Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anyone Know This Soldier's Story?

At February's Nationwide Series season opener in Daytona, I was hanging out at driver introductions, on the peasant side of the yellow ropes, waiting to get some up-close pix of my favorite NASCAR personalities.

While standing there baking in the sun, I met a U.S. soldier stationed in Augusta, Ga. and his little boy, who was all dressed up in a Jeff Gordon costume. I took their photo, because they were so nice and the little boy was so cute. And just a few minutes later, the CEO of Camping World came over and asked the Dad if he and his little boy would like to ride in the pace car. The group I was with started cheering...and away the two went to the VIP area.

Since that race, I've seen this father and son on just about every Sprint Cup broadcast in the region--Atlanta, Talladega and just now on pit road at Lowe's Motor Speedway, watching Carl Edwards' on-camera interview.

Only in a sport like NASCAR would a little boy who loves Jeff Gordon and his hero of a Dad (who admitted to me he wasn't into racing at all until his son got him into it) be embraced and welcomed with such open arms. I have a feeling Gordon and his folks arranged for him to attend races and get special access...but I sure would like to know the whole story. If anyone knows, please drop me a line.

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