Friday, July 24, 2009

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: The Need for Speed...Fest.

Well, it's day number 2 here at the 2009 Kroger SpeedFest at O'Reilly Raceway Park, and I must say to those who aren't joining us...BUMMER to you!! And yes, I'm totally "geeking" out. (fyi: "geeking" = freaking out in a completely geeky manner). Currently, I am sitting in the media center of O'Reilly Raceway Park's oval looking over the insane view I have. Drivers walking the pits, crew members prepping the trucks and fans overwhelmed with excitement, much like myself.

Qualifications are over, and the excitement builds as we come closing in to the main event. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series AAA Insurance 200, presented by J.D. Byrider race starts approximately in 1 hour, 30 minutes. Right now, drivers and crew cheifs are having a meeting, trucks are lined up, people are scrambling to find seats and I am sitting cozy with a front row seat in the media center (yes, what a burden for me....)

And after all the minor drama around here, (low toner in the printer and losing the golf cart key for a brief second) I need a break!! Hahaha...this is me totally kidding. Yes, I continue to love my internship and it never falls short of surprising me with more interesting people to meet and entertaining gigs to do! SpeedFest, by far, blows ALL other events I have EVER been to right outta the water.

Continuing on my note of all the interesting people I have met... This list includes Gary, The Copy Guy; Dale & his trusty side kick, a.k.a. The Gate Keepers; John "My Brotha", Caterer Extraordinaire; and last...but certainly not least, my boss: G Fabulous, Scott Smizzle. These people had made my time here extra special, and I have learned a lot from some...and a little from most (haha...I kid, I kid!!). But, never the less my time here has been memorable and I'm glad I'm able to share these experiences with you all!

But, here's to looking forward to the future (but, not too far..) and living in the moment! Well, this blog has officially taking me to the beginning on Driver Introductions..nice! I'm out

More to come soon...I promise!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Excitement Before SpeedFest: The Countdown Continues

Well the sun is shining bright and the workers are working hard here at the O'Reilly Raceway Park this morning. And naturally, the orderly madness (ha...that's an oxymoron) continues as O'Reilly Raceway Park workers strive tirelessly to create and set-up an amazing scenery for the Kroger SpeedFest weekend. ..And I'll tell you something, it's looking pretty good!

Tents for the Hospitality Village are coming up, track sponsors and logos are being painted on the track and the stands used for Kroger SpeedFest are being assembled at record speeds. But, then again, are you really surprised at how fast-pace work at the track can be? After all, speed and precision is the name of the game in this industry...only makes sense our workers here at O'Reilly Raceway Park keep up with the pace.

So I've talked about what's going on outside of O'Reilly Raceway Park, and now it's time to go inside where a lot of the magic happens. That's right; I'm going to give you an "exclusive" look of what happens inside the offices at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Have I got your attention yet? Good. This morning has been nothing less of chaotic, yet efficient.

First and foremost we've got our fearless leader, Ron Anderson (the General Manager of O'Reilly Raceway Park), holding down the fort and overseeing EVERYTHING that goes on around this place...and man...that's a lot of responsibility. Next is Scott Smith, our Senior Communications Manager (a.k.a. MY big boss man). He's pretty cool and very sarcastic, which if you know me...we get along very well! On the other side of the office is Michelle Sieradzki (Hospitality and Group Sales Manager) and Wes Collier (Marketing Services Manager), along with their intern, Jennifer Werner (a.k.a. "Giggles" because this is what she does best!) Everyone keeps everyone pretty entertained around here... We are all good-hearted and hard workers. Which is the best kind of atmosphere to be around while "working"...haha, I love my internship.

Ok, as promised, here are the pics. And wow...these folks are sure photogenic :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SpeedFest: Rapidly Approaching

The driver introductions for the 2008 Kroger 200, NASCAR Nationwide Series Race.

Intern Jennifer and I at O'Reilly Raceway Park getting ready for SpeedFest!

I'm back...and busier than ever. It's the most wonderful time of the year (and I'm not talking about the holidays, folks). This is the moment I, as an intern at O'Reilly Raceway Park, have been waiting for. Doing promotions at various events including PINKS All Out was great, creating the program for SpeedFest was fun...but nothing could prepare me for one of the most exciting and adrienaline-pumping races of the season. As a self-proclaimed NASCAR-baby, I can't explain the how COOL (yes, for the lack of a better term) the O'Reilly Raceway Park's fast-pace atmosphere is around here. From spectating the coordination of events to watching the cars hit the track for some action-packed practicing & racing...there is ALWAYS something keeping me entertained. Wow, once again I make my internship sound rough, huh?

But, I can't lie. It's been great working here at O'Reilly Raceway Park, especially with these amazing staff (yes, my boss paid me to say that) ..And with the SpeedFest only 2 weeks away, it's a very bitter-sweet feeling. I think that's what I love most about this's all about...well...the love. The appreciation of the cars and the love for the sport, itself. Pretty respectable. And so I don't get too cheesy (whoops, already happened), I'll switch the subject back to SpeedFest.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
NASCAR Nationwide Series cars in the pits.

Whew! Just the name sounds intense...which it is. This year marks the 2009 Kroger SpeedFest featuring three nights of action packed racing under the summer lights on the famous O'Reilly Raceway Park oval. The weekend kicks off with exciting USAC open-wheel action on Thursday July 23rd. On Friday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the track for 200 laps of fender-to-fender battles. Past winners include Rick Crawford, Ron Hornaday, Carl Edwards and last year's winner Johnny Benson. And on July 25th (Saturday), the weekend concludes with the running of the 28th annual Kroger 200, NASCAR Nationwide series race. Past winners of this fierce event include Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers and defending race winner, Kyle Busch.

One of the three new 2009 Kroger SpeedFest Program covers. This one features the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

So, there you have it...the reason why my summer has been completely and utterly amazing. And the best part is, there's more to come at O'Reilly Raceway Park! I will be updating more often as SpeedFest rapidly approaches ( you can't get rid of me yet!!)

Gotta run...literally,
Intern "K"

~Ps. Keep up with any and all action happening at O'Reilly Raceway Park by following us on many social media Web sites: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and of course this fabulous blog: In the Groove with O'Reilly Raceway Park on BlogSpot.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Margin of victory for NASCAR Nationwide series races

The 2009 installment of Kroger SpeedFest is rapidly approaching and as always the weekend will conclude with the running of the Kroger 200, benefitting Riley Hospital for Children. This race is always ultra competitive and the record book reflects this in the margin of victory.

Since 1993 the closest margin of victory was .147 seconds when Greg Biffle bested Jason Keller for the victory. Interestingly enough Jason Keller is involved in the largest margin of victory as well but again on the losing side of it. In 2003 Brian Vickers won the race by 2.296 seconds over Keller. Don't feel too bad for Keller though as he does have 2 career wins O'Reilly Raceway Park in 1995 and 1999.

With the competition level high as always in the Nationwide Series, it is a safe bet the margin of victory will again be close.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-884-6472.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kroger 200 fast fact

As the Nationwide Series prepares for the Winn-Dixie 250 in Daytona the staff at O'Reilly Raceway Park is working on the upcoming Kroger 200 on July 25th .

A little trivia for the day... Morgan Shepherd has the most wins at O'Reilly Raceway Park in the Nationwide series with 3 and most poles is held by Randy Lajoie with 2.

Have a great July 4th!