Daryl Hobby's blog as he covers the Nascar Media Tour in Charlotte, NC:
After working till nearly 2 am, the alarm clock came awfully early. The chimes on my cell phone at 7 am were not music to my ears. But after a quick shower, I was ready to begin day number two on the media tour, which began with a visit from Michael Waltrip Racing. Waltrip and company came to the hotel.
Martin Truex Junior and David Reutimann are your MWR Sprint Cup drivers. Like every other team right now, MWR is confident it has made the right moves and changes to have a successful 2011.
After Waltrip, we float from my conference room to another. It's time to talk with several Nationwide drivers. For me, this only meant Trevor Bayne. He's 19 and from Knoxville. For a few years now, Bayne has been considered one of the sports future bright stars. It would appear he's on his way. In his first full season last year in the Nationwide Series, Bayne finished 7th. He's now racing for Roush-Fenway, which should only put him in better cars.
If you don't know much about Bayne, let me tell you this: he's a sponsor's dream. Energetic, always smiling, a gentlemen, personal, and it doesn't hurt things that the ladies seem to like his looks. Bayne has it all, including talent, and it won't be long before he wins his first Nationwide Race. Oh, he's also scheduled to drive in 17 Sprint Cup races this season. Look for him in the #21 Wood Brothers car. His first race will be the upcoming Daytona 500---that question brought a huge smile from Bayne.
After the Nationwide guys, it was off to Charlotte Motor Speedway for an announcement. I shoot a little footage of the construction taking place for a huge TV screen to be installed, but use much of this time to knock out some standups for future pieces.
It's then off to Richard Childress Racing. I've always enjoyed my visits to RCR. Richard Childress is a terrific host. He's a wine fan as well. He owns a vineyard, and wine is usually offered up for lunch if you're interested.
RCR drivers Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton have always been two terrific guys to talk too. Bowyer is such a relaxed, easy going guy. Burton is also likeable, very quotable and a straight shooter. As for Kevin Harvick, he blew off my first question, so that's all I'll say about him.
We leave RCR and take the hour long bus ride back to the hotel for "writing time." (definitely a term used for the print and internet guys. We TV folk use 'editing time'--see Day One blog).
When I arrive in my room, there's a "gift" from the Kevin Harvick race team. This year, Harvick is sponsored by Budweiser. So, there are four Buds sitting in a cold bucket. But as you read earlier, with Harvick blowing off my question, I decide to boycott the Buds.................Nah!
Editing time flies by, and then it's time for the ESPN/Red Bull Racing dinner.
The grub was great and with Red Bull being poured in every corner of the room, journalists were soon bouncing off the walls. This time allowed us to interview Red Bull's two drivers this season: Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers.
The ladies like Kasey Kahne. 2011 will be his first and only year in the Red Bull #4 car. Next season, he'll drive the #5 at Hendrick Motorsports.
As for Brian Vickers, hard not to like this guy. He had to leave his ride last year after it was discovered he had blood clots. With that problem now in the rear view mirror, Vickers is back in his 83 car and "happier than ever," he tells me. That story will come soon. I'll be pulling for Vickers this season.
Red Bull also hosted a casino night. Fake money was cashed in for chips and you could play the game of your choice. I played a few hands of black jack, but without the real green, I was definitely lacking adrenaline. So I figure my time would be best served to get back up into the room and get more work done.
I worked again until around 2:15 am (not a glamorous business, again, see Day One blog) and hit the sack. Wednesday will come early. It's only about 5 hours away actually as we have to be on the bus at 7:45 am for a visit to Furniture Row racing.