SBJ/20090803/A Day in the Life

Race day with George Gillett

Race day became race days for team owner George Gillett during this year’s Coca-Cola 600 at soggy Lowe’s Motor Speedway. While rain delays extended the weekend by a day, we tagged along with Gillett as he met with sponsors, broadcasters and team members.

Text and photos by Staff Writer Michael Smith

Sunday, May 24

3:00PM George Gillett, right, speaks with Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip in Waltrip’s motor coach at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Gillett spent an hour with the Fox crew of Waltrip, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds.

3:10PM A golf cart is typically the easiest way to navigate the speedway on a busy race day. Members of the Richard Petty Motorsports team escort Gillett to his next appearance.

3:20PM Gillett meets Air Force Col. Timothy Hanson, who recently retired after serving for 30 years. Hanson led the marketing efforts for Air Force recruiting and on this day Air Force was the primary sponsor of Reed Sorenson’s No. 43 car. Gillett later presented Hanson with a framed racing jersey as a retirement gift outside of the team hauler.

4:30PM Gillett attended the drivers meeting before the race and ran into Marcus Smith, president of Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

5:05PM Richard Petty, center, and Robbie Loomis, right, huddle while they wait out the rain delay. Loomis is the team’s competition chief, while Petty had just flown in from Indianapolis, where he watched part of the Indy 500.

5:40PM Gillett talks strategy with a member of the No. 43 Air Force team and later kept the crew light with a few laughs on the pit wall.

6:03PM With the rain finally stopped and the track dry, Gillett and his star driver, Kasey Kahne, share some thoughts before Kahne climbs into his No. 9 Budweiser Dodge.

Monday, May 25

11:58AM Gillett hears a few final details from competition chief Loomis in the No. 9 team’s pit box.

12:10PM Gillett climbed into the pit tower for a better view of the action shortly after the start of the race. Here, he watches the cars come off Turn 4.

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