CONCORD, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – NASCAR drivers are preparing for the longest race of the season this weekend at the Coca-Cola 600, but for a Florida couple in town for the race, 600 miles is all in a days drive.
The couple is in the midst of a bucket list that involves attending all 36 Cup Series races this season. The cross-country journey following the NASCAR crew is taking place in an RV the couple bought just to complete the bucket list.
The drive to Charlotte Motor Speedway started in February when Diane and Sandy MacLaren started their 36 race camping journey, at the Daytona 500.
“It probably took a good year to plan because you have to do every ticket, every campground,” said Diane MacLaren.
The road getting to race 15 on the schedule has come with some bumps along the way.
“Mother nature doesn’t always cooperate. We have found rain everywhere we have been,” said Sandy MacLaren.
Rain fell last weekend in Austin, Texas and at the dirt race in Bristol, Tennessee. Record flooding at Bristol Motor Speedway almost stopped the camper in its tracks.
“We had to have it towed out,” said Sandy.
That adventure was just a quick caution flag in their nationwide NASCAR journey. The experience made Sandy feel like one of the drivers.
“It’s fun. You gotta like stock car racing,” said Sandy.
Sandy has seen pretty much everything since attending his first race in 1948.
“I saw Lee Petty go over the wall in Daytona in 1960,” said said.
But nothing beats this current experience, with the woman he loves, who he met bonding over a racing bucket list.
“We became friends and we married and I said let’s do the bucket list. We are getting old enough we can try it,” said Sandy.
The MacLarens have run into one logistical challenge. The race weekend following the Coca-Cola 600 is in Sonoma, California. They cannot make that drive in the RV and then make it back to Texas Motor Speedway for the All-Star Race.
The MacLarens will drive to Texas after the Coca-Cola 600, leave the RV, fly to Sonoma and then fly back for the All-Star Race.