ESPN announcer Rusty Wallace and one of his sons, NASCAR Nationwide driver Stevie (Rusty calls him “Steven,” just so you know), came to Lime Rock Park Tuesday the 26th for the April “Test & Tune Day.” Why? Because the two were doing the baseline set-up work on a 2010 Nationwide Camry Rusty had sold to Bob Aft, a Killingworth, Conn., businessman.
Stevie went out first and put about 10 laps in. “We guessed pretty darn close on the set-up,” the younger Wallace said. “Shocks, camber, wedge, all good. A bit of tire pressure change and the car was handling great.”
Rusty then took the reins and put some hot laps in; coming in, he agreed with his son that the car was good to go. “Whew, it’s awesome! We have to de-tune the engine just a bit, because we want Bob to have a long engine life. It runs perfect, I feel like I’m giving the owner a new car and the keys and sending him out the showroom floor!”
Later in the day, Bob, who owns Alliance Scaffolding, a specialty maker of scaffolding for the nuclear power plant industry, took his new car out for some laps. He had an incident in the Uphill, but it was mostly sheetmetal damage. The Wallaces will take the car back to Charlotte and hang new panels for him.
“These guys have been so nice to me,” Aft said. “I bought the car at auction late last year, and true to his word, Rusty flew out here to my home track with his crewman to give me a good baseline. This is so cool... Rusty and Stevie driving hard at Lime Rock, which they’ve never been to before.”
Rusty said, “Man, this is a great track. I didn’t know it was so hard to drive, you know, to be fast. Love it. Beautiful track.”
For those who might not remember, when Rusty was in Cup he was very good on road courses, banking multiple wins at Riverside and Watkins Glen.
Rusty & Stevie get some track info from Bruce MacInnes
Rusty spent some time with an admiring crew of SBRS mechanics, too
Rusty (l.) went shopping in the Store! That's Bob Aft on the left
Left to right: Steven Wallace, Bob Aft, Rusty Wallace
Club Director Simon Kirkby was helping Rusty too
An ardent R.W. fan gets her jacket signed by the NASCAR icon
Fresh out of the car, Rusty updates Bob on the set-up
Stevie was out first, here entering Big Bend
Rusty went out after Stevie and had to put an outside move on a Mustang into Big Bend
Yesterday, something exciting and new arrived at Lime Rock Park. Four teams that are competing in the Formula SAE competition in Michigan next month – UConn, Brown University, RPI, and Cornell – came to take on the autocross in our University Formula Car Challenge. Hailing from as far as Ithaca, NY, the collegiate students brought four vehicles as unique as the teams themselves.
Lime Rock Park and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut are teaming up in 2011 to work side-by-side, on the track and off, in order to raise $100,000 to make 10 or more wishes “come true for children, enriching their lives with hope, strength and joy.”
Make-A-Wish/Connecticut is celebrating its 25th anniversary of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
In addition to fundraising activities, Make-A-Wish will have a significant presence at Lime Rock Park races in 2011 — raising awareness, meeting new people, and creating magical racing memories for Wish families and supporters alike.
(Go to the Facebook and YouTube links at the bottom of story for the short -- but cool -- video.)
To help reach the goal, Lime Rock will donate percentages of its revenues while Make-A-Wish volunteers will sell branded merchandise, souvenir programs and “hot lap” raffle tickets during Lime Rock’s five major spectator events. Lime Rock will also assist Make-A-Wish in organizing fundraising efforts directed at teams, drivers, vendors and driving clubs.
Lime Rock Park President Skip Barber said, “A race track, especially one like Lime Rock, is uniquely positioned to help Make-A-Wish continue to succeed. Not only are there kids with racing dreams, but who else has relationships with so many different parts of our industry? Drivers, sanctioning bodies, car owners, manufacturers, the driving clubs, TV, radio and newspapers... this is a good, good thing.”
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut CEO Mike Burke said, “Lime Rock has been a destination of choice for the world’s racing elite since 1957. Under the ownership of Skip Barber, Lime Rock is also a leader in community service and philanthropy for many worthy Connecticut causes. Make-A-Wish of Connecticut is truly proud to be aligned with Lime Rock and its dedicated, hard-working staff.”
Many Lime Rock Park sponsors, partners and clients have also pledged to help the track reach its goal, including Town Fair Tire, Network Imaging, Ferrari Club of New England, Motorsport Simulation Consultants and the Atlantic Region of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club.
Appropriately, Lime Rock and Make-A-Wish of Connecticut first “met” at a Lime Rock charity event held in July at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, which of course works closely with Make-A-Wish.
Fans and friends of Lime Rock Park are encouraged to make monetary donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut. They may go to www.limerock.com and click on the “Make-A-Wish” button in the lower-right corner of the Lime Rock home page. https://secure.wish.org/ourfriends/054-000/limerockpark.htm
See the video on Lime Rock Park’s Facebook page
See the video on YouTube
What’s “Bimmers, Berms and G.I.P.”?
It’s about parking...
Wait! Don’t fall asleep! Hold on a sec!
At Lime Rock Park, we don’t have just ordinary, regular, run of the mill parking. No, we give you the choice of what you could call Parking Adventures!
Here are three for-instances:
1. Do you drive a BMW, the Official Car of Lime Rock Park? If “yes,” that means you are invited to park in the best parking spot at the track: the grassy berm just past the Bailey Bridge as you enter the Infield. Remember, it’s “first come, first served” for the Bimmer Berm spots.
2. Do you drive a cool car? Something old, something new, something hopefully not borrowed, we don’t care if it’s blue? If so, whenever you come to a race weekend, tell the Parking Attendants you would like to park in “Specialty Parking.” It’s a designated area in the Infield. We do this because our fans TOLD us they like to walk to one area to see all the hot cars the other fans drive, in one place. We’ll be honest: If you drive up in a rusty Volare with a flame job obviously painted on with a toothbrush and ask for “Specialty Parking,” you’ll probably be told “No...”
3. Remember that all spectator parking, including the Bimmer Berm and Specialty, is free, with the exception of this one following option: Guaranteed Infield Parking (G.I.P.). You now have the option of a Guaranteed Infield Parking spot on race days – regardless of when you arrive – for a fee of $15. We will hold a parking spot for you, even if you arrive just minutes before the green flag flies for the feature race! This does not mean we are charging for parking: If you want to park in the Infield for free, you must arrive early in the morning and you will likely be parked in the Infield – but we can’t guarantee that. Guaranteed Infield Parking is simply a choice you have to guarantee that Lime Rock Park will save an Infield Parking spot regardless of when you arrive on a Race Day. Call the office at 860.435.5000 to buy a race-day Guaranteed Infield Parking pass.
Okay, that wasn’t so bad, was it?