Do you have a lifelong automotive dream that seems far out of reach? Is it speeding down the Autobahn in a Porsche, racing an F1 car, or cruising around in a Lamborghini? Don’t give up, because dreams, even 100 years in the making, do come true after all. Long time race fan, Rachel Gilbert, celebrated her centennial birthday by speeding down the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the track’s pace car.
To kick off her 100th birthday celebration, Gilbert slipped into the driver’s seat of a Toyota Camry, similar to the one that will appear on the track for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Spring Cup Series July 17. Jerry Gappens, the speedway’s executive vice president, general manager and driving instructor for the day, was the lucky passenger.
“This was such a surprise,” said Gilbert. “I had such a great teacher, I loved it.”
A spin around the track isn’t the only birthday present she received. Her family, with Gappens’ help, wanted to grant Gilbert a once in a lifetime opportunity with a special birthday package including suite passes overlooking “The Magic Mile,” where she enjoy every lap of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301, a race car cake, and even a signed official crew shirt from her favorite driver, Carl Edwards.
The icing on the cake for Gilbert is the opportunity to mingle with the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the Sunday morning drivers’ meeting.
Back in 1981, when NASCAR fans were gripping their seats watching stock car legends Richard Petty and Bobby Allison battle for first place in the 500 Daytona series, Gilbert felt the excitement and was immediately hooked.
“My mom has always been a major race fan. She doesn’t miss a race on TV,” says daughter Marie Anne Mills.
But you tell us: would you celebrate your 100th with hot laps ’round a banked oval? What automotive-related activities do you want to accomplish before the proverbial kick of the bucket? Drive a super car? Witness the 24 Hours of Le Mans in person? Share your dreams with us via the comments field below.
Source: New Hampshire Motor Speedway