They say everything is bigger in Texas. And this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Houston resident Judie Kochenower’s race experience is going to be bigger and better than ever.

That’s when Kochenower, a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. since 2000, will get to meet her favorite driver, courtesy of the Lionel Racing Golden Ticket contest and JR Motorsports.

An avid die-cast collector and Texas Motor Speedway season ticket holder for the past 15 years, Kochenower found the Golden Ticket in the Lionel Racing die-cast of Earnhardt’s Daytona 500-winning car that she purchased from DieCast Cars Now, a retailer in Gilbert, Ariz.

“I’ve opened a lot of those little black envelopes since Lionel Racing started the Golden Ticket contest,” Kochenower said. “This time, I opened it and thought ‘Oh well,’ and then I looked at it again and was like ‘Oh my! This is really gold! I get to meet Dale Jr.!’ ”

Kochenower began following Earnhardt’s career during his rookie Cup season in 2000 while she was studying to take the CPA exam. “Every Sunday, I would sit at the dining room table and watch Dale Jr. race while I was studying for the exam,” she said.

Now she’s the finance director for a Houston-based non-profit and Earnhardt is a two-time Daytona 500 winner.

In addition to getting to meet her favorite driver, Kochenower is also receiving a tour of the JR Motorsports No. 7 NASCAR Nationwide Series Team Hauler and the opportunity to attend the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver meeting on Saturday.

“We’re sincerely excited for Judie and can’t wait to hear about her big moment with Dale Jr.,” said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel Racing. “It’s definitely one of those rare opportunities that she’ll remember for a lifetime.”

As part of the Golden Ticket contest, Lionel Racing – The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR – has randomly inserted more than 730 Golden Tickets inside 2014 1:24 scale die-cast boxes. Folks who find one of these tickets could win incredible prizes like driver meet and greets, private race shop tours, race-used sheet metal, die-cast cars, and more.

Die-cast with a Lionel Racing Golden Ticket inside can potentially be found at; the Superstore; official trackside merchandise haulers; race team shops; authorized dealers and approved online retailers. The contest will run through the end of the 2014 season.

For a complete list of Lionel Racing Golden Ticket prizes and official contest rules, visit