It actually does snow here in Carolina
Hello blog fans! Several good things have happened since my last blog update so here let me bring you up to speed!
A few weeks ago we had a rare snowstorm here in Charlotte N.C. The good part about that is some of our local ski resorts in Boone, N.C., got some pretty good snow, so I took Jessie and her good buddy Kristin skiing at Sugar Mountain. We had a great time and luckily no broken bones!
Another fun thing is that I was able to join my friend judge Ola Lewis at one of her events. She is running for Supreme Court chief justice in North Carolina. If you live in North Carolina check her out. Common sense politics!
One of the best things that has happened is that NBC News came to my shop and also to Bristol, Tenn., to do a Feature on the "Making a Difference" segment on the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams Janet Shamlian from NBC was with us and she did an excellent job! Many thanks to Janet, producer Doug and Brian Williams for learning about BRAKES and helping us get the word out about what we are doing to help keep teens safer on the road. I am doing everything I can to make my boys proud.
Here is a link to the NBC news story:
Very special thanks to my friend and super good guy, Pro Stock champ Allen Johnson for giving the BRAKES charity the support to bring the school up to Allen's hometown track, Bristol. While at Bristol I ran into this GIANT picture of the boss, Bruton Smith. I thought that was great! Every one of Bruton’s tracks are the most fan friendly locations and also some of the best racing surfaces. If you have ever been to Charlotte, Bristol, Sonoma, Las Vegas, Atlanta Motor Speedway or Texas Motor Speedway, you know what I mean.
Jessie and I have had a chance to take in a few fun sporting events here in Charlotte including the Charlotte Checkers game thanks to my buddy Pmac. And then we also scored some excellent front-row seats to the Charlotte Bobcats game thanks to my friend Mimi and Legacy talent group.
Congrats to my buddy Alexis DeJoria on her first WIN last week at Phoenix! Great job to her and also the Kalitta team. They really have Dougs car flying too. I am pretty sure more wins will be coming for them really soon.
That’s about all I have for now. Working hard to try and get a Top Fuel car on track with ME behind the wheel really soon. Stay tuned!
Until next time, be safe!
With Colonel Grey from the N.C. Highway Patrol
Hello blog fans. Once again I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last update. I was trying to hold on until I had some really good news to announce. Unfortunately I don’t have that yet but I still have hope for racing full time in 2014 so hang in there with me.
First of all I want to wish everyone a great start to 2014. Happy New Year!
To wrap up the end of 2013 I really had some great things happen. We had an incredible Charity Gala prior to the fall countdown race at ZMax Dragway. It was a great event and if you have a chance to come to the fall ZMax race please join us for the B.R.A.K.E.S. gala, you won’t be sorry that you did.
One of the best was forming a safe driver partnership with B.R.A.K.ES. and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. To have the endorsement of the State Troopers and Colonel Grey has really brought some great attention to B.R.A.K.E.S. and our mission to keeps teens from getting into car accidents. We had our 1st ever B.R.A.K.E.S. program in our North Carolina State Capitol of Raleigh at the Highway Patrol training center, they have an incredible facility there and it was a great place to teach teens about responsible driving.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend we held a B.R.A.K.E.S. school at the Pomona Fairplex Auto Club Raceway. It was a good opportunity to visit my Mom and luckily Jessie was able to come along. We had a great time out in So Cal! My Mom took us on the Amtrak train to San Diego to visit the world famous San Diego Zoo. What an incredible place that zoo is! If you ever get a chance to go there don’t miss the opportunity.
The schools at Pomona were great! Several of my racing buddies came by to see us and talk to the teen drivers including Jack Beckman & Jeff Arend. Having them come by to witness the program and talk to the families is really meaningful, not only for me but for the teens and the families and these guys are just great! Jack always has a special way to incorporate some of his personal experiences into a learning lesson and that is always really cool!
We also had the California Highway Patrol join us for the Pomona classes. It’s really good for these guys to come talk to the teens and help them understand the job that they are trying to do on the roads and how to interact with the police when pulled over.
During the final classes of 2013 B.R.AK.E.S. actually trained our 10,000th teen driver. I would have never realized we were going to accomplish this when we started five years ago after Jon and James’ accident, I think we have made them proud.
Every December one of the great things I get a chance to do is to join all my racing friends at the “Stocks for Tots” event. All of the NASCAR and local NHRA racers get together and put a great event on for the fans and to raise money for some of the local children’s charities. This year they put all of the drag racers together and I had a chance to have some great conversations with Jason Line and Greg Anderson. It sounds like they are working really hard to get their KB Racing cars back to their desired form.
Where I live here in Charlotte, N.C.. has been pretty revved up about football and the Carolina Panthers. A couple weeks ago I had a chance to take Jessie to a game and we had a great time! I am not sure if you saw the game on TV but about halfway through the game a torrential rain shower came through and WOW we got wet! The only funny thing during the shower was that where we were sitting we could see a guy just below us that had the unfortunate seat placement right under the storm drain and oh boy did he get wet! I must say he has to be one of the toughest sport fans that I have ever seen he sat under that waterfall for about 30 minutes because he did not want to miss any part of the game, now that is dedication!
Ginger and I had a chance to visit the Carolina Panthers locker room and behind the scenes stuff; wow was that incredible! Thanks to Fed-Ex for the opportunity!
While Jessie and I were at the game she asked if I ever played football and so I had to dig through my pictures to find one of my youth football league photos. I was a handsome little devil! But football was not the sport that I loved, as soon as I was able to get my driver’s license off to the drag strip I went!
Quick word about our dog, Bella the Akita. She is only 3 years old now but has been diagnosed with meningitis, they have her on medication that they say will get her better but it will take up to 6 months. She is a great dog so we are sure hoping for her to get feeling better.
Please keep your fingers crossed for getting one of these sponsors that we are working on finalized so that we can get back out where we need to be, on the track for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season!
I will keep working hard on the sponsor search as well as B.R.A.K.E.S. and here at my shop, Herbert Cams and Performance Parts. I hope to be able to give everyone some good news really soon!
It’s hard to believe that it’s already September and the 2013 Countdown is already here!
I really like the fact that the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown starts here in Charlotte at my home track, zMax Dragway. Unfortunately it does not look like I will be racing at the event but that does not mean that I won’t be really busy this week.
At the Parade of Power
First of all this Thursday is the 6th annual B.R.A.K.E.S. Gala and charity fundraiser event. We have a great event set up and if you are anywhere close to Charlotte, I highly encourage you to join us. We should have about 300 guests this year including many of my NHRA racing friends like Shirley Muldowney, Larry Dixon, Jack Beckman, Steve Johnson, Tony Schumacher, Greg Anderson, Alexis DeJoria, David Grubnic and the Kalitta Motorsports gang, Miss zMAX, and even NASCAR Champ Randy LaJoie and many more!!!
Here is a link to the event.
The Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMax Dragway do quite a bit of promotions leading up to the fall racing events. I had a chance to let NASCAR star David Ragan check out a Top Fuel car up close! This is always a fun event!
Since the Bristol race we have been working really hard to secure sponsorship that will enable me to get back on the track in 2014 and compete for the 2014 Mello Yello NHRA championship. I think we are really close, so stay tuned. I will get an update as soon as things are firmed up.
Also, with help from Kia motors of America we are expanding the B.R.A.K.E.S. program into Florida, Georgia, and new locations in Southern California. Be sure to check the web site out and get your teen signed up.
Thanks for following along! Until next time, keep the shiny side up!
My Bristol wheelstand
Hi race fans! Even though we didn’t do as well as we hoped at Bristol we did have a good race. And we actually made the highlight reels with the wheelstand that we did on the first Friday run.
Unfortunately first round we had a malfunction of the new automatic shut off system mandated by the NHRA. Most of the guys seem to have the system under control but since this was our first race of the year we are just a little bit behind. I was happy that the car ran pretty good, good enough at least to race on Sunday. There was nothing else I wanted more than to turn on a win light on Father’s Day for my boys. I guess that will just have to wait until next year. The team Scott put together to work on the car did a great job and I am hoping to get the car out again at the Charlotte race in September.
My biggest news story is Ginger. She was crowned Mrs. Virginia! I am really proud of her! How does she live in North Carolina and win Mrs. Virginia? That’s a good question… She actually grew up in Midlothian, Va., and she decided that she wanted to represent her home state. She will compete in the Mrs. United States Pageant July 31 in Las Vegas. Stay tuned and I will keep everyone posted of the results!
After the race in Bristol by old buddy and USAF Thunderbirds pilot Rusty “The Shredder” and his family came to visit. I had not seen Rusty in quite some time and his son Jacob had really grown up since the last time they visited! I had fun taking them to one of my favorite places, the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. If you ever have a chance this is one place that you would like to visit!
I had a great chance to visit with Robert and Doug Yates during the Hot Rod Power Tour visit here in Charlotte. I’ve been fans of theirs for many years so that was pretty cool!
The guys at Doug Herbert Performance and BRAKES all got together and put together a car to run in the “Chump car” series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The rules are simple; you have to race a car that is worth less than $500 not including safety equipment. It was really fun! I was able to race against my old buddy Cameron Evans, he was lucky that he never got next to me or I might have had to give him a little push! Anyways I started the race in 67th place, after about an hour and a half I pitted to change drivers and fuel up and guess what? A drag racer can make turns! We were 16th when I came into the pits! Anyways it was fun and we ended up finishing 20th place. The next race is in November so we will probably see how we can do again!
Over here in Kannapolis we have a great minor league baseball team, The Intimidators. Named after guess who? The Intimidator #3 Dale Earnhardt. Jessie and our friends had a great time at the game, How could you not? Tickets were just $6 and the fun value was a million! In just 2 weeks On July 27 the Intimidators are hosting a baseball game with the proceeds going to the BRAKES charity! Please go to the BRAKES website t learn more and please come out and join us if you are in the Charlotte area. www.putonthebrakes.org
Speaking of BRAKES, lots of great things happening! We have schools at least one weekend a month at the Zmax Dragway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. This year we have been really blessed to get additional support from Rick Hendrick Cars, Hendrick cars.com and now Kia Motors USA! With this additional support we are adding schools in Georgia, Florida and California! In addition UPS stepped up last week and made a really nice donation to BRAKES that allowed us to add an additional class in Charlotte. If you have a teen please take advantage of this teen driving program. The classes are free and the value is priceless. For dates and information visit the BRAKES website.
The classes are always fun for me; I usually even learn something about driving! The instructors that we have are excellent! Many times my friends show up with their teen drivers. Last week my buddy Don Miller from Penske Racing brought his two grandsons to the school. Don brought a case of his book “Millers Time” and spent the time to personally autograph copies for every one of the BRAKES instructors, how cool! The most rewarding part is that after the school the teens generally all say the same thing, “This is one of the best days of my life.” That makes it all worthwhile.
That’s about all I have for now so until next time, be good!