MASON CITY — On Wednesday, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge of NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Ryan Newman made a special pit stop in Mason City at the Alltel Wireless store.
The special stop included a photo opportunity with the car, and fans could test their pit crew skills with an interactive tire-changing performance and drive a simulated race on a video game.
The car, which has been raced by Newman, is making a tour throughout the Midwest.
Newman is currently in 14th place in the Chase for the Cup.
Mason City's Micah Sinnwell tested his tire-changing skills, and proved a worthy adversary to the employees of the Jiffy Lube next door, turning in an impressive 15.5 seconds.
"I didn't get down on my knees to do it, I didn't want to get dirty,'' said the Alltel employee who was taking a momentary break from work. "It was pretty cool, though.''
The tire change wasn't as easy for others, though.
"It took me about 46 seconds to take one off and 48 to put it on,'' said Clear Lake's Monica Bohl. "I don't think they'll ask me to join the crew.''
The chance to see the No. 12 was one Bohl wouldn't pass up.
"I'm in love with Ryan Newman,'' she said. "I've been his fan since he was a rookie.
"I watch NASCAR every week, every race looking for his car. Every lap, I want to know where he's at.''
Bohl was supported by her friend, Brenda McKinstry, also of Clear Lake.
"I'm here to support her, make sure she's ok,'' McKinstry said.
Despite support from her friend, Bohl did have one negative about McKinstry.
"She's a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr,'' she said. "But she's still ok.''