One of the cool things about working in automotive media is that sometimes we get to do some pretty fun stuff, like getting strapped in to the hastily installed passenger seat of a race car. Today was one of those days. The difference is that this was no slapped in bucket, as Joey McColm’s #50 Dodge has been cloned into a 2 seater for media and fan rides.
Did I mention that this is a 2 seat NASCAR Canadian Tire Series car? Unlike the door slammer that I rode in recently, roundy round cars don’t have doors. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a rather big dude and I’m not going to be climbing through any windows any time soon! That meant I needed a stand in. Fortunately, school is out and 16 year old Shelby was more than happy to dig out her helmet and go for a ride. Good thing, as she is much easier on the zoom than I am.
McColm is competing in the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in the #50 Watch It Dodge. 3 races in to the season, the team has definitely had their ups and downs. From being crashed out at the finish at the Delaware round while running in 5th, to a faulty ignition connector that rarely fails and chose to act up at Mosport, the team has had more than their share of racer’s bad luck. There have been bright spots too though, showing that McColm has the speed it takes to succeed. At Delaware, Joey was set for a top 5 finish before being taken out of the race while at Mosport the Watch It Dodge was one of the fastest cars on track and would likely have finished near the front if it weren’t for the failure of a $5 part. Event still, McColm sits at 11th in the points heading in to the Honda Indy next weekend at Toronto’s waterfront street circuit.
Before Shelby got her chance to ride shotgun on the new banked oval at Sunset Speedway, friend of The Garage, Crash Corrigan strapped in for a few laps. A Dodge powered stock car is a long way from Crash’s Escort and he looked a bit out of place with his rally style Peltor crash lid complete with Ford decal. After Crash climbed out, it was time for my kid to go for a spin. Unlike some of the other dimensionally challenged journos, Shelby had no problem hopping through the window and being strapped in. With a few years of racing under her belt and having a crazy old man, this girl has no worries when it comes to speed and the grin was a mile wide throughout the drive and for a while after.
Racers can be a pretty intense bunch, so the relaxed, friendly attitude of McColm’s crew are a refreshing change. When fans get a chance to go for a spin in the #50, they can be sure they will feel comfortable and focus on having a great time. Joey McColm is the real deal, yet exhibits none of the ego that comes along with so many drivers. As luck begins to come his way, you can be sure that the #50 will become a fan fave!