'The Beast Threw Me a Bone'
John Holman doesn’t have a favorite NASCAR driver. No favorite car numbers, sponsors or paint schemes.
“I pull for the track,” Holman said. “This year, the beast threw me a bone.”
The “bone” was a 70-pound Goodyear Eagle tire, one that shimmied off Brian Vickers’ No. 83 during May’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. While Brian’s car continued on, so did the tire — bouncing down the banking in turn two, up and over the fence and into Holman’s camper.
“I saw the tire in the air like a spinning top,” he remembered. “A tire coming over the fence was the last thing I was thinking. It did, and it went through the camper, landed in a neighboring tailgate. I saw the tire in the back of the truck, smoking. I knew not to touch that thing.”
Holman lost the side of his camper, but it was perhaps his greatest moment in 20 visits to the 600. As a consolation, Red Bull Racing Team gave Holman the tire, autographed sheet metal and team hat, four cases of Red Bull and a $300 Lowe’s gift certificate.
He’s making a glass table out of the tire. “Too heavy to hang up,” he said.
Holman, a 49-year-old from Hickory, N.C., is hardcore. Fans like him are the fabric of NASCAR. He’s been to 400 races and has 4,000 autographs.
“My house is a NASCAR shrine,” Holman said. “I do the infield, I hang around. Whoever is nice to me, that’s who I like … the ones that take time out for the fans. Ever since this has happened, I’ve been pulling for Brian.”
Rest assured, Holman will be hanging around the infield tonight at LMS. Only he’ll be parked along the backstretch for the Bank of America 500 (7:25 p.m. ET). Brian, who finished third in Friday night’s Nationwide Series race, starts 16th. Teammate Mike Skinner starts 34th.