Feature Story

Kitty Hawk Police Department Visits HMS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 23)- - There are certain places that are identified with major historical events. One such place is Kitty Hawk, North Carolina located on the outer banks of the state. In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright completed their vision of helping mankind soar through the skies over the sands of Kitty Hawk. It took Flyer 1 a total of 12 seconds and 120 feet to accomplish something thought impossible: human flight and the birth of the aviation industry.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight, Jeff Gordon announced in March that he would drive a special paint scheme in The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 17. Upon hearing the news, Lieutenant Ricky Cutrell of the Kitty Hawk Police Department had an idea: a picture of one of the department's patrol cars alongside the Wright Brothers/DuPont Chevrolet. As a longtime Jeff Gordon fan, Lt. Cutrell contacted Hendrick Motorsports to inquire if it would be possible. Both Hendrick Motorsports and JG Motorsports were more than accommodating to his request. The racing organization went the extra mile to make sure that the photo shoot could take place. It was scheduled for Monday morning after the race. However, it came with one caveat-- if Jeff wrecked the car on Saturday night there would be no photo opportunity.

So, like the rest of us, KHPD officers Ricky Cutrell and Joel Johnson sat down to watch The Winston. In the second segment, Gordon narrowly avoided major damage when he slowed to avoid Sterling Marlin's spin. Later in the event, the right front corner sustained damage after Gordon hit Ward Burton from behind on the backstretch. The crew used black tape to try and fix the corner of the car. Though Gordon didn't win the event, he finished in 8th place and brought the car home in one piece.

On Monday morning they stopped by HMS expecting a simple photo of the cars alongside one another. Ricky and Joel also received a shop tour and met several well-known HMS employees. To thank the racing organization for scheduling the photo and tour, they gave 1:43 scale diecasts of their police cars to Julie Roberts from Hendrick Motorsports and Scott Hammonds from JG Motorsports.

<<The cars side-by-side | <<Another view | <<The damaged right front corner | <<The #24 team raceshop
<<Beyond fan access | <<The Winston winner rolls in | <<View of the hood | <<Lt. Cutrell with his "backup car"
<<Meeting Robbie Loomis: "Honest, it wasn't me... it was Jeff speeding at 200 miles per hour!"

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