As a resident of Bowling Green, Kentucky since 1993, you would think United States Senator for Kentucky, Rand Paul, would have visited the National Corvette Museum (NCM) sometime in the last 20 years since its opening. After all, he is just a hop, skip, and a jump from its front doors!
Although visitors and enthusiasts flock to the Motorsports Park Track from all over the U.S. to put their Corvette’s through the paces, Paul set his official agendas aside on July 29 to have some good all-American fun in America’s No. 1 sportscar.
Just days prior to his visit, the NCM took delivery of its first 2017 Grand Sport from the nearby GM Assembly plant on July 26. The cars, which embrace the spirit of racing through a lineage and heritage of the original 1963 model, come equipped with a LT1 6.2-liter engine paired with a lightweight chassis and aerodynamics package, among other outstanding trims, bells, and whistles.
After taking a tour of more than 80 Corvettes in periodic settings at the NCM, including mint classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes, and modern-day engineering and design wonders, Paul continued to the new Holley Control Tower at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park.
Despite rainy weather and a wet track, Paul took a seat behind the wheel of a 2003 50th Anniversary Special Edition Convertible in an Anniversary Red hue that is described as “a lustrous burgundy with Xirallic aluminum-oxide flakes floating under a special tinted clearcoat, and complemented by special Shale interior trim with anniversary badges and cockpit embroidery.”
We imagine his first laps on the track, and in a Corvette, were memorable for the outspoken Senator, as they should be!
Paul took a moment to address the media waiting in the wings, and commented on GM’s economic impact in the local community of Bowling Green. “They have over a hundred million dollars in salaries, which is a pretty significant amount of salaries that goes into the Bowling Green community and, you know, creates other jobs,” he said. “Restaurant jobs, retail jobs, all those come as secondary effects to having General Motors here.”
The First Phase of the Motorsports Park encompasses 200 acres, with the adjoining 219 acres under option to be incorporated into Phase II of the park’s master plan. Groundbreaking on the $20 million, 184-acre facility on June 28, 2013 represents one of the NCM’s most significant expansions in its nearly 20-year history.
Located less than two miles from the NCM, the track was designed by Crawford and Associates with guidance from Pratt & Miller Engineering, and Corvette Racing. It offers the unique opportunity for visitors to ride in a Corvette, drive their own car on the road course, sign up for instruction at the high-performance driving school, or attend motorsports events hosted throughout the season.
The dual-track attraction provides two circuits, East and West, and can be combined into multiple configurations ranging from a high speed loop of 1.96 miles to an extended 3.15-mile technical course, with all makes and models of vehicles and motorcycles welcome to participate in track time.