By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
They say everything is bigger in Texas, so why not make the Texas Motor Speedway Twitter profile bigger than usual by profiling two NASCAR fans who many of you know through their weekly entertaining tweets.
In my entire week of mingling with the fans, I couldn’t think of two guys better to profile than Dan Hodson and Charlie Keane. I mean they did feed me, but on top of that they showed great hospitality and it felt like I was truly a part of their group.
Now to understand Dan (@DadoHodson) and Charlie (@cdk1125) I must first lay a bit of a background story.
Dan is a longtime NASCAR fan. He grew up in Kentucky, and remembers watching snippets of NASCAR races on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports coverage back around 1976. According to Dan it seemed every week they would update him on another Richard Petty victory celebration (the guy did have 200 in his career).
In Eastern Kentucky he remembers attending races at the local dirt tracks, and that is where he says he, “learned to love racing.” Now Dan spends his weekends rooting on Dale Earnhardt Jr.
So how did Dan a Kentucky-native become best friends with Charlie who lives in Texas?
“In 2006 I moved here (Texas) to be the branch manager of a construction company that Charlie was the project manager of. That’s how we met. We worked together,” Dan recalled
Charlie is a cooking fiend, and when you put him and Dan together you have two worthy captains of what they have dubbed the ‘Redneck Central Command’. The RCC is the custom scaffolding around Dan’s camper. According to the guys they had one of their co-workers completely build it to specs for nearly $2,000.
Let me tell you it is worth every penny. You wont find a nicer or sturdier way to watch the race from atop a camper in the entire infield.
Their campsite is starting to really gain steam as the place to be on race weekends at TMS. Charlie has fed many influential people in the world of NASCAR. Just to name a few anyone from spotters like TJ Majors, PR representatives like Mike Davis, to media members Bob Pockrass, Nate Ryan and even myself have swung by their site to partake in some cuisine.
Charlie even found himself featured on an episode of ‘The Racing Chef’ on SPEED Channel, where he showed Chef Nicky his mad skills when it comes to cooking.
According to Charlie his favorite thing to smoke is brisket, but believe me the smoked cheese is pretty dang good too. The guy is as talented behind a smoker as he is down to earth. But let’s move away from food for a moment as I know your getting hungrier by the second.
Charlie began following NASCAR around the time the Texas Motor Speedway opened it’s doors to Sprint Cup Series (Then Winston Cup) racing. Immediately from his first experience he became hooked to a sport that was fast and furious on the track, yet laid back off of it.
From day one Charlie has been a fan of Jeff Gordon and he’s been in the infield at Texas Motor Speedway. With their setup I don’t think that will change any time soon.
In a long walk around the infield Sunday morning before the AAA Texas 500 I had a great time to get to know Dan and survey the damage from the night’s worth of partying before hand. He told me that 2006 was the only year since he has been in Texas that he didn’t utilize the infield at the track.
Finally in 2007 Dan broke down and agreed to try this infield camping thing that Charlie was raving about, and the rest as they say is history.
Both guys are very knowledgeable despite the joksters they play on twitter. From their tweets between each other, you’d almost have a hard time believing they were friends.
However I can assure you that they have quite the bond. Oh and they still work together to this day, however they now own their own company called Sportscapes, where they do all sorts of projects including laying down turf at football stadiums across the state of Texas.