By: Dan Ballister at 04:19 pm
Cars and racing are in my blood. Probably because my dad, Buzz Ballister, used to race stock cars, started his own auto repair shop at the ripe age of 20, and took mom, me and my two brothers to the Utica-Rome Speedway just about every weekend when we were kids. We’d cheer for our favorite drivers and loved it even more when they’d crash.
You can only imagine the excitement I felt last week when Time Warner Cable announced its expanded partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. News about the partnership and the fact that Kasey Kahne would drive the No.5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet was tough for me to keep from my family. Mostly, because I know Kasey is my brother Dean’s FAVORITE driver.
Time Warner Cable has had a great partnership with Hendrick Motorsports for years, but this new deal takes our racing relationship to new heights. For the first time, Time Warner Cable is a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The agreement, through 2015, includes primary paint schemes with driver Kasey Kahne.
The No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet actually made its debut in the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Kasey has four career Sprint Cup wins. Time Warner Cable will be Kasey’s primary sponsor in four Cup races annually in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
News like this is certainly cause for celebration. So, we decided to hold a big party at the Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord on October 10th. I was happy that my brother was one of the guests who got to meet Kasey in person. My favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, was also on hand to meet his enthusiastic fans. Country music artists Little Big Town came out for a private concert and SPEED celebrities emceed the night.
The evening’s best moment by far was the unveiling of the No.5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet. After SPEED talent gave the green flag for the car to be revealed, attendees watched as the white curtain dropped to reveal the No.5 with its engine roaring and smoke coming from its tires. As the smoke cleared from the “burnout”, everyone was amazed to see the car before them was not the real No. 5 car, but rather a full-size cake replica of the car made by pastry chef artist and reality TV star Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes.
It took Goldman and a team of his designers and decorators over two weeks of engineering, fabrication, carving and decoration to complete the car cake. A few moments later, Kasey drove out the real No.5 Time Warner Cable car before the cheering crowd.
It was hard to tell the two cars apart. Except for people like me, my brother, and true NASCAR fans throughout the world. We know the real deal. Let’s just say cars and racing are in our blood.