Review of MDRmotorsports.org Driver Mentoring Meeting at Sam Bass Gallery, Concord NC
By Josh Aultice
Saturday was a day full of travel and networking. Thank you so very much to MDR, Mary, and Sharon for organizing the event and a very special thank you to Mr. Sam Bass for hosting the event at his gallery. The atmosphere for the event was absolutely perfect and very inspirational. I caught myself more then once staring at some of the artwork and just wondering if perhaps one day I would have a paint scheme of my car hanging amongst the shrine of these other NASCAR legends.
The event started off by everyone gathering in a circle and introducing themselves and talking of their NASCAR affiliates. It was a very well rounded group, from someone like me who is just starting to find my footing in the NASCAR world all the way up to someone like Joey Gase poised to make his first ever Daytona 500 start.
Next we were divided up to have one- on- one time with a mentor. I personally enjoyed the company of drivers Chad Finchum, Kyle Lockrow, and Joey Gase, as well as media professionals Keith Weiss and Ellen Richardson. Unfortunately I did not quite make it all the way around to meet all the mentors; however, I really enjoyed my time with the ones I did speak with. Everyone was extremely encouraging and it was refreshing to pick the brains of some of these professionals as I am in the midst of finishing up school at Liberty University and forging my own path within the world of NASCAR.
The perfect conclusion and one of my favorite highlights of the event was when Mr. Sam Bass came out to address the group at the end. He encouraged everyone to continue pursing their passions as he talked about some of his personal experiences. He even took time after to take pictures and talk with anyone who wished to meet him personally. It was such an honor to meet Sam and it truly was an unforgettable experience to reflect on all his work and accomplishments displayed throughout the gallery.
What I want to leave everybody with is simply an encouragement to keep going and never stop chasing your dreams. It’s unbelievable to look back just two years ago and think I was just another fan in the stands. If you had told me then in two years I would have volunteered at tracks like Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, interviewed William Byron on stage in front of nearly 10,000 people, and created my own internship at Liberty concerning sponsorship with William Byron, I would have told you there’s no way. I am on the fringe of doing big things. I still have a long ways to go to reach my ultimate goal of being a driver; however, I’m learning more and more every day to enjoy the journey rather then solely focus on the destination. So keep going, keep making connections, and never stop dreaming.
“Really proud to have represented @libertyuniversity this weekend with MDR Motorsports and to have met many upcoming professionals in this sport. I can't wait to see where the Lord takes me in my career. I've never been so driven in my life.” - Josh Aultice
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