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NASCAR star Tony Stewart's car visits Bohemia

NASCAR star Tony Stewart's retired Chevy SS car

NASCAR star Tony Stewart's retired Chevy SS car was on display at Bohemia Hand Wash on Sunrise Highway. (Aug. 10, 2013) Credit: Mary Kate Mahoney

Racing fans know that three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart will not be taking the driver’s seat anytime soon, after suffering a broken leg during a crash at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa, earlier this week.

But that didn’t stop aspiring drivers from playing out their racecar fantasies at Bohemia Hand Wash on Sunrise Highway Saturday.

One of Stewart’s retired Chevy SS cars was prominently displayed at the edge of Sunrise Highway in front of the car wash on Saturday. Fans and shoppers could take pictures with the car, speak with a Mobil 1 representative about racecar care and even take the wheel in a ride simulator.

Norm and Heather Dullin, of Muttontown, took over ownership of Bohemia Hand Wash in May 2012. They decided to bring the NASCAR car to their shop to attract new clients and provide entertainment for the local community.

“We want to let the public know that we’re here and we’re using Mobil 1 [lube products],” Norm Dullin said.

Stewart’s car was brought from Michigan by Mobil 1 representative Bob Stivason. Along with operating the car simulator ride, Stivason was on hand to describe the history of the car and the specific care that goes into maintaining racing vehicles.

“Lots of people have been passing and making U-turns on Sunrise [Highway], coming back to take a look at the car,” Stivason said.

Regular customers who arrived were surprised and entertained, taking a spin in the simulator while they waited for the triple wax to dry.

“There are a lot of new faces here today,” said Christine Argentina, of St. James. Argentina is a family friend of the Dullins, who volunteered to help organize and run the NASCAR event.

The excitement of an authentic NASCAR racecar not only drew customers into the Dullins’ car wash; it also won over some new fans.

Eleven-year-old Ben Manor admitted that he was not a big racing fan before Saturday, but after riding in the simulator, he enthusiastically announced, “I am now!”

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