Two years ago, during the Iowa Wild hockey season, I signed up for a drawing from Freedom Tire at one of the games. Actually, I thought I was signing up for the opportunity to win a set of four new tires, which I actually could have used for my RAV-4.
As the 2nd period intermission ended, they announced my name as the winner of the Freedom Tire drawing. With a big smile on my face, I ran back up to the concourse for what I thought would be a gift certificate for a new set of rubber.
In reality, what I actually won was a NASCAR tire from an actual NASCAR race.
According to the Freedom Tires rep, the tire belonged to Regan Smith, who drove the #78 Furniture Row Racing/Farm American Chevrolet at the 12th Annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Geico 400, held Sept. 16, 2012 at Chicagoland Speedway. While Smith started 7th, he finished 34th, completing 176 laps before blowing his engine.
The tire markings show this tire belonged to team R78 (right-side tire, Car #78) and was supposed to go onto the right rear as part of his sixth tire change (RR-6), but it wasn't used due to the blown engine. Although it's a "slick," or smooth tire, it even has divots molded into it, which are used to measure tread depth
So, it's a brand-new tire, which was to have been used during the 2012 Geico race. The guy from Freedom Tire was pretty excited that an actual servicemember won the tire, especially since it had the "Support our Troops" logo on it. Apparently, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, honored and supported the U.S. Armed Forces that year with the launch of its “Goodyear Gives Back” campaign, designed to generate support for the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Race fans could visit the Goodyear Gives Back website and bid on authentic, race-used Goodyear NASCAR and NHRA tires autographed by drivers who used them in races, as well as other unique items including authentic motorsports experiences and memorabilia, with all proceeds going directly to Support Our Troops.
Needless to say, I had some interesting looks from fellow Wild fans as I left the game with this tire tucked under my arm.
Now comes the tricky part - What does one do with a full-sized NASCAR tire?
I could probably make a table out of it, maybe two, if I cut it in half. It's too big to use as a tire swing, and it's too nice (not to mention, big) to waste for a planter. I suppose I could put it on my Rav-4, but I'd need at least three more to go all the way around.
Since wining it, it's been sitting in my garage collecting dust. If anyone can come up with a good idea on what to do with it, please let me know.