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It’s Race Time at Sebring!!!

I’ve been to a race before. It was an event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, many, many years ago. I have to be honest, it really wasn’t my thing. And no, I’m not the guy who doesn’t believe it’s a sport. I just couldn’t get into it!

Last year I was able to go a race and get in the pit. It made me a fan.

We were able to get up close and personal with the whole process that goes into “race day”. First, we were introduced to the cars that are driven in the races. They are pretty amazing vehicles, both inside and out. Then we were taken to the pit area, where we got a chance to see qualifying runs by drivers. It was loud, REAL LOUD!!! I won’t lie, I got a bit of an adrenaline rush being that close to the action. The strategy for the upcoming races, begin during these runs. Once it was explained to me, I started to get excited about watching drivers in the race.

 

It’s IMSA Race Time at Sebring!!!

IMSA Racing is all about high-tech, race cars from the world’s top auto manufacturers. There are exciting racetracks and historic events like the 12 Hours of Sebring. They also have some of the best drivers in racing. Some of the biggest names in cars including Acura, Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes, Nissan, and Porsche, will be going head to head!

Make sure to check out IMSA on Facebook. and then tune into the Sebring event weekend from March 15-18th. Especially the race on March 18th. You can tune-in to the action on FS1 from 12:30pm-11pm, with the entire race broadcast on FOX Sports Go from 10:30am- 11:00pm.

Originality, Melissa McCarthy and my Kia.

Let me tell you about three things that I really appreciate… Originality, Melissa McCarthy and my Kia. Originality is hard to find these days and that is what I love about watching McCarthy. Whether it’s her movies or her HILARIOUS appearances on Saturday Night Live. The woman puts a big smile on my face.

My Kia also puts a big smile on my face. Every morning, I get my daughter up for school, make her a good breakfast, she gets dressed and then we get into our Kia Sportage. I put on some music of her choice (I can sing the entire Hamilton soundtrack from beginning to end) and we make the drive to school. This has always been our time together and it’s something I truly cherish. As much as I love my Sportage, I might have to trade her in. Kia has a new vehicle that might be their most original yet. The Kia Niro!

2017 Kia Niro

2017 Niro

Fresh off receiving a Guinness World Record™ title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast (hybrid car), the all-new 2017 Kia Niro made its television debut this week with two 15-second spots narrated by Melissa McCarthy. The spots are the first broadcast components of a multi-channel marketing campaign that will expand in the coming weeks, including an original 60-second spot set to air during Super Bowl LI and starring McCarthy alongside Kia’s newest hybrid.

2017 Kia Niro

Kia Motors returns to the Super Bowl for the eighth consecutive year with the 60-second spot. Starring Melissa McCarthy and scheduled to air in the third quarter, the ad traces a heroic and harrowing journey stretching from the polar ice caps to an arid desert, and continues to prove why the Niro is “a smarter kind of crossover” with its no-compromise package of style, utility and fuel economy of up to 50 miles per gallon combined1.

Arriving soon at Kia retailers nationwide, the Niro strikes the perfect balance for me. Originality, user-friendly and it stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segment.

What Do You Think About The 2017 Kia Niro?

1 Based on EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition. Niro EPA estimated MPG city/highway/combined FE 52/49/50, LX 51/46/49, EX 51/46/49, Touring Launch 46/40/43, Touring 46/40/43.

Toyota,Trucks and Texas

Recently, on my trip to San Antonio, I was granted a rare opportunity. Some friends and I were asked to visit the Toyota truck plant. Now, the little kid in me almost had a complete breakdown. I loved anything that had to do with cars when I was young. If it had tires, I wanted to know how it worked. Actually, I wanted to know how to take it apart. Who knew I was going to be able to experience Toyota, Trucks and Texas all in one trip!

Inside a 2017 Tundra

I even grew my beard out and wore flannel, hoping that I would fit in!

Not everyone gets to see inside the Toyota truck plant. I had to fill out paperwork, sign on dotted lines, give blood… It was all worth it! We put on safety gear (I wanted to take it all home. It made me feel extra manly!), got a few quick instructions and away we went. This is one of my favorite pictures because it came out looking like an album cover. Men Who Blog Live From San Antonio! Our first single would probably be called, “Toyota, Trucks and Texas”. It would be a country rock ballad… Sorry, I just got caught up in the moment.

MenWhoBlogTX

Getting to see how the assembly line works, is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. To see, for the most part, what looks like a hunk of steel come down and in a few hours become a drivable, brand spanking new Toyota Tundra or Tacoma. I really couldn’t believe my eyes. Safety is their top concern at the plant, so we had to keep our distance quite a bit. But they did grant us access to some up close action that was sooo cool to watch.

Toyota truck plant

Toyota truck plant

Toyota truck plant

We had a great time. Everyone at Toyota was awesome and they treated us like we were part of the family. My friend Sujeet and I came out of the tour like a couple of giddy kids.

Toyota, Trucks and Texas

Thanks to Toyota for hosting us and making us feel like part of the team for a little while. Also, thanks to Texas Tourism and MenWhoBlog.

Toyota, Trucks and Texas

 

The Kia Racing Team Made A Fan Out Of Me

I’ve been to a race before. It was a NASCAR event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, many, many years ago. I have to be honest, it really wasn’t my thing. And no, I’m not the guy who doesn’t believe it’s a sport. I just couldn’t get into it!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Kia to hang out with the Kia Racing Team at the Pirelli World Challenge event at Road America in Plymouth, WI.

race1

We were able to get up close and personal with the whole process that goes into “race day”. First, we were introduced to the Kia Optima’s that are driven in the races. They are pretty amazing vehicles, both inside and out. Then we were taken to the pit area, where we got a chance to see qualifying runs by drivers Ben Clucas and Mark Wilkins. It was loud, REAL LOUD!!! I won’t lie, I got a bit of an adrenaline rush being that close to the action. The strategy for the upcoming races, begin during these runs. Once it was explained to me, I started to get excited about watching our drivers in the race and cheering on the Optima.

race2

We went back to the Kia tent and had lunch with the drivers. Both of the guys are great and have a real comradery with each other. They act like teammates in every sense of the word. Another thing I noticed was they signed every hat, program or whatever else was put in front them. They never turned away one fan! It was nice to see how much they value the people who come out to root them on.

Race Time!!!

The thing that makes this style of racing a little different is the track. It’s not a bunch of guys driving around an oval for a couple of hours… It’s much more. There are different elevations, styles of turns and straightaways. It’s very technical and the drivers really have to drive with a lot of skill and precision. Road America alone is 4 miles long and has 14 turns! It’s a great venue for a newbie to the sport like myself. You have a myriad of vantage points to choose from, so that you can see all the action. It really gets you involved in the race. I was having a blast watching the flashes of red and white zip around the track.

race3

At the end of the day, Mark Wilkins came in third and got to put in a much deserved appearance in the winners circle!race4

race6

The #MenWhoBlogWI Team was there as well! (From L to R) Jeff from OWTK, Kia driver Mark Wilkins, Yours truly (Yes, I am what you call, man pretty!), Phil from Gunaxin and James from ManTripping.

I’m a racing fan now and it’s an experience that I will look back on with a lot of fond memories. It’s great to find new things to be passionate about. It makes me feel like no matter what age, discovery is still around every corner!!!