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The Shelby 427: Driver Appearances

Posted by Amy in General

If you were keeping track- last year when we decided to go to the Vegas race, BFM woke up Thursday morning really sick- as in throwing up sick.  We were going to go see Tony Stewart’s driver appearance at the local Home Depot and at her insistence I went anyway with her brother instead.  That was the only driver appearance we got to that race. This year- however was quite the different beast.  To begin with no one was too sick to go.  Also there were tons of driver appearances – unfortunately it seemed that 85 percent of them were all at the same time (what is it with the Thursday from 4-6 time slot that the drivers love to use for their appearances?).  I told BFM that since I got to see Tony at both races we went to last year that this year she could pick our driver appearances.  So she picked:

Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Casey Mears.  The major problem there? Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch were doing their appearances at the same time at separate ends of the Vegas Strip (Kahne was in the Stratosphere and Kyle Busch was at M&M World which was just down from the MGM Grand).

So we line up for Kasey on Thursday afternoon- and are a lot farther back that we thought we would be. It wasn’t looking good for meeting Kyle.  We both had pictures for Kasey to sign.  And when he finally got there he started signing and I tried to get pictures I really did- but it was so dark in the casino that he is just a blur.  We get a couple people away and BFM basically pushes me in front of her and says YOU GO FIRST.  Whatever.  I do. Let me tell you Kasey didn’t even look in my general direction.  He signed his name on my picture (he has very nice writing for someone sitting at a table signing their name a gazillion times). He spent most of that time talking to whoever was sitting next to him (apparently about the guy in front of us with an AJ Allmendinger hat that had no sponsors on it- I didn’t hear it though that was from BFM). Kasey did look up at BFM but only because she made a point to say kinda loudly THANKS KASEY to which he nodded at her.  It wasn’t the best experience but then again Kasey was distracted so…

So now the chase was on. We decided we would still try to make it to Kyle. By the time we got to her car it was like 5:15 and have you ever tired to drive down the Las Vegas Strip for any length of time? Its crazy. We made it to the MGM by 5:21 (using BFM’s local experience and backroads). Then we transversed the MGM parking garage, the little MGM mall, the casino and half a city block to get to M&M WORLD. When we got to M&M world an employee asked us if we needed help and BFM blurted out “Did we miss him?”  The employee escorted us to the end of the line which at this point was only about 10-15 people long.  So basically we were the last two people in line.  Again I get pushed in front of BFM…YOU GO FIRST.  Whatever I do.  Kyle is extremely nice. Not that I was expecting him to be rude but he made a total point to take the extra 15 -30 seconds to look at me, smile say hello, ask me how I was, etc.  I was just knocked over with how nice he came off. I guess maybe because he usually comes off as cocky on TV.

I have to say Kyle was extremely friendly beyond what I imagined. I dont know what I was expecting but he took time with every person in line. Including pictures if you wanted.

I have to say Kyle was extremely friendly beyond what I imagined. I don't know what I was expecting but he took time with every person in line. Including pictures if you wanted.

On Friday after qualifying day we went to the NASCAR Cafe at the SAHARA to meet Casey Mears.  We didn’t really even have time to go home afterwards- so I was still using my clear race backpack instead of a real purse, probably had wind blown hair since it was so windy and cold. Not to mention my chapped lips.  With the Casey Mears- there were no wristbands or tickets- pretty much you  just line up.  Again BFM goes to push me in front of her. Whatever. I go first. Luckily Casey had hero cards because I came empty handed-which I didn’t mean to do but I forget to pick up something at the track.  Anyway Casey is was also very nice- made eye contact, said hello, etc.  I didn’t get any good pictures of Casey either because he was in a really dark area of the bar and it just wasn’t conducive for good pics.

Now on Saturday BFM’s dad found out that Tony would be doing a signing at the Palazzo’s Sportsbook Bar and Grill.  So I would be seeing Tony afterall.  We booked it to the Palazzo and stood in line to get our wristband. Once the wristband was secured (and it was a pretty sparkly wristband too) we took off and perused the Venetian Grand Canal shops for a bit, went back to my car and got our Tony stuff to have him sign and then went back and got in line to see Tony.

Getting to see Tony this year was a pleasant surprise. He too was nice as always.

Getting to see Tony this year was a pleasant surprise. He too was nice as always.

Tony was friendly and nice. And the Sportsbook Bar and Grill had these really nice hero cards- which I was able to get one even though that was NOT what I had Tony sign.  The one handler of his (the woman making sure everyone had just one item) was kind enough to make sure I got one of the hero cards.

All and all we had a great time at the driver appearances this time!

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