With as much talk as there was about the weather leading up to race weekend, it could not have been better.
18 Sports did our absolute best to cover as many stories as possible. Ones that would draw the attention of our viewers.
We started with Jordan Taylor cutting off his mullet for charity. Speaking with both Taylor brothers, Jordan and Ricky, you could see the passion they have for the sport. That’s one thing I’ll always love about the sports car drivers. They’re among the most approachable people in the sporting world.
One of our brand new reporters, Torri Singer spoke with GT3 driver, Mark Llanos. His family’s story alone would have been worth telling. This weekend, we focused on his message. Llanos served with the Marines before getting behind the wheel, but he hasn’t forgot where he came from. Now, he races to raise funds and awareness for other veterans.
Mazda Motorsports’ driver, Tristan Nunez started a “Don’t Text And Drive” program after his mother almost caused an accident while playing with her phone. A teenager himself, Nunez speaks with thousands of teenagers on a weekly basis, to help raise awareness.
Staying at the same spot on pit row, we had the opportunity to speak with the Mazda Prototype team about their special Dynamic Fuel. It’s unlike anything else that any team is running on today.
My favorite story though, was hands down meeting Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer. His story of perseverance, as well as his outlook on life was absolutely inspiring. I almost felt bad editing some of his soundbites out, as his words carried far more weight than any of mine, but time restrictions forced my hand.
It was truly an awesome time at the track, but there was one story that should be pointed out. On Sunday’s big race, a late crash made it look as though it would finish under caution. The announcers thought so, the pit crews thought so, the drivers even thought so, but the group that didn’t; the Watkins Glen International Track Crew. They hustled to ensure that the fans and teams would have the ending that they deserved, after five hours and fifty minutes of racing. Fans had begun filing out of their seats, only to rush back for the end every one wanted to see.