Lawing Celebrates 100th Birthday with High-Speed Drive
Behind the wheel of a 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS pace car and with track president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler in the passenger's seat, Lawing drove two laps around the track, hitting a top speed of 75 mph and averaging 61.458 mph on his second lap.
"I would have driven faster if I knew they were timing me," Lawing said after returning to pit road where he was greeted by family, friends and media members. "I've always wanted to drive around this track and, yeah, it was a thrill."
Before taking the controls, Lawing, a longtime race fan, rode with Wheeler who topped 100 mph in honor of Lawing's 100th birthday.
"That's the first time I've been over 100 mph," said Lawing, a former mill worker and barber who stills drives his 1986 Cadillac on a regular basis. "This was the best birthday ever. It exceeded all my expectations."
Lawing now plans to return to Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night, Oct. 15, as track officials presented him with clubhouse tickets to the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race along with a lifetime membership in The Speedway Club.
The 100th birthday celebration began in The Speedway Club where Lawing and his guests enjoyed a specially prepared meal that included fried chicken and pinto beans. He also received a birthday cake inscribed with the words "Aged to Perfection."
Good seats are still available for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15, and can be obtained online here or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.