How I Met Jack Roush
One day as I was doing p/r for Concord Motor Speedway in the parking lot at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I noticed a P-51 flying overhead. Having always had a soft spot for warbirds especially P-51's I followed it's progress until I noticed it's landing gear come down and and it looked as though it was going to land.
I forgot all about p/r and took off myself to find where the plane had come down. I got to the airport just as the plane was taxiing up to the hangar. With complete disregard for all security, I charged out to the hangar to check out my favorite airplane. As I was looking it over I heard some one say Craig did you enjoy your flight. I looked up and to my surprise it was Craig T. Nelson, star of the TV series Coach.
I then looked at the pilot and saw the ever famous straw hat it was indeed Jack Roush.
I immediately started a conversation with them disregarding all the news media that was present. After a chat with each making small talk I invited them over to Concord Speedway where the ISMA supermodifieds were running that night. We continued to talk until all the news people had left. As we stood around a Ford Bronco pulled up and the driver yelled at Jack. I wondered who this clown was stealing my chance at fame. After a closer look I saw that it was none other than Rusty Wallace.
After a short chat with him Rusty ask Jack what he was doing the next morning. I overheard him to say he was going to do a media day here at the airport at 11:00 am. I decided that I would be here also .
I arrived at the airport the next morning just as Jack was bringing the beautiful P-51 out of the hangar. Having been in the Air Force I was not a complete stranger to this aircraft. I helped Jack with odds and ends till the news people started to show up and it was time to get down to business.
Jack ask all that were flying that day to meet with him in the hangar for an orientation .
After Jack told those expecting to fly that day what to look forward to he ask who was going to be first.
I, in my wisdom, jumped in front of everyone and said I am. Of course there were more influential people in that group than I was. Jack said as time permitted I would be last. As he took the first person to the plane he ask me to hold the famous straw hat which I did as that in itself was a privilege. When the first flight was over and Jack was trying to start the engine for the second flight, the battery went dead in the plane and the engine wouldn't turn over. I could see my flight in the P-51 going down the drain. Jack called flight line services for an APU (that is a battery jump). When the person came to give the jump he didn't know where to plug in the cable. This was my chance to show jack what I knew and I plugged in the APU. Jack started the engine and when that persons flight was over Jack said I was next.
Jack ask me to put on a parachute I said this was the highlight of my life and I didn't need one. If anything was going to happen I didn't care. Jack insisted, so I did and off we went into the sunset.
We did about every maneuver in the P-51's book and I enjoyed every minute of it .The half hour flight was over much to soon.
In all my racing ,time spent in the pits with NASCAR and all, I have never been more impressed with anything in all my life. That flight was 3 years ago and I am still up in the air and I don't care if I ever come down. Not just because what Jack has done for me, what I like most in life, I must say he is the most personable, likeable gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Dave Agnes .......aka SuperDave