Off-Track


NASCAR Next driver hosts Munchkin in Hollywood

September 26, 2013, NASCAR.com

NASCAR Next driver hosts Munchkin in Hollywood
Gray Gaulding welcomes last living member of the Lollipop Guild to TCL Chinese Theater

Before making his maiden voyage on the Magic Mile at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend,  NASCAR Next driver Gray Gaulding, a 15-year-old from Colonial Heights, Va., hosted an event at one of Hollywood's most revered venues.

On Wednesday, Gaulding welcomed 93-year-old Jerry Maren, the last living Munchkin from "The Wizard of Oz," to the TCL Chinese Theater for a Handprint-Footprint Ceremony. The theater reopened this month and will unveil its new screen on Friday with "The Wizard of Oz," which premiered at the theater on August 15, 1939.

According to "L.A. Magazine," Gaulding expressed "how infatuated he was with Maren, 'Watchin’ him do his little lollipop dance and all that,' and how the film was one of his favorites..." When asked about hosting the event, Gaulding tweeted, "Sponsor related. Announcement coming soon."

Gaulding made the coast-to-coast trip from L.A. to Boston on Thursday and looks forward to his first laps at New England's largest sports venue in Saturday's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East North American Power 100.

"I have been to Loudon to watch a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, but that was several years ago," said Gaulding. "I am looking forward to going back up there, and I'm really excited about racing the car I named 'The Richmond Rocket.' It's been one of our best cars all year; hopefully we can close the deal and get a win with it this weekend."

Check out more images of the Chinese Theater ceremony below, and watch Maren sing "The Lollipop Guild" while cementing his footprints in the Walk of Fame in front of the Tinseltown icon.

(Photo by @graygaulding)

(Photo by @graygaulding)