World of Fun: A Day at a World of Outlaws Race
Attending a World Of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car race was an experience I won’t soon forget. Many of us Diehard (see what I did there?) Craftsman Club members follow all of the excitement through various social media outlets, but you can’t really appreciate the reality of it from a computer screen!
For the sake of this argument, I’ll skip right to the end: watching the A-Main race, they’re 4 cars wide, running at top speeds; my body, mind and soul are filled with excitement, anxiety, and anticipation for an epic finish. The hum of the cars, the lights on the track, and then I take it in – the entire track of the Wilmot Raceway looked like a 3/8-mile-wide dust devil; as if the cars would suddenly lift off the track and disappear into an abyss.
Even with that being said, there’s much, much more to a WoO race. Corrie, one of the amazing staff members, coined it perfectly: it’s grass roots racing. Everyone involved is like family, and if you aren’t ‘in’ that family you are adopted into it very quickly.
There’s a sense of pride, everywhere. From the pit crews, to the officials, and even the fans.
Honestly I could ramble on and on about all of the stuff I observed. But then you’d miss out on what I experienced. So follow along on my thrilling night:
It started with a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour, WoO style. Walking down the pit lane seeing ratchets, wrenches, and Craftsman tool storage in the hands and haulers of the various teams, toiling away to make their cars race ready. We then reach the command center, a hauler turned office, with computer screens and more tools – this is where it all happens.
Throughout the grounds, I met race officials and pit crew members, learned the physics of it all and even marveled at the giant farm equipment watering the dirt track – until it was time to attend the driver’s meeting. Here it was all business, where rules, regulations, and safety were the highlights – but still exciting to be a part of it.
Following that, we went over to the grand stand, and I got to see where Craftsman boasts itself. This was a haven for tool fanatics, a row of tents and a van, all overflowing with tools – premium ratchets, extreme grip drivers, even the flex claw hammer. But the most amazing part was seeing the excitement of fans who signed up to join Craftsman Club. I hope to see you all around the Club soon!
There was even a tent that gave fans an opportunity to try the extreme grip sockets hand-on with a setup of a wing from a sprint car.
From there on it was a whirlwind of racing, racing and more racing. About halfway through, I was invited to start the WoO Craftsman Dash with the wave of the green flag, an experience I can say I’ve seen only on TV. It is much, much more thrilling in person. Being above the cars in the flag tower, as they passed underneath me, I felt the strong wind from the wings almost sweep me off my feet!
Not long after, I was invited to be a part of the Craftsman Fan Challenge: with two other fans, I had to held up two tool boxes, each filled with 15 lbs. worth of tools; the victory going to the fan who could hold them up the longest. Although I did not win, it was still a lot of fun and this was chance for me to really represent the club!
Following the fan challenge it was back to more racing, and since you all read my ending at the beginning, I’ll say this: as someone who watches races (before I fell in love with sprint, it was NASCAR) no race is complete without some kind of wreck. But what was really amazing to witness was that when there was a wreck, the operation to clean it up and move on is like no other. It’s truly an all-around effort that flaunted the pride and family-like roots of this sport.
Did I mention I had fun?! TONS of fun. I took home swag, classy souvenirs, a stomach full of really great food and dirt. Dirt everywhere – but it was almost like a door prize, or something I earned as a rite of passage. If there is a race in your area GO, because you won’t regret it, you won’t forget it. It will consume you when you’re done, I know because it did to me. I’m already looking up the next race to go to!
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