The dogs of NASA AZ!
I love our NASA AZ family. Attend a drivers meeting, a download or simply walking around the paddock and it’s does not take long to realize what makes our club so special. It’s the people (and pets)! Drivers, spouses, crew, friends and yes even our furry little friends. As drivers, we bring our family and friends, so why not also bring man’s best friend too?
It’s been a long time since we’ve produced a “Who’s who” article but in lieu of a specific driver, I wanted to spend a little time focusing on some of the “track dogs”. If I missed your pooch, it certainly wasn’t intentional and if you regularly bring your dog to the track, hit me up and we’ll add on to the article. At the end of the day, no matter how big we get, I strive for that small town feeling where everyone simply knows everyone!
Owner: Brent Crosser – #206 C4 Corvette (SU)Miko is 3 years old and is an Old English Mastiff. He spends a lot of time in the shop back at home but he has also been going to race tracks (and everywhere else Brent goes) since he got him. Brent’s oldest daughter found him at the dog pound. He was 9 months old, covered with ticks and was full of worms. They figure he had been abandoned and living in the woods for a couple of months!
When Brent fires up the semi to go racing, Miko comes running to the passenger door and sits there as if to say, “You’re not going racing with out me!”. At the track, he sleeps in the trailer with Brent (awe!). Miko is a great track dog. He just hangs around the Crosser paddock area (unless the neighbors are barbequing then he may wonder over begging for food) until Brent puts on his driving suit, then he knows he is on his own and goes to the front of the trailer and lays down until he hears the car come back.
Harley “Race Dog”
Owner: Jim Harris – #41 Pro Truck (TTR)
Harley is a 3 year old mini pin. He has been going to the race track since Jim started with NASA back in May of 2011. He loves to ride on the quad in his basket and hear the roar of the race cars and trucks. He also loves to ride motorcycles and stays AZ DOT legal by wearing sun glasses to protect his eyes from the air/wind/sun. Despite his tiny size, this brave little dog is not afraid of much, including Miko!
Owner: Jeremy Renshaw – #11 BMW M3 (PTA / GTS3)
Lily is a 5 year old white lab. Jeremy and his wife Angie got her when she was 6 weeks old just after Christmas in December 2007. She attended her first track event in January 2008 at FIR West. She was so tiny and didn’t know how to walk on a leash so Angie had to carry her around the paddock (awe!).
When we used to race at PIR, Lily would come out to every event. They would bring her out Friday night while Jeremy was sitting up his pit, and back out on Saturday nights for the NASA BBQ. She is a people magnet; everyone loves to “come say hi” as she is always smiling and happy!
When we go out of town, Lily sleeps in the trailer, on her dog bed, right next to the couple on their mattress (and she tries to creep up on to the mattress with them throughout the night!). She loves to see us packing up for an event and gets extremely excited when we put her collar on because that means SHE’S COMING TOO!
Lexa & Dede
Owner: Leland Forbes – #510 Acura Integra (HC2)
Leland explained his dog acquisition story as one that started off with a long night of drinking at a friend’s house when he made a comment, “you know, i want a dog“. Come Monday, a SUV pulls up to his house and out comes a spotty white puppy in such a hurry to get away completes a graceful exit consisting of a nose dive face plant to the asphalt finishing up with a tumble. Once back on all 4 legs Leland takes her inside were she relieves herself(pees) on the tile… Lelands words from that moment were, “Awe, my Lexa!”
As if inheriting a dog based off a single drunken comment wasn’t enough, family and friends soon heard of Leland’s new dog ownership status and quickly jumped at the opportunity to drop off “Dede” when life’s struggles didn’t allow them to take care of her anymore. As if going from “0” dogs to “2” dogs in about a 1 week time span wasn’t enough, 3 weeks later when returning from work, Leland found Dede had given birth to five additional puppies! The good news was Leland was able to find homes for them all when they were old enough to leave mama.
Lexa is believed to be a Dalmatian & Lab mix and approximately 4 and a half years old. She holds a record of 0-30 as a professional Lizard Hunter and will at any time share her licks and/or fur coat with anyone.
DeDe I think is a pitbull or looks like one and approximately 4 and a half. She is a wiggly handful, runs crazy fast and on any given cold or blazing hot night while ever so gingerly will sneak into Leland’s bed when he’s sleeping.
Dede is more of a hand full at the track and sisters need time apart every now and then. Gabe Wiley basically stole DeDe last time she was out(doggy sat for me). Lexa likes the race track and liked to chew on the marbles of PIR nascar t3. Lexa did release my fire extinguisher latch with her leash just before fir east sb race last year… had to pull in for Paul B to put back in place.
Owner: Mark Alger – #5 Dodge Viper (ST1/TTU)
Beamer is 9 years old. He’s your typical Golden Retriever-very loyal & very mellow. He sleeps on the floor-at home & in the fifth wheel with Mark (and sometimes his family). He loves to travel but not fond of loud noises! Never wanting to miss an opportunity to be part of the action, he reserves his spot in the truck whether we’re packing for the racetrack or a 3 month Alaskan adventure!
Owner: Russell Wheland – #460 Nissan Skyline (TTU)
Naudia is 10 years old and a wonderfully calm and peacefully puppy. She’s still really active and loves to run and play at home but has no problem with, and doesn’t have to be told to chill out when things are calm. According to Russ she will just lay at your feet and chill while he is doing whatever.
Russ’ girlfriend Tara got her when she was just a puppy and has had her ever since. She sleeps pretty much wherever she wants to. Sometimes she wants to stay outside and enjoy the weather but lately with the colder weather she’ll sleep on her bed in the living room or at the base of mom & dad’s bed. She is an awesome traveler making it an easy decision to bring her along! Every time Russ & Tara take a trip Naudia gets so excited to go and makes sure she stays on her best behavior. She really seemed to love the track so expect to see more of her with Russ!
Owner: Justin McClanahan – HPDE4 & NASA Tech / Operations official
Justin adopted Zeke from a friend ~2007’ish when he was a little over 6 months old. He’s an Alaskan Husky. He’s still very hyper and loves people, so bringing him to the track is a bit of a chore. With Justin working tech and safety makes for a busy weekend and doesnt leave much time for the attention that these typically hyperactive dogs require. With that said, he normally stays at home during in town events and with friends when we’re out of town for the weekend but NASA AZ regulars will see him on occasion.
Zeke loves to hang out in the garage with Justin and he will lay in the grass on lookout while he washes the cars in the driveway as well. He doesn’t howl, bark or get overly excited at loud cars or noises, but he does recognize aftermarket exhausts. When a ricer drives by, his ears perk up and he may glance towards the window, but deeper turbo cars will cause him to run to the window next to the front door.
Owner: Tage & Adina Evanson – Regional DirectorChristmas bone!
This is Koni (yes as in the shock absorber company!). He has only come to the track once but that’s enough justification (for me) to include our wild and crazy dog into the story. He did great at the track until on his first weekend to Chuckwalla in Feb 2012 until he ended up biting another dog (actually “Beamer” – Mark Alger’s dog! Doh!). Despite him doing so well, we felt it best if we just left him at home going forward. :-/
We’ve had Koni and his sister SeeBee since they were just tiny pups. His sister passed away when I was at Nationals in 2011 (sniff, sniff). The wife and I argue how long Koni was a “(bad) pup” for but it was somewhere around 7-9 years before he calmed down. Those first years were not all that great. LOL! He dug holes, destroyed carpet/furniture, shed more than physically possible for a dog his size, ate more than he should, was terrible with kids and was pretty much an all around bad dog. Then around that 7-9 year mark he magically transformed into a GREAT dog. He has a lot of silly nicknames like “Korn Cob” or “Koni-Korn-a-cola” but our favorite and most often used is “Korn dog”.
Todd (aka – “superv” on our forum) is a part time NASA course flagging marshall and has been working his way up the HPDE program. He has four dogs! Every one of them came to his house as either a rescue dog or dogs looking to get rescued by showing up and never leaving!
Unfortunately, none of his dogs do well with loud noises (i.e. racetracks) with the exception of “Huck” who will be venturing out to our local events going forward. Huck’s life didn’t start out too well as he was used essentially as a bait dog for breeding aggressive dogs. 🙁 This story isn’t all sad though since, his new owner Todd was able to turn his life around and provide a happy ending by creating an environment that allows Huck to be the most stupid-friendly dog ever born. 🙂
This is Freddy, a Short Haired, Dapple Coated Dachsund. He is soon to be 8 years old and made his first track event at Chuckwalla in December. Freddy is happiest when the track is cold in the morning and evening and he can do a “track walk”. Dachsund’s were originally bred to chase badgers down holes and Freddy’s instinct definitely kicks in with all the small animal holes out in the desert. He loves to stop and inspect each one and occasionally do a little digging around those that smell particularly promising. All the exccitement and activity surrounding the event might have been a little overwhelming at first, but he soon settled down and adjusted to the routine and schedule. Freddy never missed a download or a driver’s meeting despite the supersized schedule and crewing for the enduro! He waited expectantly in the RV for each session to end, peering out the door for a glimpse of the little white car that signaled Daddy’s return. He has never been more exhausted or slept sounder than he did at CVR. Freddy made a lot of new friends, had some great adventures, and will definitely be back!…Woof Woof