NASCAR heads to Bristol, Tenn., this weekend for the fourth stop on both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series schedules. And, as luck may have it, the Nationwide Series race falls on St. Patrick’s Day.
As excitement and anticipation build among the competitors, have you ever wondered what some of them use as their go-to lucky charms? Dale Earnhardt’s lucky penny, one of the most iconic lucky charms in the world of sports, played a part in his 1998 Daytona 500 win. So, in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day, what do drivers plan to carry with them or do on race day for a little luck o’ the Irish at Bristol this weekend?
· Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 2 One Main Financial car, takes the term “lucky charm” literally. Before each race, he eats a Lucky Charms cereal bar to give him an extra kick of sugar – and luck – for the race. Sadler also counts Bristol as one of his favorite tracks on the 2012 circuit. He won a Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol in 2001 and a Nationwide Series race at Bristol in 1998. Sadler is also the current NNS points leader.
· Austin Dillon and the No. 3 AdvoCare team have a race day ritual that they consider their lucky charm. Before each race, a team member selects a Bible verse and places it on the car dash with a label marker to help fuel Austin with good fortune. This lucky ritual actually started in 2010 when Austin raced in the Camping World Truck Series. A crew member named Chris Martin (nickname Hack Saw) led the team in prayer each week and then picked out the verse to put in the car. Now that Austin has moved to the Nationwide Series, the bible-verse picking is a tag-team effort between all members of the team.
· Michael Annett, driver of the No. 43 Pilot/Flying J car, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day (his favorite holiday) and his Irish heritage each time he climbs into the race car and puts on his helmet, which is complete with a small green shamrock on the back. His love for shamrocks doesn’t end there, he has a shamrock tattoo on his back, a shamrock on the golf cart he drives around the race track, and, as his race day lucky charm this weekend, he plans to wear shamrock boxers.
Even though Nationwide Series newcomer Danica Patrick doesn’t have any lucky charms, maybe her St. Patty’s Day paint scheme will give her an edge on the competition this weekend. Patrick will make her second start at Bristol Motor Speedway in a shamrock covered, bright green GoDaddy.com car.
Sadler, Dillon, Annett and Patrick will take the green this weekend with their lucky charms in tow.