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Riding with the big guys

  • SPECIAL TO THE times news Tom Frendak of Coaldale will ride in a truck with NASCAR drivers at the start of the race Sunday.
    SPECIAL TO THE times news Tom Frendak of Coaldale will ride in a truck with NASCAR drivers at the start of the race Sunday.
Published August 01. 2014 04:00PM

Coaldale resident Tom Frendak will get the chance of a lifetime this Sunday.

Frendak will be up close and personal with two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers when he climbs aboard a Chevy silverado truck after driver introductions.

He will then take a wave lap with the two Sprint Cup stars before the start of the 400 at Pocono International Raceway.

He won't know which drivers he'll be riding with until the race on Sunday.

Frendak is a member of the Pocono Fan Council, an organization formed to help improve the overall fan experience for all who attend events at Pocono.

It will also complete surveys, meet quarterly, and assist with promotional events throughout the year.

The council will be active during the three major race weekends at Pocono as they interact with fellow fans.

In order to be a part of the council, Frendak submitted an application to the raceway along with a paragraph of why he is such a big fan of Pocono.

The track received more than 100 applications.

"I've been coming to Pocono since I was a young man," said Frendak, who is now in his 50s.

"When I was in high school I used to work as a parking attendant, and in those days after all the cars were parked you could go anywhere you wanted on the track."

He has autographs from many drivers.

"I got to meet all the greats from Dale Earnhardt Sr. to Richard Petty," he said.

"I've always loved Pocono and to now be able to volunteer my time and help others have an enjoyable time at the track is a true honor."

Frendak and the 19 other members of the council were awarded the pre-race wave lap from Pocono President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky.

The gesture was to show appreciation for all the hard work and time council members put in.

"This was all Mr. Igdalsky's idea, we had no clue that we would have this opportunity," Frendak said.

"Mr. Igdalsky actually called NASCAR and got this whole deal approved. It really is a chance of a lifetime. To be able to ride around the track with two drivers in front of a packed house is going to be something that I never forget."

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