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Man drives Corvette for his ailing friend
Local resident Ricky Carder chauffeurs NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek during a lap at Atlanta Motor Speedway. - photo by Submitted
One Forsyth County racing fan had the time of his life recently when his good friend loaned him a 2008 Corvette to drive in the opening ceremonies at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The icing on the cake for Ricky Carder?

He got to chauffeur NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek around before the race, which took place on Labor Day weekend.

“It was pretty cool,” Carder said. “I’ve never got to do something like that.”

Carder’s friend Mike Moore had planned to drive during the event, for which he had been invited to show his vehicle.

Due to a lengthy illness, however, Moore was not able to attend. Instead, he told Carder to drive the Corvette.

Moore spent time in the hospital just days prior to the race.

“He asked me if I could drive a lap for him in his car,” Carder said. “I told him, ‘Well, that would be pretty doggone cool.’ Mike knows I’m a big race fan.”

Carder said meeting Nemechek was a positive experience.

“Joe Nemechek was an awful nice guy,” he said. “He talked to me all around the track ... they wouldn’t let me run but 35 mph.

“I asked Joe, ‘You think I could bust this thing loose one time on the straightaway?’ He grinned.”

Carder said the portion of the pre-race ceremony in which he drove was not televised, but Moore did watch the race from home.

“He’s doing pretty good,” Carder said. “He’s getting stronger every day.”