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A Race Car in the Rockies: Take Your Kids on a Tour of the Furniture Row Racing Shop

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You know, I think Colorado is an amazing place.  Even though I’m not originally from the Mile High City, Denver is home to me and probably always will be.  It’s a great place to live, play, work and…most of all…raise a family.

Like most major cities we have great parks, a nice zoo, a huge variety of restaurants and plenty of recreational activities.  The weather is amazing, the people are friendly and now we even have a cute quarterback.  But we also have something that only one other city in the country has.

A NASCAR team.

As a parent, it’s pretty hard to avoid a child’s love of cars at some point.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your son or your daughter, if they’re 2 or 12…most children go through a phase when they’re into race cars.  And when it hits…it hits big.  Their faces light up when they see Lightening McQueen at Target or as they play Mario Kart on the Wii.  My own daughter used to sit endlessly with her dad as he would watch NASCAR on Sundays and my son loved going up to the races at Colorado National Speedway during the summer.

I know my kids aren’t the only ones who have gone through this phase.  In fact, I have a nephew in the throws of it right now.  So you know what I’ve decided to do?

Take him to the Furniture Row Racing shop in downtown Denver and let him see how the #78 is built.

That’s right.  I’m letting you in on a secret that will make you the hero of your house, the champion of your Boy Scout troop and the Mother of the Year in your social circle.  I’m giving you a fun, free activity in the middle of the summer when all of your ideas for entertainment have run dry.

Every Thursday, at 2:00 PM, you can show up at the Furniture Row Racing shop at 4000 Forest Street in Denver, ring their doorbell and get a free tour of how the #78 is built.

This is no ordinary operation. Walking into the Furniture Row Racing building is almost like walking into the clean room at NASA.  Not your every day “mechanic’s” shop, the floors are buffed to a high shine, the tools are pristine and, best of all, the bathrooms are clean (always my number one concern).  Your kids will see a NASCAR team building a car starting from the fabrication of the body to the wiring of the gauges.  At any given time, Furniture Row may have 25 cars in the process of being built in their shop, which means that your child can see everything:  From what the frame looks like before the car is put together to how the entire interior (and driver’s seat) looks before it’s shipped out to a race.

Before I toured the Furniture Row Racing shop, I thought that all you had to do to race was get in a car, push a button, go fast and turn left.  Now I realize that NASCAR is not only high speed, it’s high-tech and you can’t be the 2011 Showtime Southern 500 winner without owning a few gadgets.  If your kids are lucky, they might get to see what a race car goes through at 200 miles an hour on any given track, if Furniture Row is testing a car on their 7 post shaker.  There are less than 10 of these multi-million dollar machines in the United States and the #78 has one of them.

“The 7 post shaker is designed to simulate what each track is like,” says Michael, McCullough, Trackside IT Engineer.  “We set up a car with hundreds of censors on it and run it on any track we’re allowed to test.  The censors record data and we take that information and put it into a super computer.  Then we can put a car on the shaker and it simulates what the car will go through at 200 miles an hour.  From there we can make the adjustments we need to stuff like shocks, springs and sway bars and then retest the cars.  This gives us the edge we need to win.”

From rows and rows of springs to tool boxes as far as the eye can see, Furniture Row Racing has everything in its shop to interest any little race fan.  And as far as the more high-tech stuff goes…that may be of more interest to the bigger kid in your family.

That’s okay.  He can come too.

The Furniture Row Chevy will also be making appearances at the following locations/events:

July 23:  Brighton Feed & Saddlery (370 North Main Street Brighton, CO  80601)

August 2, 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM:  Furniture Row (8375 Park Meadows Dr. Lone Tree, CO 80124)

August 3,  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM:   Coors Field Rockies Game

August 28, 10:00-6:00:  Denver Botanical Garden at Chatfield

Catherine Tidd is a writer, widow and mother of three. She is the founder of, a free peer support website dedicated to anyone who has lost a significant other and has a Facebook peer support page under the name Widow Chick. Along with being published in several books on grief and renewal, Catherine is also a humorous motivational speaker who focuses on ” finding joy in a life you weren’t expecting.” She is also a volunteer speaker with the Donor Alliance of Colorado.

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 5, 2011

    Am I the only one who’s never heard of this? Talk about COOL!

  • comment avatar Jaime Swartzendruber July 5, 2011

    I had no idea – sounds like fun though! We’ll have to check it out.

  • comment avatar Catherine July 5, 2011

    It’s really fun. My kids loved it! Not many kids get to see that kind of thing. I’m not even a huge race fan, but the technical side of it is really interesting. Can’t wait to take my nephew!

  • comment avatar Nancy Munier July 5, 2011

    Ok, now I will have to close the store on a Thurs and drive 3 hrs to Denver to see this. I am guessing they let big kids.. ie me… in without little kids? yep, been a stock car nut since I was about 10… thanks for then note

  • comment avatar Wilma July 21, 2011

    Catherine, was your trip recent? Message posted on June 5, 2011 to the website board said the tours were suspended indefinitely. Do you know if there is a change? Cannot locate a phone number to call to confirm.

  • comment avatar Road Legal Quads July 28, 2011

    good info i am a real road legal quad enthusiast.My bike is a new Road Legal Spydr 250cc. I really love it!