CONCORD, N.C. – Wednesday, the final episode of “Road to Race Day” was released on the go90 streaming platform.
Viewable on the “Road to Race Day” page on go90 and the free app from the Apple and Android stores, the newest episode -- split into three parts -- follows the organization in the lead-up to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a focus on Kasey Kahne and the No. 5 team as well as the No. 88 team and fill-in driver Jeff Gordon.
The series provides glimpses we might never otherwise get to see up close, and after watching this week’s edition, 10 moments stood out.
10) The episode begins inside the Nos. 5 and 24 race shop as crew chiefs Keith Rodden and Alan Gustafson address teammates on some mid-season struggles and the plan to band together and dig back out.
9) The finale comes just as Dale Earnhardt Jr. first stepped away from the No. 88 Chevrolet SS as he dealt with a concussion, and we get a glimpse that the buzz around the race shop centered around whether Gordon was set to serve as a substitute driver for the team at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
8) The cameras are there once it’s announced that Gordon will, in fact, climb back behind the wheel, and the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion heads to the race shop to get fitted inside the No. 88 Chevy for the first time.
7) One of the most entertaining parts of the episode comes courtesy of No. 24 interior mechanic Jordan Allen – who had previously worked with Gordon – and No. 88 interior mechanic Adam Jordan – who was set to work with Gordon this time around. Allen runs Jordan through Gordon’s tendencies and pre-race routine so that the return to the track can be as smooth as possible.
6) Cameras following Kahne at the racetrack give a glimpse into driver interactions with fans, as Kahne makes sure to sign as many autographs as possible – even while walking between various meetings and practices -- and hosts an in-depth question-and-answer session with a group of ticket-holders.
5) Gordon’s trip to Indianapolis provides for some fun moments with the four-time champ, as he jokes just how quickly six months away from a race car can affect his conditioning, and he shares with the media just how intense getting back in the car after a stint away can be.
4) The cameras follow Kahne and some lucky fans as the driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS takes several groups for some hot laps around the Brickyard. It makes for a fun look at what it’s like for anyone unaccustomed to that kind of speed to take a spin around the iconic track.
3) At Indianapolis, the episode checks back in with Allen and Jordan as the interior mechanics work to ensure Gordon is comfortable in his first race back. The collaboration between the two men is a clear example of how four race teams that compete with one another on the racetrack can still work together as teammates.
2) As the drivers prepare to climb into their cars and fire their engines, the cameras follow Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick as he walks the grid, and we listen in as he gives final words of encouragement to his drivers.
1) The episode culminates with the Brickyard 400, with all of the teams battling the heat and an eventful race that ultimately went to overtime. As the laps wound down with Kahne posturing to earn a free pass, we see several interactions between Rodden and NASCAR officials as he argues the No. 5 team’s case. It’s yet another example of the unique behind-the-scenes look that “Road to Race Day” provides that fans previously never would have been able to see.