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Voices From the Heartland:

Gateway to a Good Time

Jeff Meyer
May 13, 2004
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Last Saturday night produced a few ‘firsts’ for me. I will recount most of them for you in a moment, but first…..(There’s one now)

I mentioned in last week’s column that I would be attending the Busch event in the greater St. Louis area and instructed any loyal readers who would also be attending to email me for my cell number so we could meet and share a beverage or two. I promised each loyal reader I met that I would mention his or her name in my next column, so, here goes…

(*Editor’s note: We are not sure if Jeff forgot to add the names, or he did not meet anyone. If he did forget, we as Editors would like to apologize for Jeff’s mistake. If you were there but just weren’t sure if you wanted to meet a guy like that, we understand. One of us was there and we didn’t call him either. He IS kinda scary ya know…)

Now that I made good on my promise, on to the ‘firsts’.

Gateway International Speedway is the first venue I’ve seen a NASCAR event at, other than Bristol Motor Speedway. It seemed like a nice place and the ticket price was VERY reasonable. It’s no Bristol, but then again, what is?

It was the first time I actually saw the Arch. Mark that off my “Things to do before I die” list.

It was the first time my buddy and I didn’t bring a large cooler with us to a race. We had a small cooler capable of holding six standard beverages. This was an oversight on our part due mainly to the fact we thought we would be returning to Iowa the same evening. We thought wrong. Thankfully, because of the VERY reasonable ticket prices, we had no problem purchasing additional beverages on site. The small cooler also produced another ‘first’ for me, which I will expound upon in a moment.

First time I have ever seen Diamond Rio (free) live. They were ok, and they did a GREAT job on the National Anthem, but give me Pink Floyd anyday.

I received my first NASCAR ‘flash’ at, of all places, a Busch race in St. Louis! I’ve been going to Bristol for 3 years now, but have never been flashed. It finally happens in St Louis, and I didn’t even ask for it! Due to our small cooler and lack of beverages, I approached a trio of young ladies holding a cooler, struck up a conversation, and asked if they might have a couple of extra beverages we could relieve them of. We offered to pay, but they would not accept our money. I graciously thanked them and continued to chat a little. After I told them to check out a REALLY cool racing website called Frontstretch.com, we said our good-byes and started on our separate ways. Suddenly, one of them turned back, raised her shirt and flashed me! I graciously thanked them again.

Last Saturday was also the first time a folding chair, left unattended and to it’s own devices, followed me through a parking lot. It turned out to be quite the blessing, as we met a group of hardcore tailgaters in said parking lot, and the chair politely let me sit on it as we introduced ourselves. As luck would have it, these jovial fellows also had a couple of extra beverages that no one was using. They too refused our offerings of cash. What a swell bunch of guys! I love race fans.

Things become a bit distant after that, but that orphaned chair must have really liked me because it followed me all the way back to Iowa. It is a nice chair, in a plain sort of way, and after a long conversation with it, it has vowed to follow me to all future NASCAR events that I attend. Ya gotta like that in a chair…

Stay of the wall,


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Copyright, 2004, Frontstretch Enterprises, LLC.

Jeff was born the day after Junior Johnson recorded his 39th career NASCAR win. He currently resides in a small rural community near Cedar Rapids, Iowa with his wife Lora, whom he married six days after Terry Labonte’s 6th career Cup win. Jeff has two teenage daughters; Erin, born just four days before Rusty Wallace recorded his 4th Cup win and Leah, who entered the world four days after Kyle Petty’s 3rd career Cup victory.

His hobbies include NASCAR, hunting, fishing, shooting and outrunning local deputies on his bicycle. Any fan that emails Jeff with the correct dates (and names of the races) mentioned in this bio will receive a autographed, used beverage coaster from the Finish Line Bar and Grill, where Jeff spends a fair amount of time. (the coaster will be thoroughly dried out before shipping.)

You can e-mail Jeff at jeff@frontstretch.com.



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