Lake Norman & Mooresville

Race fans tie knot at Waltrip's shop

Amanda Jones and Bob Sprankle live in College Station, Pa. Bob has an auto shop there, and both are huge race fans. So when they decided to get married, the natural choice was to drive about nine hours to Raceworld USA in Cornelius.

Jones and Sprankle called Annie Lewis, sales and event director for Raceworld, and asked if they could get married at Michael Waltrip Racing, since they are fans of NASCAR and Waltrip. Lewis immediately said yes, and that the couple would be Raceworld's first wedding.

Lewis said Raceworld USA has had many events on the race shop floor. In the past, there have been charity events and sit-down dinners, and they are even talking to a local high school about having the prom at Raceworld next year.

Lewis said Michael Waltrip built his shop so it was more than a race shop. Waltrip wants the public to use the space, so the organization was excited to celebrate a wedding.

Sprankle and Jones drove all the way to Cornelius from Pennsylvania, leaving his three kids at home. It was their first trip alone together without the children. Jones brought her traditional strapless wedding gown with her.

Besides being Raceworld's sales and event director, Lewis is a certified minister with the Universal Life Church, so she officiated at the ceremony. A tour guide and an administrator for the race team were the witnesses. On the catwalk, over the race shop floor, Sprankle and Jones took their vows, with the shop guys down below taking pictures with their cell phones.

When Lewis pronounced the couple husband and wife, the shop guys clapped and cheered. The couple then proceeded to the shop floor to have photos taken with Waltrip's number 55 car.

Lewis said the couple changed their clothes, took a tour of the race shop and then drove back home, all the way to Pennsylvania.

Michael Waltrip was not in town for the wedding, but he heard about it. In honor of its being the very first wedding at his race shop, Waltrip contacted the couple and invited them to be his guests at today's race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. There the couple will get to meet Waltrip and the other drivers and then attend the race.

We all know that the newly married couple will be cheering for Waltrip and the 55 car. Best of luck to them all.

Thank you to Cashions

Earlier this week on his way to work, my son went to the Cashions next to Interstate 77 to get gas. After filling his tank he tried to start the car, but it was dead. He called his brother, and the two of them pushed the car to the side of the building and left.

I was out of town, so I called Cashions and told them what had happened. A man who called himself Michael O. answered the phone and assured me that leaving the car there was no problem. When I returned to Cornelius and went to Cashions, Michael O. even volunteered to call a tow truck for me. Unfortunately, the towing company was closed and the car had to stay at Cashions overnight. The good folks there again assured me that all would be fine.

The next morning, we had the car towed and fixed, and everything is back to normal.

This event made me so glad I live where I do. The folks at Cashions were all so nice to us and went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable with a less-than-comfortable situation. It's nice to live in a town that's not so small anymore but still has people who treat you like you're a neighbor.