Growing up a University of Kansas fan, NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer wondered what it would be like to shoot baskets on the Allen Fieldhouse floor. On Tuesday, he had the chance to find out when he took a tour of the University of Kansas athletic facilities, met with head football coach Turner Gill, men’s basketball assistant coaches Barry Hinson, Joe Dooley, Kurtis Townsend and one of the most legendary names in Kansas basketball Danny Manning, women’s head basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and members of the men’s basketball team.
Bowyer’s afternoon started at Memorial Stadium where he met Coach Gill and exchanged helmets and Bowyer was also presented a football jersey – Bowyer remarked he’d be wearing it on game days- before touring the football facility and the stadium. Before parting ways with Coach Gill, Bowyer tried to talk him into attending the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods, but Coach Gill might be a little busy with college football season starting in less than two weeks.
Bowyer then headed to Allen Fieldhouse and his first stop was Head Coach Bill Self’s office. While Coach Self was in meetings, Hinson showed Bowyer around the office and was sure to point out the championship rings on display. The two then headed for the rest of the “behind the scenes” tour, which included the training room, players lounge, locker room and the Allen Fieldhouse floor. Bowyer took just two free throws on the famed floor, but it was enough – he can now tell his friends and teammates that he has “played” hoops in Allen Fieldhouse.
While fulfilling the dreams of a lot of KU fans with the tour, Bowyer’s day started even earlier as he toured the construction site of the new Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. He was even put to work – he “moved” some dirt on the construction site.
All in all, a good day for a kid from Kansas, especially one that grew up a Jayhawk fan.
Kansas Speedway tickets for Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2010 events are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE(7223) or logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com, including weekend tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods on Oct. 3, 2010 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 2, 2010 are available. 2010 Kansas Speedway ticketholders will have the first opportunity to purchase 2011 tickets, which will go on sale after the October race weekend.
Tickets for O’Reilly Auto Parts Qualifying Day on Oct. 1, 2010 are also on sale.
The Kansas Lottery 150 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is set for Thursday, Sept. 30. Fans can bring a non-winning Kansas Lottery ticket for free admission. Fans 18 and under are free.
Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring one 6x6x12-inch soft-sided cooler into the grandstands with their favorite food and beverages.
All photos of Clint Bowyer at the University of Kansas were provided by Jeff Jacobsen.