Pit Note: Charlotte Motor Speedway Honors Longtime Fans
In what has become a Coca-Cola 600 tradition, Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual longtime fan breakfast was held Saturday morning at the Speedway Club. Four new inductees were honored and presented plaques on the speedway's Wall of Honor. Previous honorees were also in attendance as the fans enjoyed a visit with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison.
Allison entertained the fans with old racing stories at the event. The new members were then taken to the Wall of Honor on the speedway concourse and presented their plaques.
The four newest members of this growing, prestigious class are Ronnie Mounts from Gilbert, West Virginia; Joanne Meade from Lexington, Virginia; Eugene McKean from Connecticut; and Jim Hallman of Gastonia, North Carolina.
"This is exciting," said Mounts, a former Deputy Sherriff. "I actually came here in 1960. I went in the Army in 1962 and missed a couple of years, but I came back in 1967. I come twice a year and haven't missed a race since. My favorite moment I guess is when Dale Earnhardt got run off the track (the 'Pass in the Grass' in 1987) and came back on the track and Bill Elliott tried to root him out. This my favorite track. I love it."
"I can't believe how everything has changed," Meade said. "Other than having my children, this means more than anything that's happened. I just wish my husband could have joined me because he got me started in racing in 1958. I didn't get here until 1967 and it was just my favorite track to come to. I have so many memories here."
For McKean, making the trip from Connecticut each race was worth the effort.
"I just like coming down here," McKean said. "I guess my favorite memory here was the first All-Star Race (in 1985). That was unique. Nothing quite like it."
There are now more than 50 members featured on the Wall of Honor.