Thursday, June 18, 2009
Spending The Day With Hershel
Let me tell you, if anyone ever tells you it's easy keeping up with Hershel McGriff because he's an old man, their dead wrong! Hershel may be considered one of Nascar's 50 greatest racers of all time but to me he's Numero Uno! I had to laugh as I was on my way to Infineon International raceway this morning to spend the day with Hershel McGriff because on the Nascar station one of the announcers was trying to compare himself to Hershel McGriff. He said, "It's like this... I am less than half of Hershel's age and last night I was in my back yard pulling a few weeds and this morning I almost couldn't get out of bed. But here's this guy Hershel McGriff and this weekend he's racing in a Nascar race at Infineon and he's 81!"
Hershel invited me up to the track today for what I assumed would be a relaxing day of visiting and lingering around the track visiting with a few Nascar drivers. While it was an awesome day it was anything but relaxing. Hershel and his lovely wife Sherry where about as relaxed as a swarm of yellow jackets as they made sure every single detail for the entire weekend was in order. But what do you expect from a man who hasn't learned the concept of slowing down.
By the way, don't tell anyone because its a secret but even better news is that my family is surprising me this Saturday by taking all of us including my grandson Tyler to his first race at Infineon to watch Hershel race in this weekends Nascar race for Father's Day. Then on Sunday my producer and myself will go back to do an interview with Hershel for our soon to be released HD DVD.
Also exciting was listening as Hershel and Darrell "DW" Waltrip did an interview. The announcer began by building up DW's introduction saying, "This man has been involved with Nascar over three generations..." But when he introdeced Hershel he said, "This man has been racing with Nascar over.... Oh hell, Hershel started racing even before Nascar started over five generations ago!" LOL.
While I was there Hershel got word his interview with Nascar's youngest driver, Joey Lagano, has been changed to tomorrow who will also be racing against Hershel in Saturdays race. No matter how things go it's going to be an awesome weekend that's for sure.
One thing that really made my day was when Hershel and I sat down in his motor coach while he autographed a few very special books I had. Hershel autographed these three covers and page on a very rare edition of "The Mexican Road Race". (Don't tell anyone but I giggled like a little girl.)
Hershel also signed this page in Johnny Tipler's book "La Carrera Panamericana."
Here are a few random photos from around the pits and paddock...
Not just everyone gets a paddock pass like this one.
Hershel's Hot Rod #4
See if you can guess who is parked next to Hershel's motor coach. I may go back later and let the air out of their tires.
Hmmm, nobody's looking. I wonder if these tires will fit on Lucky?
These next two shots are officials tearing Hershels car apart doing the tech inspection. You would NOT believe how much they tear down.
Here is Hershel testing his new car a few days ago.