What an amazing day we shared at the ARCA Mobile 200 with 2 members of USCG ATC Mobile as honorary crew members. The day started off with an autograph session and the amount of support from the fans with the hood of the car and handshakes and a thank you to these two servicemen was incredible. Had many great discussions on the hood and having the Coast Guard members there, and that we were presenting them with the hood postrace to take back to the air station for the rest of the unit to be able to see and enjoy. Just another step in the right direction in the healing process for this whole community!!!
The Marine Corps Color Guard presented The Colors, and our Anthem echoed accross the stands and infield. The track had a handful of bi-planes do a flyover, but little did they know that my two new friends in the pits had a surprise of their own!!! They had a coordinated a flyover from USCG ATC Mobile in the form of a UH-60, and it appeared over the horizon just as the command to start engines was given. When the UH-60 flew over the track, the ENTIRE crowd went CRAZY in cheers and applause, over shadowing the engine noise from the field of ARCA cars!!! To see the USCG ATC Mobile back in the air, and the look of pride on these two servicemen’s faces, you could see the hurt starting to fade in their eyes!!! An incredible step taken by Capt. Tom Maine, Commander of USCG ATC Mobile and his whole Coast Guard family stationed at the air station!!!
The car was not the fastest, but you would never have known it watching these two gentlemen in the pits! We could have been on the hood of the race winning team in Cup, or the last place team at the local go kart track, they wouldn’t have cared a bit! The car was involved in a little altercation on the track, and it carried over into a bigger wreck shortly there after. As the #31 rolled back into pit road, with the hood pushed up, and water running from the broken radiator, and sheetmetal dragging, these two guys were loving every minute of it!!! As they said, now the hood they were going to present to their Commander has some “battle scars” of it’s own!!! We took the hood off and presented it to them, took some great photos, and off they went to take their hood home to USCG ATC Mobile, where it will be presented to the Commander and put on display for all of the air station to enjoy and remember that day, forever!!!