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Team Members Thinking of Dad on Special Day at Infineon June 21, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Fun Stuff.
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Fathers Day – June 21, 2009

It’s Sunday, race morning, Father’s day and I’m walking down pit road prior to the start of the Toyota Save Mart 350. Ryan Tschudi, the quiet and sincere underneath mechanic for the 77 Mobile One Dodge walks up to me and asks if I have already done my SIRIUS NASCAR Radio show for the day. I tell him that I just finished the broadcast…..why? He said that he wanted to do a shout out to his dad for Father’s day.

The stunt pilot for the Red Bull Helicopter is doing flips in the air, the Infineon Raceway girls are posing with teams up and down pit road, the colors and sounds and energy of the moment are beyond intense. The pre race is unfolding and Ryan is thinking about his dad.

I raised my microphone, turned on the m audio player and asked him to do a shout out to his dad if he’d like. I’d find a way to work it into the post race show even if they do not win and visit Victory Lane. I’m thinking I will have to be creative on getting this one on a post race show but, darn it, I’ll find a way to do it. He said he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. He had heard me have the guys do a shout out to their dads on the Friday broadcast and wanted to have his dad included. That’s cool.

“I want to wish my dad LeRoy a happy Father’s Day,” Tschudi said into my microphone.
“My dad is actually headed to Texas right now, he’s taking a load down to Dallas. Happy Father’s Day!,” He added.

I called my dad (John Bennett) today. He’s up North in Wisconsin with Mom at the lake fishing and enjoying the day. I appreciate all he did for me in my life and I am lucky that I can go on the radio and shout out to him and tell him so.

So many of the guys who are never home for special days and anniversaries and Father’s Days cannot. They would trade what they do for anything,but guys like the underneath mechanic on a team are unsung heroes of race teams. No one gives them attention and when the cameras are rolling and the live broadcasts are happening and the features are being shot – they are where they live, underneath the race car. They get no attention and they ask for nothing for themselves.

I think it’s really great that Ryan came up to me – and while he’d never ask for something for himself – he wanted to do a shout out to his dad.

I’m sure he didn’t expect me to mention it in my blog.

But you know it’s the small things about this sport that make some of the best stories and most compelling stories in NASCAR. On pit road and in the garage and back at home at race shops there are guys who would do just about anything to get to Victory Lane so they can call their dads from there and give them some attention.

Happy Father’s day to all the guys in the sport and all the fans back at home.

Ryan thanks for the shout out to your dad. I know that you never figured it would be in this blog – but you know your dad must be pretty special and that is way cool.

More Later – Enjoy the day!

Claire B.

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June 15, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, Trackside.
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Race Morning POSTcard – Michigan International Raceway

Driver’s Meeting:
Pit Road Speed: 55 miles Per Hour
Race: 200 Laps: 400 Miles

Race Director David Hoots gave the drivers and crew chiefs the basic rules and procedure announcements. At the end of the meeting – there was one question – from Mark Martin on the yellow line and exiting pit road. “All four tires (must be) below the yellow line past the exit of turn two,” David Hoots said, adding “Happy Father’s Day Everybody, Tim will you lead us in prayer please.” The call for prayer always ends the driver’s meeting.

The basic name visitors at the drivers meeting were execs from the big American auto manufacturers who are based here in Michigan.

Today, in addition to praying for all fathers and for a safe race, silent prayer was also extended to the weather that rain holds out and that we get this race in today. Keep your eye on the storms coming our way.

Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday – Doubt a Penalty is Coming
It does not look to me like NASCAR will issue penalties related to the “conversation” that occurred between Ron Hornaday and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race here in Michigan on Saturday. NACSAR says the occurrence must be pretty blatant before they step in. Even if he’s aggressive in their eyes, sometimes NASAR lets the garage settle itself down and the drivers work it out on the track. They may pull a driver aside and tell him that he’s over the edge and needs to settle down. That can even happen without the other drivers or media finding out. Hornaday went to look for Busch here yesterday- and the two had a heated discussion. It does not appear that NASCAR sees anything that would warrant a penalty. If NASCAR does not tell Busch to settle down – I’m hearing that a driver or two may use the opportunity of the next short track race to (without being blatant) settle him down just a little themselves. It’s standard procedure in the garage. This could come back to bite him when he really needs it. Time will tell. It seemed to me as if Kyle didn’t crash Hornaday on purpose as much as thinking that he could pull off a spectacular move that he could not. Maybe overconfidence in that situation rather than blatantly trying to take Hornaday out. I do know some fans think it was on purpose.

Ron Fellows in the 01 at Sonoma:
Dale Earnhardt, Inc’s John Story confirmed that DEI is putting Ron Fellows in the 01 car at Infineon Raceway this coming week.”We have 100% commitment in Regan (Smith) and the job that he has been doing. But we felt like when you have the rare opportunity to work with a guy like Ron Fellows whose definitely a top five guy in this field at Infineon you know we gotta take advantage of that opportunity and see if we can go out and score maximum points. It will help us all -it will help the 01 car and it will help Regan personally to make sure we get a little cushion between us and 36th place.

Happy Father’s Day:

Happy Father’s Day to my own father, John Bennett who I would be so enjoying spending the day with in Madison, Wisconsin – if I was not living the dream covering NASCAR and traveling the country on the circuit. My father taught me that you really can achieve anything if you are willing to work hard for it and he worked hard his entire life to support the family – sometimes too hard. Now – is his time to kick back and I’d love being at home today ’cause he makes a mean turkey on the grill and he’s a very smart man. Sweet! My father was a silver medal winner in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne – but with or without that we are always proud of him. Happy Fathers Day dad!

Enjoy your fathers – Enjoy the day!
It should be a great race!

Claire B

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