I was ultimately lucky enough to win a contest from Pennzoil to attend the All-Star Race in Charlotte.
The whole weekend was taken care of, and they had various activities planned for us.
We flew from Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday before the All-Star Race, and upon arrival in Charlotte, were put up in a hotel just up the street from the track. As a matter of fact, we were able to see the track from our hotel room!
Friday was spent touring the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which had just opened only weeks prior. Friday afternoon was spent with the group from Pennzoil which included other guests where we were bused out to Richard Childress Racing shops. We were shown around the garages, assembly areas, inspection, paint, etc. Essentially the full #29 shops. We then were brought over to the Childress Winery where we were treated to a wine tasting and pairing, a tour of the winery, and an amazing dinner.
Saturday of the race, we were able to walk around the souvenir haulers, visit the activities at the track, and just walk around a relax for a while.
In the afternoon, we were shown to the Pennzoil VIP suite where we were going to watch the race from. It was here we got to meet Kevin Harvick, and get some autographs and pictures with him.
Shortly after this, we were taken down to the infield and garage area where all the teams were preparing for the All-Star Race. We were able to get up close and talk with some of the crew members.
I was then led away because my fun was just beginning. I was brought here to ride shotgun with Kevin Harvick as he competed in the Burnout Contest prior to the race! They took all the participants to an area where we were put into firesuits, fitted with helmets and given instructions.
We were brought out to the track and it was here we got to meet all the NASCAR Drivers that were participating in the contest: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, David Reutimann, and Jamie McMurray. We were able to get pictures with all of them, autographs, etc. They were all very cool to talk with, and were having a load of fun!
After meeting the celebrity judges that included Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers wide receiver; Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti from Creed, and Jimmy Spencer we were put into the cars.
Joey Logano eventually won that years burnout contest, but the experience of being around the drivers, on the track, and riding in the car during a burnout was a once in a lifetime experience! Something I’ll never forget.
Many, Many thanks to the Shell Company / Pennzoil Ultra, all the folks that hosted us, RCR shops, Childress Winery, all the drivers that were really cool, and Kevin Harvick for letting me have an awesome experience!!