Pioneer Services treats Fort Hood Solider to 'awesome' NASCAR experience

U.S. Army Specialists Randy Wells and Dan Higdon are both fans of speed—Wells used to race go-karts, and Higdon is restoring a classic Mustang. So when they were chosen as the first winners of the Pioneer Services "Pole Position Award" for 2006, they were both ecstatic for the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR.

For the second year, Pioneer Services is sponsoring The "Pole Position Award"—a nomination process that rewards members of the Armed Forces who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Those who are selected as deserving by their senior leaders will receive tickets to a race and get to tour the pits and garage area. 

On April 8, Wells and Higdon attended the O'Reilly 300 in the NASCAR Busch Series at Texas Motor Speedway, as guests of Pioneer Services and Team Rensi Motorsports. They went on a tour of the speedway, including the team haulers, garage area, inspection stations, and pit road.

Before the race, the Soldiers met with both Team Rensi drivers: Ashton Lewis, Jr., driver of the #25 Marines car, and Regan Smith, driver of the #35 McDonald's car. The Soldiers were able to get autographs and spend time with them at the Team Rensi haulers.

"Today has been absolutely one of the best days of my life," said Wells, who also had the chance to catch up with Smith—both Wells and Smith raced go-karts together while growing up.

The next day they attended the Nextel Cup's Samsung/RadioShack 500, enjoying the action from the grandstand and still recovering from the previous days excitement. Higdon, a self-described lover of "fast cars and load noises," felt right at home. "This experience was awesome," he said. "It has converted me to NASCAR for life."