For the ultimate Cat® Racing fan, it was the ultimate fan experience.
Kory Russell, who loaned more than 200 items from his extensive personal collection to the Caterpillar Visitors Center, took the stage with driver Ryan Newman and team owner Richard Childress on July 2 to officially open “Speed: 26 Years of Cat Racing.” Members of the media lined up to hear their remarks, and hundreds of fans waited behind the ropes for a meet-and-greet photo and autograph session and a chance to be among the first to view the exhibit.
After Caterpillar leaders presented Russell with a framed photo commemorating the event, Newman and Childress stepped forward to add to his memorabilia collection.
First, Newman gave Russell an autographed Cat Racing helmet, joking that “we had to make it a replica because you would never have taken a real one off.” Then, Childress handed Russell a Cat Racing jacket and anointed him “an honorary Cat team member” to a big round of applause from the crowd.
“It’s just overwhelming,” Russell said afterwards. “It’s great to get the opportunity to share my collection and my excitement about Cat Racing with other fans.”