Pit Note 10: Wall of Honor Expands with Eight New Members
Eight new members were added into the Charlotte Motor Speedway 50-year fan Wall of Honor Saturday morning during breakfast at The Speedway Club.
They along with previous 50-year fan honorees had the opportunity to visit with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and visit their plaques on the wall, which is located on the Charlotte Motor Speedway concourse.
Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter welcomed the fans at the plaque presentations, which took place just one day before the 60th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600.
"I met someone who has three generations who have come for the race," said Walter. "I talked to a man whose parents brought him here in 1964. That's incredible. You don't hear stories like that anywhere else. So on behalf on the staff here, we are honored, but very, very grateful."
Several of the new honorees gave their thoughts on the experience.
"I came to the very first race here in 1960." said Mike Kleban from Harrisburg, North Carolina. "I have missed four races, three when I was in Pakistan and one when my son was born. What this means to me is we entertain wounded warriors in the infield. We have got 50 of them this weekend. We bring them in and find a spot and entertain them. That's what this honor means to me."
Others provided similar recollections.
"I went into the service in 1951 and served in Korea and in Vietnam. So I became a track member when they were still moving the dirt around here," said Ned Troutman, who is originally from Salisbury, North Carolina, but now resides in Montgomery, AIabama. "I love coming back. I just enjoy all of the races and the people who come here."
"I just enjoy racing." said John Sides from High Rock Lake, North Carolina. "I don't really like football or basketball - just racing. It's in my blood. Now my son has been coming with me the last 11 or 12 years. There is really no special memory for me, I just love it all. And getting to meet Bobby Allison; he was one of my heroes. He was my man back then."
Another of Saturday's honorees was Lona Woodring from Boone, North Carolina.
"It's just wonderful. I'm honored," Woodring said. "My first race here was back in 1967. And I have been coming every year that I could. I am just a big all-around fan but a really big fan of country music too. One of my favorite memories was when Bruton Smith brought Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn out on the frontstretch. I just love Charlotte Motor Speedway."