Yes, I am still gushing over my trip to San Francisco where we spent a day at Sonoma Raceway. Working on this site has offered a lot of unique opportunities and this experience is definitely one of them.
We didn’t just hang out on the tracks, we actually got involved in a friendly pit stop competition – where I got a chance to change a tire, just like the pros and lived to talk about it. I was also a passenger in a friendly racing competition. The day was a lot of fun and very educational.
Behind the Wheel of a Stimulator
We all know, a day on the track won’t be complete without actually getting behind the wheels, and that’s exactly what I did. It’s definitely easier, said than done because even with a stimulator, I couldn’t get it right. I crashed more times than I care to admit.
Pit Stop Challenge
For the pit stop challenges, I got a chance to change a tire using professional tips that were shared with us. Sadly, I didn’t win the competition but I got a certificate, to show the world, how awesome, I am with the tools.
Hot Lapping at Sonoma Raceway
The fact that we got a chance to ride around the race track is literally nothing I can describe. Talk about checking something off my bucket list. Check out the video below and let me know what you think. OMG!!
A Brief History of Racing
For starters, do you know what NASCAR stands for? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either.
Well, it means National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. We got a chance to learn a lot about Stock car racing from two of the best in the industry – Jay Ward, the Creative Director for the Cars franchise and Ray Evernham, Technical Consultant and three times NASCAR champion crew chief with Jeff Gordon.
NASCAR started from a couple of guys moonshining then they eventually decided to start a league. At which point, car manufacturers got involve by providing wheels for them to showcase at their race. Hence the saying, Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday. To imagine that, it all started with a couple of Georgia and North Carolina moonshiner using bootleg cars to race on a beach.
NASCAR Legends in CARS 3
- Junior Johnson
Junior Johnson is one of the legends that was showcased in the new Cars 3 movie. Junior’s father was a moonshiner from North Carolina. Junior worked as a bootlegger, driver, stock car racer, mechanic, champion crew chief, team owner, etc. To learn more about Junior Johnson, check out the “The Last American Hero” starring Jeff Bridges. Keep an eye out for Junior Moon character.
- Wendell Scott
The most popular driver in NASCAR history. He was a driver and a mechanic. Although his story is inspiring it actually made me sad. After winning one of the big race in Florida back in the 50’s he wasn’t given a trophy because the league didn’t want an African-American to kiss a white trophy. He was finally induced into the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame. After consulting with Mr. Scott’s grandson, Pixar created a character with the #34 and a license plate that says, “mechanic me”. To learn more about Wendell Scott
- Louise Smith
The first female to climb up the NASCAR winning team at a time when women weren’t allowed in the game. Named, the “First Lady of Racing”. Keep an eye out for the character, Louise Nash.
- Smokey Yunick
Known for stretching the rules and named the”common sense” genius. He was a mechanic and a winning crew chief of both Daytona 500 and Indy 500. Watch out for his character, Smokey.
Learning about the history of racing, gave me an appreciation for the sport. It also made me excited about the upcoming movie, “Cars 3”. Knowing, a ton of history and research went into making it a reality, is one of the reasons why story resonated with me.
Cars 3 Trailer
On a separate note, the view at Sonoma Raceway was breathtaking. Absolutely gorgeous, no matter where you look. Just amazing.
“Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017