Longtime Race Fan Never Misses a Week of the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout
Rain or shine, for the past 17 years, Rick Goodman has been in attendance every week of the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Each Tuesday night of the 10-week summer racing series, Goodman makes the drive from Kannapolis, N.C., to Charlotte Motor Speedway to witness the best Legend Car and Bandolero drivers in the world battle on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval.
Goodman attends the weekly racing series because it offers exciting and affordable racing in close proximity to his home.
“I believe it was in 1994 when I started coming,” said Goodman. “It’s an easy way to watch racing and for $7 you get to see nearly 30 races.”
The 60-year-old has missed just three nights of racing since the Summer Shootout Series began 17 years ago. Goodman is currently on a streak of nine consecutive years without missing a single race.
“The only time I miss a Summer Shootout race is to go to a race at another track,” explained Goodman. “I write down every race I go to, and who wins. I’ve missed three races, one in 1995, 1996 and 2001 and those were for vacations to other race tracks.”
When Goodman is not at the track, he does quite a bit of driving himself, but not in a race car. For six years, Goodman has driven a Cabarrus County school bus.
“I became a school bus driver because I needed something to do,” said Goodman. “My bus usually leaves at 6 a.m. and I get home around 9 a.m. from my morning run, then I go back at 1:30 p.m. and finally get home at 4:45 p.m. This past year I had a middle school and high school route.”
Among the students Goodman has driven is Darrell Wallace Jr., a driver in the Legend Car Pro division at the Summer Shootout Series.
“I enjoy watching him [Wallace Jr.] race because I know him from my route,” explained Goodman. “He is in the pro division and that division is the best. They are better drivers and there’s more competition, which means more cars that are capable of winning.”
Even though he makes a living behind the wheel, Goodman has no interest in driving a race car.
“No racing,” said Goodman. “I like being a spectator, it’s where I belong.”
Besides being a loyal Summer Shootout spectator, Goodman also attends events at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“In 17 years I’ve been to more than 170 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track,” noted Goodman. “They have good entertainment and for the money it’s hard to beat.”
In total, Goodman has attended 3,013 auto races throughout the United States, dating back to 1972.
The 17th Annual Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday night, July 27, with Mascot Mania and Kids Poster Night.
Fur is sure to fly during round eight of the series as several area mascots compete in racing’s version of “The Fast and the Furriest.” Lug Nut, The World’s Fastest Mascot, will be looking to defend his home turf as the mascots will battle in equally prepared go-karts on the treacherous frontstretch quarter-mile oval.
Among those scheduled to join Lug Nut in the annual Mascot Mania Night race are: Sir Purr of the Carolina Panthers; Rufus Lynx of the Charlotte Bobcats; Chubby of the Charlotte Checkers; and Tim E. Gator of the Kannapolis Intimidators, along with a rare appearance from Lug Nut’s girlfriend, Lugette.
Adult tickets are just $7, with children ages 6 to 12 admitted for $3. Kids under 6 are free. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with feature racing beginning at 7:30 p.m. For more information or tickets to the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online.