What a Week!

Jul 20 2010 - 2:39pm

Last week, at least in terms of the ONMC National Convention, was a whirlwind of activity for the Members who attended the fifth annual celebration of Member-hood, and for the home office staff, it was a chance for us to see the people we work for all year long.

California had its contingent, Nebraska had some folks, West Virginia, the list goes on and on, and it was cool for a lot of reasons, but the coolest was, these are our people. I don’t mean just Members; we’re all Members.

I mean, these are our people. The fans who dig Membership and eke every bit of fun and privilege and benefit out of the opportunities that we put together for them. This is the ultimate Deals & Discounts experience.

Deals & Discounts are cool day-to-day, and you can save lots of money with them. The other things that the Club offers—magazines, the chance to go down and be with the cars and stars of the NASCAR series, weekly communications and a whole lot more—are great: this is the best.

It’s like a huge macrocosm of the Club, in a way. The VIP component is the Mosh Pit and Garage Tours and Shop Tours. The charitable component is the chance to go to Victory Junction and make a difference for people who already have it tough enough.

The information portion is seeing your pictures in the magazine after it’s over. The Deals & Discounts portion is the sale prices we get at various gift shops and at the track. A great big thank-you goes to all our attendees for coming and celebrating and chatting and just making life at the track and in the community a lot more special than it is the other 361 days of the year.

Special thanks go out to many people here in Charlotte, primarily Jamie Smith and Matt Dusenberry. Jamie, as she has for the last three years by herself and the last four years overall, plans this thing within an inch of its life so that the experience, when all is said and done, is something you remember far longer than most.

She’s through with school now and is fixing to devote her skills to making your lives as Members better, the same way she keeps making the Convention better year after year. Matt Dusenberry spent the same kind of effort on making the at-track portion stand out as a model of efficiency and fun. Organizing garage tours for the whole group was child’s play compared to making the Mosh Pit work, and he did it with aplomb…and only one golf cart!

As a result, we had a smooth entry to the Mosh Pit zone, and the prime location for the crews and drivers to exit the stage toward the pace vehicles. He does the same thing every week at the track, so it’s not hard to see why he’s been so successful at it this year.

The others in the office, from ONMC Prez David Hickson on down, pitched in and ponied up and made it all happen, and there’s a solid satisfaction in a job well done. Many people put this together, and many people came. Sounds like a successful event to me! While we’re doling out thanks, the folks from the NASCAR Hall of Fame deserve a lot, and so do representatives of Victory Junction, Hendrick Motorsports, the NASCAR R&D Center, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Whisky River, Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR itself and so on down the line. Don’t think I forgot anyone, and unlike the drivers, I can’t scan the car to make sure!

Switching gears, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was a doozy. Kurt Busch came blowing through the field like Elvis through a buffet early in the 10-lap finale and wound up holding Martin Truex Jr. back for the victory.

There was a time during that 10-lap segment that I thought was going to blow the roof off one of the Joe Gibbs Racing transporters, but apparently, they got it figured out. Denny Hamlin slid up in Turn 2 to check teammate Kyle Busch, and while they never touched, Kyle touched the wall hard enough to kill any chance he had of winning the $1 million prize.

It was “old” Kyle who drove to the garage and parked his steaming, smoking racer in front of Hamlin’s hauler and stalked into the driver lounge. Denny was still on the track, of course, but Kyle was waiting when he got back.

Wonder what the Coca-Cola 600 has in store for us this weekend? Can’t wait to find out!

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