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It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, it was a cool souvenir, and nobody else I knew had one. Not only that, but it was on clearance because the paint scheme was changing!!!
So, of course I bought it. The "it" in question was a stand-up of the No. 55 Square D Chevrolet, driven by my Kenny Wallace. It’s also roughly four-and-a-half or five feet long, and a couple feet tall. Oh, and I got it autographed, too…it was definitely cool!
Happy with my purchase, I prepared for the long hike back to my car. It was Saturday, which at the time meant Busch North and Modified day at New Hampshire International Speedway, although the Craftsman Truck Series now runs on the Saturday before the fall Nextel Cup event. If you’ve ever been to NHIS, you’ve seen The Hill. It’s the one that, should you park on the north end of the speedway, you have to climb UP after the race to get to your car. It also mysteriously grows to approximately twice its original size after a long day of hanging around in the stands.
But I digress. Kathy, my perpetual race buddy, and I finally trudged to the top of the hill, located my car and hauled the stand-up Kenny over there. That’s when the real problem became apparent. The stand-up was wider than my Plymouth Sundance’s back seat. We tried fitting it in several ways, much to the delight of the tailgaters nearby. We tried across the back seat; on the floor in the back seat, upright; on the floor in the back seat, sideways, and up the middle. No dice.
I was seriously concerned I was going to have to leave my prize with the tailgaters, which was not too attractive an option because they had some less than kind remarks about my choice of driver. They liked Rusty. Even Kathy was snickering at me. Finally, I had a stroke of genius. (As Kathy will tell you, incidentally, genius burns a lot of calories.) After a long day of racing and messing around, though, genius is hard to come by. And maybe calling it "genius" is a stretch. More like "common sense." Oh, yeah, my backseat folds down!
Having made this remarkable discovery, I finally managed to wedge Kenny in the car. The front bumper of the 55 was on my head. All the way home. Kathy was philosophical about the whole thing. "It could have been worse, you could have bought a tire," she pointed out. True. Because while a tire would have fit handily in my car, I’d give 2-1 odds that we’d have to chase it back down the hill. More than once.
I still have that stand-up, by the way. It’s on the wall in my office. It’s great. Kenny has a great big, laughing smile on his face, and even the racecar looks smug. Almost like…it knows.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Ahh, yes….I remember it well. One of the many moments of trackside hilarity in the lives of “Team Henderson.” :)
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Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.