IN THE DRAFT: Herb Thomas enters the Hall

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Well, the time I have been waiting for is almost here! It is going to be a great weekend in Charlotte as Sue, myself and two of our dear friends celebrate this Friday!

We are going to be celebrating Sue's 39th birthday again! And, oh yeah, just a side note we are celebrating it by attending the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Thats right! NASCAR's inducting its Class of 2013 this weekend. Cotton Owens, Buck Baker, Leonard Wood, Rusty Wallace and Olivia's and Sanford's own Herb Thomas receive the honor of becoming Hall of Famers. The ceremony is Friday and will be televised live on the Speed Channel and we will be there celebrating Sue's special day.

For the better part of two years I, along with help from Jon Woolard, Bill Bost and The Herald promoted Herb to be elected into the Hall.

Last May it was announced that he was in and my head started spinning. I wanted to go and when I realized it was her birthday I thought why not? Make it a great weekend and I could take out two birds with one stone. But how do I convince her this would be her weekend?

I let it rest until the week before Christmas. I then decided to start the process and see if I could get tickets. I searched online and saw that you could order tickets so now I had to figure a way to surprise Sue about her present.

Lo and behold while on my way home from work that same evening, I got a call. Now I had spoken with Joel Thomas, Herb's son on several occasions and I had his number on my cell phone, and I wondered why he would be calling.

Joel gave me the best Christmas gift I could have gotten. He was calling to invite us as his guest to the Friday induction ceremony. I think it took me every bit of three seconds to say yes and much to my happiness Sue agreed that it was an honor that Herb's family would think enough of us to send us the invitation.

So this Friday the wait will be over and Herb Thomas will become a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The weekend actually begins Thursday as Joel and Victor, his brother, travel down to do a rehearsal and walkthrough and it culminates Sunday with the unveiling of the granite monument that will be Herb's enshrinement into the Hall.

Joel and Vic have shared a lot of stories with me and after spending some time with them this past Sunday their excitement and anxiety is building. Joel has been writing the acceptance speech and Vic has been supplying the support. Together they are happy and proud of what their father accomplished and both agree that it is an honor that has been too long in coming.

Sue and I want to say a huge thank you to Joel and Vic for allowing us a chance to celebrate with them and they thought it was great we could celebrate her birthday at the same them. We are going to make a weekend out of the trip and you can make sure you will hear all about it next week. Be sure to watch for us on the Speed Channel as we will be in section 103 row H seats 5 and 6 and let me be the first to wish my wife a Happy Birthday! See you after the induction!