The PMG Awareness Organization Invades Daytona International Speedway!
Surrounded by amazing landscape and visions of the legendary Daytona International Speedway, The PMG Awareness Organization was well-represented when our families began to arrive at the track. There were multiple team members in their garages and all wore our latest “Team PMG Awareness Racing” t-shirts. Each car they were working on, donned a PMG Awareness logo. Instantly the team members took time to introduce themselves to our families. This was merely the beginning.
In all, there were seven PMG families who were able to make the trip to Daytona Beach. Besides the Stevens’ family coming in from Maryland, most of our families came from surrounding towns and cities, such as Tallahassee, Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Tampa. All our families were meeting each other for the first time and yet that unspoken understanding of each other was apparent as immediate friendships began to blossom. Then a familiar face to us all appeared, our driver and Team PMG Awareness Racing Champion, Tom Haacker came over to greet us. For some this was an amazing reunion and for others this was an emotional first-time introduction.
After some wonderful time spent with the families connecting, it was time for us to meet those who made the whole event possible. First, Tom introduced us to Bob Faieta, owner and founder of Competition Motorsports. As Bob got to know our families, he gave us the wonderful opportunity to look around the garages, meet his team, and sit in the cars. He informed us all that we were welcome to spend as much time as we would like in the garage and to help ourselves to the endless snacks, candy, and drinks. Bob also let us know that for lunch on Saturday, he would be ordering us all subs, followed by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for us on Sunday. Our families were amazed at the hospitality we were being shown and we are so thankful for the support from Bob and Competition Motorsports!
Next, we were introduced to Julie Bentley, Administrator of International GT; the governing body of the entire event. With snacks, hats, and gifts for our families, Julie became an instant friend to all our PMG kiddos! Thanks to Julie, we were able to set up multiple opportunities for PMG family members to ride in the pace car during races, as well as see areas of the pit, the track, and victory lane, that would otherwise not be open to the general public. Between Bob and Julie, our families truly felt as if they were receiving VIP treatment all weekend! We are so thankful! Of course, we want to be sure we also acknowledge Mr. Juan Gonzales, of Mission Foods, for sponsoring this entire event!
It was clear before lunch on Saturday that Tom Haacker, Bob Faieta, and Competition Motorsports came to win, as they led or won much of the qualifying and initial races. It was at lunch on Saturday where the PMG Awareness Organization wanted to take time to show our appreciation and respect for not just a champion, but “Our Champion”, Mr. Tom Haacker. Much to the surprise of Tom, our organization honored him with a hand-carved and engraved wooden trophy, compliments of a personal friend of PMG President/CEO Cody Stevens, Mr. Jerome DeFrank, owner of JD Creations in Port Saint John, Florida. Clearly emotional with the gesture, Tom reminded us of just how much our families and our organization mean to him as part of his everyday life. He expressed the importance of our connection, the ability to get together, and how much it means to him for us to be there. A line of high fives and handshakes, pictures, and thank you’s followed as the teams began to settle back into race mode.
Saturday evening after the races gave families an opportunity to truly sit down and discuss, enjoying time together with those who could relate to daily life as a PMG family. What was meant to be just a dinner, turned into nearly 3 hours of conversation and, for our kiddos and siblings, a small dance party at a local restaurant who was very conscious of our needs. From this moment, many of us went from friends to family.
After Sunday’s lunch grilled by Mr. Bob Faieta himself, it was time for the last race of the weekend, the International GT Enduro! Competition Motorsports had a full team on the track for this race, including Tom and Bob, as well as Paul Nemschoff, Marc Miller, Preston Calvert, and Hutton McKenna. Competition Motorsports came to win and win they did! They walked away with 4 of the top 5 positions in the race and completely swept the podium. “The California Connection” dominated the field, flooding victory lane with team members, families, and cars, all donning PMG Awareness and PMG Awareness Racing shirts and logos!
This event was absolutely amazing, mind-blowing, and a truly life-altering for all of those who were fortunate enough to participate. As an organization, we are so thankful for all of those who made this event so memorable. Julie Bentley of International GT, Bob Faieta of Competition Motorsports, Juan Gonzalez of Mission Foods, and of course, Mr. Tom Haacker. We thank you so much for such a memorable event and truly hope this will be an experience we can relive annually with a growing crowd of families and supporters!