It was sunny everywhere in the Bay Area EXCEPT at the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday. It was the San Francisco cliche: totally foggy. I arrived at the the north side of the bridge to take part in the Cheerios Walk for a Healthy Heart event with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer (left). Over 100 fans showed up and received free commemorative t-shirts plus the opportunity to mingle with their fave driver.
Clint was his usual super nice and funny self. My favorite moments of the walk were when he interacted with the youngest racing fan on hand, a 3-year-old boy whose grandmother told me she’d tried to get him to like Dale Earnhardt Jr (her fave) but he wasn’t going for it. He likes Clint. So before the walk even started I saw Clint lift the adorable little boy up onto a bench for the group photo and then during the walk, which Clint led with Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo, he left the front of the pack to look for the little boy (bypassing his girlfriend, Lorra, who participated in the walk, too) to hang with him. If you had seen it, your ovaries would have wept like mine did. Sooo cute. This little, little boy looking up to Clint. Too much. 🙂
The bridge is 1.7 miles long and I walked with fellow NASCAR fan and tweeter @MajorLeagueBtch. We had fun talking the whole way, which made it not feel like we’d just walked a mile. 🙂 But then I decided to walk back to the north side of the bridge instead of taking the shuttle. I figured it wasn’t so bad the first time and it could serve as my exercise for the day. Needless to say, I did not feel like walking ANYWHERE after that.
On Thursday Infineon held their annual media luncheon. This year’s driver attendees were AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Jessica Brunelli, a young woman from the Bay Area who participated in the K&N Pro Series West race today at Infineon. Also on hand were a couple of the newest members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Ned Jarrett and Bobby Allison. I went up to Ned to ask him where calling his son’s Daytona 500 win ranked in terms of his racing memories. He said it was definitely in his top-3. He was a very nice man and we got to talk about the Hall of Fame voting process which he was apart of, even as a nominee. It’s pretty interesting how votes are discussed instead of people just filling out a ballot. So you get to hear your career discussed and people arguing reasons why maybe you should or shouldn’t be inducted now.
Kasey Kahne arrived late, in the middle of our salads, a victim of bad traffic on the Bay Bridge. It was fun to watch AJ Allmendinger listen intently to Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett as they told stories from their time as drivers in NASCAR. I don’t think he ate his salad, he was so focused on the racing legends.
Nothing much happened outside of that. I’ll start posting about the race weekend at Infineon starting on Monday (hopefully). Can’t wait to tell you guys about Dale Earnhardt Jr. almost running me, and a friend, over in the garage. Good times, good times. 🙂
My NASCAR Year 2012: I still need your help to get to $125,000 that I need to make this thing happen. You can donate any amount, publicly or anonymously — even $5 helps get to the goal! 🙂 DONATE