Feature Story

One Special Moment

By Don and Sharon Lovern

Craning their necks, looking around the gate, tiptoeing for greater height was the actions of the fans just to catch a glimpse of their favorite driver. Finally they saw their man, Jeff Gordon, appear through the gate at Martinsville on the last day of testing on March 28, 2001.

Would he stop this time? You see, the previous day he didn't stop and I had one very unhappy child who buried his head in my coat and sobbed. What a heartbreaker! However, there was one more day of testing and Christopher was determined to get his favorite driver's autograph. As we waited for the tan car to drive through the gate, Christopher kept asking if Jeff Gordon would stop. I kept reassuring the little fellow that if Jeff didn't have a commitment that he definitely would. With high hopes and his hat in hand, Christopher anxiously awaited the moment when Jeff slowly pulled through the gate with his window rolled down. We knew he was stopping.

Jeff motioned to the crowd that he needed to pull over to get out of the way of the others leaving the infield. The crowd followed closely determined not to lose sight of his car. I lost sight of Christopher and my daughter, Karyn, as they followed the crowd. Jeff graciously signed autographs and talked to the fans, as he stayed seated in his vehicle. Christopher was one of the first to reach Jeff's car. Once there, Christopher decided to hang out with his favorite driver.

With his arm propped on the window and head bebopping in and out of the car, he had his greatest moment. Jeff took Christopher's hat and signed his name across the bill. Karyn was also there handing items to Jeff to sign. Jeff kept seeing our daughter Karyn in his window. He said to her, "Back for more?," but she explained that people were passing the items to her for him to sign. He generously signed until the crowd dissipated. At long last, I made my way to the window and thanked Jeff for stopping. I told him about the very unhappy child that I had the previous day. With the ever so slight laugh of his, he commented he had an appointment the day before and was unable to stop. As fans we forgave. As he left I had two beaming children who will never forget the moment they shared with their favorite driver. Thanks Jeff.

Jeff Gordon Online

Copyright 2001 Don and Sharon Lovern.
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