are the Man
is a sunny spring day in May of 1998.
The air is filled with a smell of fresh
cut grass, sounds of birds, wrooms of
big engines and aromas of oil,
and racing fuel. My girlfriend Diana
and I recently moved to Richmond and
are experiencing the Nascar event a
RIR (know as Rusty's International Raceway)
that really started it all.
are very lucky to get garage passes
and are looking around in an amusement
just like little kids in a candy store.
Boy, we know so
little about Nascar! I'm from Russia,
Diana is from Minnesota and the whole
concept is quite a novelty. We don't
know many drivers and decide
we can tell them apart by their racing
shoes (of course now I know that this
wouldn't work with Dave Marcis and his
are walking around getting as many autographs
as we can, some drivers are polite,
some are in an understandable hurry
and some are clearly aggravated.
"Hey", says Diana, "here is Rusty's
garage, let's go a take a look". Man,
his racing suite is cool and I always
liked the name... Rustytalks to his
crew chief after a test run while Diana
patiently waits outside the garage with
Sharpie in her hand. Rusty looks
at her and makes a
point to smile and to make a gesture,
like, hold on, I'll be done in a second.
He later signed his name and I took
Diana's picture walking away with a
huge grin on her face.
knows how important his fans are and
that day he got two more. Three years
later we know Rusty's hobbies, names
of his cars, paint schemes,
sponsors, records and so much more.
We go to every race we can, we get glued
to a TV every weekend, jump up and down
and yell: "You are the man,
Rusty!!!". We are in shock after Daytona
500, we smile during Rusty's victory
runs, complain about wrecks, blown engines,
wrong setups, a tap from
the teammate, torn tires and Gordon.
We wear Rusty's memorabilia and have
his pictures at home and at work.
We are hopelessly hooked and we love
thank you for all this fun we wouldn't
know without you!!! You are The Man.