Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Cardinal Vault VIII: Victory Lane

By K.J. Cardinal

The eighth installment of The Cardinal Vault takes us back to the summer of 1995. Pictured below is the Cardinal family with Rick Wolf in victory lane at Lee U.S.A. Speedway.

Rick, a lifelong family friend and one of the nicest and funniest guys you will ever meet, just piloted his #38 street stock to his second of two victories during his '95 campaign.

My parent's business, Cardinal Snax Sales, was a big sponsor for Wolf Motorsports through the early years of Rick's racing career. During the early to late 90s, you could find our entire family at the start-finish line at Lee on just about every Friday night.

Fora few seasons I was actually part of Rick's pit crew. I know nothing about cars, so I was pretty useless except for my wise cracks and record-keeping abilities.

It was such a blast going to the races and watching Rick develop into one of the top drivers in New England. The highlight of Rick's racing career (so far) came during the 2004 season as he won the 2004 NASCAR New England Region Championship.

Back during the 1999 campaign, I approached Rick about starting a website for him, www.wolfpack38.com. We launched the site later that summer and it's been a great thing for Rick and I ever since. It was the first real website I did on my own and it has helped Rick generate some sponsorship dollars and publicity too. The site has actually won a few awards, which helped legitimize the site and my design skills along the way.

Anyway, there are three things that just crack me up that I have to point out in this photo:

1) My mom's hair. Wow. That was a tight perm. She could've teased that thing out into a fro if she wanted.

2) Rick's mustache. The only thing that could possibly explain that sexy 'stache was that Rick was attempting to become a porn star.

3) My dad's hip pack. I know they can seem like a convenient way to carry all of your race paraphernalia, but c'mon Dad, you're cooler than that :)

The hip pack also reminds me of one of the funniest stories from one of the best weekends of my life when my Dad, Rick and I went down to the Daytona 500 back in February of 1998. The story is too long to tell right now, but ask me about it the next time you see me and I'll be sure to fill you in.

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