It sounded good on paper. Invite NASCAR rookie hotshot Dale Earnhardt Jr. to break the world land speed record for a motorized bar stool. Easy, right? Unfortunately, the only thing broken Wednesday evening at Rocky Mountain Speedway in Salt Lake...
It sounded good on paper. Invite NASCAR rookie hotshot Dale Earnhardt Jr. to break the world land speed record for a motorized bar stool. Easy, right?
Unfortunately, the only thing broken Wednesday evening at Rocky Mountain Speedway in Salt Lake City was the bar stool.
A test session for the bar stool (conducted prior to Earnhardt Jr's arrival in Utah) resulted in a stuck throttle and some major damage to the short, squat vehicle. In the interest of safety, young Mr. Earnhardt instead drove one of his No. 8 Budweiser showcars around the .4-mile oval track in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
"I am always surprised at the fan response we get when we do these Bud appearances in places where Winston Cup doesn't race," said Earnhardt Jr. "That was great driving around the track -- I wanted to do something for the fans since we weren't able to try out the bar stool."
Earnhardt Jr. presented the trophy to the winner of the Budweiser 100 hobby stock race and signed autographs and chatted with the fans and racers for several hours. Earnhardt even autographed one of the race cars and then offered the driver some suggestions to solve an overheating problem.
"I had so much fun giving that trophy -- more than you could imagine," said Earnhardt Jr. "It reminded me of when I was racing on Saturday nights and doing all the work on my own car. It's a great little race track. After I drove the Bud show car around, I wanted to enter that 100-lap race. Maybe start at the back of the pack and give those boys a run!"
Dale Jr. also met and signed autographs for the staff of General Distributors (Anheuser-Busch distributor in Salt Lake), Frank Layden, former coach of the Utah Jazz, and a menagerie of crazed, reckless costumed mascots from a variety of NBA teams.
"It's always fun until a mascot puts an eye out," said one bemused bystander.