Thursday Thunder Week 4 Notes: Thursday Thunder Parents On the Road Again
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
There is no distance too far for Wayne Flick to travel for his children. Every other week, Flick proves it by traveling the 600 miles from Indianapolis to watch son Tyler compete in the Chargers division of Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Then again, it doesn¿t take Flick as long as it takes most people to complete 600 miles. Usually about a 9-hour drive (Mapquest estimates the journey at 9 hours, 32 minutes), Flick admitted it usually took him less than 7 ½ hours.
¿I¿m not afraid to speed,¿ Flick said. ¿I guess that¿s why. And I only stop once, to gas up.¿
Flick failed to mention until further interrogation that he was also an Indiana State Policeman.
¿But I can still get a ticket,¿ Flick said, ducking his head, embarrassed.
In order to make the long trip twice a month, Flick said he usually just rearranges his days off - taking Thursday, the day of the races, and one other day off each week.
His usual routine is to work a 12½ hour shift on Wednesday, go home at about 6 p.m. and sleep for a few hours. Then he¿ll get up around midnight and start driving south. He usually arrives in Atlanta in the early morning hours and spends the day with Tyler getting ready for and racing at the track.
After Thursday Thunder, Flick stays at his son¿s summer home, grabbing a few hours of sleep before heading back home at around 3 a.m. That gets Flick back to Indy in time for his 12½-hour Friday shift at noon.
¿It¿s my son - what can I say?¿ Flick said. ¿There¿s no way I could miss this. I would do this every week for him.¿
Flick commends his ex-wife and her husband, Kathy and Doug Bawel, for making a similar drive from Jasper, Ind., every single week for their son.
¿Kathy and I talked when Tyler first decided to move down here, and we promised that at least one of us would be here with him every single week,¿ Wayne Flick said. ¿Sometimes he gets both of us.¿
AWESOME DAN FROM DAWSONVILLE? Dan Elliott, brother of NASCAR Winston Cup star Bill Elliott, made his racing debut last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s Thursday Thunder, competing against AMS President Ed Clark and Eagle 106.7 FM¿s Dallas McCade in the night¿s celebrity race.
Elliott finished second in the race, battling for eight laps with Clark before losing a photo finish with the speedway president.
But Elliott looked every bit the professional racer. He was wearing a crew uniform from his brother¿s 1992 Winston Cup season - one that was even signed by Bill.
¿I borrowed this from the shop - it was the only one that fit me,¿ Dan said. ¿Borrowed the helmet too, but don¿t tell anyone.¿
FRIDDLE ON THE MEND: South Carolina¿s Larry Friddle had a wild ride last week at Charlotte, but even that couldn¿t keep him away from Thursday Thunder.
During last Tuesday¿s second week of the Summer Shootout at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, Friddle came upon a spinning car and T-boned it square at about 50 mph.
¿That was the worst feeling I¿ve ever had,¿ Friddle said. ¿My belts did their job and kept me in the seat, but my lower back jerked forward a little bit, and that¿s what really hurt.¿
Friddle said that following the accident he had trouble standing up and was transported the hospital for further testing. Several X-rays and MRIs revealed no internal damage, just extensive bruising and soreness.
¿I never considered not racing (Thursday) in Atlanta,¿ Friddle said, gingerly bending down to check the air pressure in his tires. ¿No way.¿
THURSDAY THUNDER GOES PATRIOTIC ON JULY 3: If racing and fireworks are on your July agenda, then Atlanta Motor Speedway is the place to be. In addition to the fantastic fireworks show following the evening¿s racing, there will also be special games for children and families all night. As always, admission will be just $5 for adults, $1 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.