Wrestling icon RIC FLAIR named Honorary Race Director for SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE...
To be the man, you've got to beat the man, so becoming Honorary Race Director at Lowe's Motor Speedway just became a whole lot tougher. Speedway officials announced March 13th that RIC FLAIR, 16-time WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLING CHAMPION, will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, 2009.
Sometimes, things just work out.
Yesterday, March 18, 2009, was such an example.
Scheduling for the 'Nature Boy' to come to the studios of the PERFORMANCE RACING NETWORK (located at CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY in Concord, N.C.) to record his participation in the radio campaign promoting the April race were set for yesterday afternoon. It would take about an hour.
So how did I fit into all of this? I didn't. However, KENT BERNHARDT, my best friend of thirty-five years happens to be Production Coordinator of the PERFORMANCE RACING NETWORK.
So I invited myself to just happen to be in the vicinity at around the same time the recording session was to take place, pending authorization from PRN.
Fortunately for me, permission was granted.
I arrived a bit early so that Kent and I would have time to go upstairs in the mammoth racing facility to have lunch at the SPEEDWAY CLUB. (Turns out, Ric and his party were doing the same.)
After eating, Kent gave me a neat tour, even to the roof where we watched several drivers (Casey Kaine and Jimmie Johnson) doing tire testing on the track.
Then back to the PRN studios where Ric would do his thing on the mic (and we all know his genius in that area).
Very soon, Ric arrived with his then-agent, Nola Armstrong, and a few other folks, and it was straight to work.
After close to an hour of recording his copy several times over (as well as some great ad-libbing), the work was done.
Everyone then went out into the lobby, where Ric signed some photos and posed for a few pictures.
I had the chance to express my appreciation to Ric for all the great times he had provided me since his entrance into JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS some forty years ago.
Then, everyone went their separate ways on to other adventures, but this time frame on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday afternoon is a moment that I'll treasure until the brain cells are all gone.
Kent Bernhardt has been the official "voice" of PERFORMANCE RACING NETWORK since 1988, and joined the PRN team in December 2000 as Production Coordinator. He produces much of PRN's feature material, and in 2005, Kent was a co-recipient of the prestigious Barney Hall Award for outstanding motorsports radio reporting. He was recently named MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR, a highly prestigious honor.