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Two families start life-long bond at Barber Motorsports Park

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Race weekend is here for the Honda INDY Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park!

The camp sites are filling up as the races are sold out for Saturday and Sunday.

It was at a camp spot three years ago when two families randomly met and formed a bond at Barber that will last a life time.

A well-known rule is don’t talk to strangers, but at Barber Motorsports Park, that rule is meant to be broken.

“It was like 1,000 yards that way, we pulled up camped next to him, we started talking INDY car, he was a big fan, family big fans, and we just hit it off from there,” Andrew Schepers said when talking about meeting Kyle Berry.

Schepers is an INDYCAR fan from Asheville. Berry comes from Mobile.

But every spring, the two men and their families vacation together at the Honda INDY Grand Prix of Alabama after that fateful meeting in 2019.

“I think I have him saved in my phone as Andrew camping,” Berry said. “I didn’t know what his name was for the longest time.”

Stories like this is why NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson loves racing in this INDY series.

“It’s amazing to drive in and see all the campers and really get a sense of how fan friendly this race track is,” Johnson said.

At the Barber camp site, all are welcome.

“Anybody that pulls up we always wave at them, offer a drink, see where they are from,” Schepers said.

Unless it’s six-time INDYCAR Series race winner Graham Rahal, then the families ask for autographs.

The friendship started at Barber, but no telling where it will take them next.

“We are going to Iowa together this year, hopefully more races in the future together,” Schepers said.

Qualifying races start Saturday. Then the engines fire up for the INDY Grand Prix of Alabama Sunday at noon.

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