Since I know nothing about sports or racing, my friend Will “The Thrill” Holder wrote this one for me. I know what your saying… “Will has a blog?” Take it away Will!
In sports, there are certain names that you can automatically attach to a specific contest. You hear Michael Jordan and you automatically know its basketball. Just like Ali is to boxing, Ruth to baseball, Farve to football, Beckham to soccer, Gretsky to hockey. You get the idea. In auto racing you hear names like Petty and Earnhardht and you know its NASCAR. When you hear the names INDY cars or IRL, one word automatically comes to most minds….. Andretti.
Third generation IRL driver Marco Andretti sure has big shoes to fill when your father is Michael Andretti and your grandfather is Mario Andretti. Marco recently made a pit stop so to speak, to Kings Dominion to promote the upcoming IRL race at the Richmond International Raceway. Myself and Clint Novak had a chance to hang with the rising racing protege.
First Marco had a luncheon with members of the media inside the Old Country Kitchen to discuss the upcoming race and any other questions that were thrown his way. Then we were all off to the Go-Kart track next to the Grizzly to get down to some real business. Marco and a friend strapped themselves into those mean machines and took a couple of laps for the cameras that were snapping and rolling away.
From there Clint had a chance to join some lucky contest winners, as well as KDfansite members Jason Deane and Brian Mitchell, in a 12 laps exhibition race against Marco. All drivers were given a head start followed by Marco. It didn’t take long for the driver who is used to racing around tracks going speeds of 200mph to make short work of everybody else, passing them all. Clint claims his weight would be an advantage. I say keep dieting my friend.
After the race Marco signed autographs for everybody involved. I really have to wonder if a guy like him would find the rides at Kings Dominion to be boring? I wonder if he would let me drive his car around RIR a couple of laps? I should have asked him.
If you would like to see Marco, Danica Patrick and the other stars of the IRL race in person, then head out to the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, June 27th for the Sun Trust INDY Challenge. You can purchase tickets by calling 866-INDYCAR or visit www.indycar.com You can also catch the race that night, 8pm on the VERSUS network.