NASCAR Update: 102-Year-Old Racing Fan Fulfills Her Need for Speed as Richmond Raceway Helps Tick-off Bucket List Wish

Published 01/12/2024, 8:35 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

When it comes to the thrills of speed and the adrenaline rush that is accompanied by it, even the burden of age falls short of it. The steep banking of the oval tracks and the stock cars revving at high speeds have been a source of solace for many individuals including 102-year-old Bindy Gralow. However, only a few can defy the odds and see their deep-rooted dreams come to fruition, and this elderly woman stands tall as a testament to that. 

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In a heartwarming commemoration of what transcended the confines of age, Richmond Raceway played the role of host to tick off a dream from Gralow’s bucket list. Challenging the conventional stereotypes of age, the lady’s dream of taking a trip around the D-shaped track in a stock car was finally realized on Thursday,

Bindy Gralow’s daughter had no idea the centenarian was a fan of stock car racing

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Bindy Gralow, whose age predates the birth of NASCAR, was strapped in a Toyota Camry to take a trip around the iconic short track. Gralow, born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, moved to Canada before settling in the United States. 

Furthermore, she worked as a travel agent till her sixties and finally settled as a docent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. However, amidst this hustle of life, Gralow’s sympathies lay with the world of speed and stock car racing and she had always yearned to go faster. Hoping to fulfill the wishes of the centenarian, Richmond Raceway rose to the occasion and orchestrated an experience that will be long engraved in her heart. A grateful Lori Colier Warren, the President of the Richmond Raceway, expressed, “Fans like Bindy are what make Richmond Raceway such a special place for our community. 

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“We are extremely humbled to help make her wishes come as she fulfilled her need for speed,” Warren concluded. Gralow who was joined by two of her five daughters was strapped in the pace car. The pace car driver was allowed to go at 65 mph, and went around the 0.75-mile track, half a dozen times.

Witnessing the sparkly eyes of her mother, Suzanne Gralow, her daughter expressed This was honestly a surprise to all of us that this was something she really wanted to do. I think she’s going to want to do this again. She is feisty, she is fun. She has a terrific sense of humor, as you’ve probably heard her today. She’s a little bit of a ham.”

Bindy Gralow hopes to return to the track to watch the live-action unfold, on the Easter Sunday weekend but before that that can happen, NASCAR is all set for some updations 

NASCAR updates its rulebook for short tracks and road courses

With hopes of witnessing the cars contending in real life, Gralow has already started counting the days before her return to the track. However, before the cars and Gralow hit the track on this short track, NASCAR is all set for a revamp as some aerodynamic updations are set to take place in Next-Gen cars.

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The rule was mandated by NASCAR after it had carried out testing out testing in Phoenix in December, to improve the racing package on short tracks and road courses. According to the new technical update, the Next-Gen cars would implement, “a simplified rear diffuser with fewer vertical strakes” in order to reduce the downforce of the cars and enhance the sliding of the cars.

Expressing his views on the new updates, Dr, Eric Jacuzzi NASCAR’s Vice President of Vehicle Performance stated,The car did not lose rear downforce when it yawed, which is an issue we fight with the current car. The drivers would be able to slide around more on the short tracks and really have to be less careful about putting power down. We felt that would be a benefit, and that was the big takeaway from the driver feedback. At the test, they felt they could really tell that it was more forgiving. They felt they could slide the car.”

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Having said that, the 2024 Cup Series season has already provided glimpses of what the new season is set to bring to the audience. It is just a matter of a few days before the green flags wave into the air and are in the middle of contention for the 2024 Cup Series.

 

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

688Articles

One take at a time

Had you asked an individual from the yesteryears, they would have easily asserted that motorsport is surely not a women?s forte. However, times have changed. And changing the narrative, here I am writing and analyzing the world of NASCAR, with over a corpus of 500 articles to my name.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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