Here at Keen Parts we love races. You never know what’s going to happen. Willie at Red Bone Alley, certainly didn’t know what would happen when he walked into work a few weeks ago. He certainly didn’t know what was going to happen when he was assigned Tom Keen’s table. The young man, who was working his first shift at the restaurant, to pay his way through school, was met with friendly ribbing from Tom and his friends.
His time with the South Carolina National Guard must’ve given Willie the strength to deal with that ribbing though. Before the night was over Tom and Willie had made fast friends, and Tom invited Willie to the Keen Parts South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway.
Like most red-blooded American males, Willie has an interest in cars, even if he isn’t a true gear-head. He’d been to one stock car race before that. He wasn’t prepared for the amount of people, the amount of bustle, the amount of energy, all of which far exceeded what he’d experienced before.
Willie was surprised all around as he found his seats. That’s seats plural. He started the night down in the pit, right next to the track. Then he wandered up to a booth to enjoy a view of the entire race track. While he thought both were extremely cool vantages to view the race, he was most enamored with being in the pit, at the heart of everything.
If being that close to the race wasn’t enough, he got to see and meet drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Ryan Ellis, Ryan and Mark Harving, a ton of other cool people on the teams and in the pits, as well as some of the news crews. He wants give a huge thank you to Mark Wertz, Tom keen and everyone else from the Keen Parts crew for giving him this opportunity.