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Chris Cooley marries a cheerleader and hangs out with Dale Jr. during the offseason. Suddenly that margarita at Tortilla Coast doesn’t look as cool.

Shutdown Corner: The Cooley Zone: A Day at the Track with Dale Junior

I spent the morning getting into the track, trying to convince Sandra in the TNT trailer that I really did play for the Redskins and that my name was supposed to be on the credential list. She said I wasn’t big enough to be a football player, and then laughed at me when I said I was supposed to head over to Earnhardt’s trailer. To her I was just another fan, but I noticed that of the other male fans that morning, keeping my shirt on was definitely a distinction. After a few calls and a couple different trailer visits I made it through the gates.

Lindsay Czarniak gave me a quick tour of the track and the garages. It’s amazing to me how much is going on the Friday before a race. What really surprised me was that if you made it to the pit you’re privy to everything going on. Crews were working like crazy, guys were pushing cars around everywhere, and even the drivers were walking around. It would be comparable to a huge NFL locker room, but two days before a game. The thing is, no one gets into our locker rooms before a game, so it was great to be in theirs.

Congratulations to Lindsey Czarniak on her new gig covering NASCAR.

You can watch the Lindsey, Dale Jr, Chris Cooley interview here.