The need for speed: Trey Hillman at the race track

300_8160.JPGOnly 30 people in the world can say that they are Major League managers, and Trey Hillman is one of them.  Hillman holds a coveted job, yet we found that he can be wowed just as any of us would when he gets to check out another profession.

Kansas Speedway is hosting both the NASCAR Truck Series and the IndyCar Series this weekend.  The speedway staff hosted Hillman as a special guest today. 

300_8068.JPGUpon entering the infield, Hillman took a brief look at a driver whizzing by, then it was time for him to suit up.  Hillman went inside a specially designed semi-trailer and emerged a few minutes later in a full jumpsuit.  He stopped briefly to greet members of the Kansas National Guard, who were also getting a once-in-a-lifetime ride around the track. 

300_8144.JPGHe then joined Davey Hamilton, an eight-time starter in the Indy 500, for a spin around the track in a two-seat Indy car.  Hillman gave a thumbs up to Royals team photographer Chris Vleisides.  He was ready to roll!

D2X_4936.JPGHillman experienced speeds of over 100 miles per hour, to which his first words were “It was unbelievable.” 

300_8263.JPGHe exited the car and met with media members.  Hillman talked about the adrenaline rush from the first 15-20 seconds of acceleration and how Hamilton took them close to the wall at one point.

300_8281.JPGHamilton drove another guest around the track before taking a break to be introduced to Hillman.  They posed for pictures and Hamilton compared the team nature of racing with baseball.



300_8325.JPGHamilton hopped back in the car while Hillman toured the garage area, where everything runs like clock work.  Mechanics from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series were feverishly preparing their vehicles.  Only a few feet separated competing teams…now that’s something you rarely see in sports!

After thanking the Kansas Speedway staff, it was time for Hillman to leave one uniform and prepare to put on another. The Royals were set to open a series against their division rivals, the Detroit Tigers, and Hillman needed to meet with his coaching staff.  He was leaving one dream for another, and you could see the gleam in his eyes…this had been a morning (and it turns out a night) to remember…Hillman’s Royals won 6-1 behind another masterful pitching outing by Zack Greinke.


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