Last year’s wreck was a crazy one, with the Select Blinds Ford Mustang sandwiched in the middle of a fiery, yet entertaining, multi-car pileup during the last few laps of 2019’s Daytona 500! Check it out:
This is just one of two rooms NASCAR super fan Glenn Zabransky and his father have transformed into living shrines to the sport. From die-cast mini car replicas to actual full-size tires and car hoods, their monster collection of all-things NASCAR numbers in the thousands. Photos courtesy of Glenn Zabransky
Glenn Zabransky lives and breathes NASCAR. And we mean LIVES. AND. BREATHES. IT.
Just take a look at the formidable collection he and his father have amassed over the last 28 years since Glenn saw his first race at Pocono Raceway (now a super speedway) in Pennsylvania, when he was just five years old. Hard to believe he could squeeze anything else in, but we were pretty honored that one of his most recent additions were two #38 SelectBlinds.com Ford Mustang hero cards autographed by driver David Ragan with Front Row Motorsports.
With a passion for the sport passed down by his grandfather and father, Glenn, who hails from New Jersey when he’s not traveling the country from track to track during race season, started collecting die-cast cars as a kid. His dad, he says, would order a 1/64 scale car for him for every 1/24 his dad ordered, most of which were replicas of Dale Earnhardt Sr. cars (his dad’s favorite driver). The first thing Glenn bought on his own was a Terry Labonte Corn Flakes replica for $10, snagged at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996. The collection truly started, though, he says, with a set of 1/24 scale Richard Petty cars from Franklin Mint.
“We have more than five hundred 1/24 scale cars, as well as a few hundred smaller cars. In recent years we’ve expanded to sheet metal and other pieces of cars from actual races,” Glenn says. “I think I have ten or so pieces of metal (fenders, bumpers, trunk lids, etc.), about eight tires including a Dale Sr. 1994 Daytona 500 tire, as well as other odds and ends like valve covers and rims.”
The collection also includes “odd-ball pieces like Davey Allison chili and Dale Sr. suntan lotion” Glenn says his mom has contributed.
His most prized items?
“We were able to obtain the actual seats my dad and I sat in at our first Daytona 500,” he says after the famed World Center of Racing underwent a remodel several years ago.
Now that’s cool!
No matter how cool his collection is, though, for Glenn, the coolest thing is that racing is a real family affair.
“The bond that racing has formed between my father and I is something that I’ll always be grateful for,” he shares, “and while my mom doesn’t really follow or care for the lower series, she’s probably been to at least 60 cup races or so.
“My wife knew when dating me that if she ever wanted to see me, she would have to put up with the NASCAR aspect,” Glenn continues. “Turns out she’s super into it now. She even participates in my fantasy NASCAR league. The fact that she’s so on board and into it makes it even better.”
His now brother- and sister-in-law have also gotten into the sport. Together, the family has traveled to most of the tracks (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, surprisingly, is one pit stop still on Glenn’s bucket list), meeting every NASCAR driver at least once, including favorites Austin and Ty Dillon.
“Actually met them both and their dad, Mike, at Volusia County dirt track during speed week. My wife had on a few-years-old Austin Dillon dirt hoodie and was too nervous to ask Austin for a photo, so I asked and he was happy to do so. He knew we were pretty big fans. Mike even offered us a beer.”
They also met Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace that night, both of whom had beer to share, too.
“That was a fun night,” recalls Glenn with a laugh, adding that he’s also been impressed meeting Jimmy Johnson and “even” Kyle Busch. “It’s a great thing with NASCAR. You have the ability to interact with the drivers during the event, not just at some sports store signing autographs.”
The Zabransky family includes three, four-legged members, including Ralph, who was named after Dale Earnhardt Sr’s. father and racing patriarch Ralph Earnhardt.
It’s not just the drivers he loves; it’s the fans he meets, too.
“I love talking about [NASCAR] with other people, trying to ‘recruit’ new fans, and just every aspect of the sport,” he says. To help in his recruiting efforts, he often gives away duplicate die-cast cars to young fans.
“I was lucky enough to attend a ton of races and have a dad that also collected. Those first cars that a young fan gets can shape their fandom for years to come. ”
He loves sharing stories of his most memorable races, too. His favorite? The 2001 MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Glenn’s uncle, who had worked in the Twin Towers at the time, was with Glenn and his dad for the race. Glenn’s favorite driver then was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won that day and after, went around the track with an American flag hanging out the window.
“An image,” reminisces Glenn, “that’s burned in my memory. I’ll never forget it.”
Taylor’s name will be displayed on the windshield of Ragan’s SelectBlinds.com Ford for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will pay tribute to the fallen men and women of the U.S. military. Ragan’s car will also feature a red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme as part of NASCAR’s tribute.
Daytona was the first of four races this season that will see Ragan’s car sporting our colors, and if you feel like the partnership between a NASCAR driver and an e-tailer seems a bit odd, well, we’ll tell you how it all went down.
It all started with a bid.
In mid-January at the annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ, Select Blinds founder and CMO Rick Steele was the highest bidder on Ragan’s 38 Shriners Hospitals car. The car featured a paint scheme seen in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway last summer, a race in which Ragan finished 27th.
It also came with a 750-horsepower Roush Yates engine and many of the other accessories needed to…umm…go really, really fast.
The $300,000 from the auction benefited Shriners Hospitals for Children, which help kids battle orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal injuries and cleft lip. Ever one for charitable causes that help children, Steele’s interest was certainly amplified because his mother was treated by healthcare professionals when she was a child.
So it made plenty of sense that he would be interested in bidding on the car.
Now, providing that kind of money to such a worthy cause on its own would have given this fun story a happy ending.
Except that was not the end. In fact, it was only the beginning.
Ragan and Steele got to chatting and in true “Step Brothers” style, quickly became best friends. Though unlike how most best friends who go to a ballgame, meet up for drinks or do things like that, these two instead decided on something unique.
Steele and his company would be one of the primary sponsors for Ragan’s No. 38 car in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Beginning with the Daytona 500 and continuing through the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte and the South Point 400 in Las Vegas, the car will be zipping around the track while introducing the masses and NASCAR faithful to SelectBlinds.com.
In short, our company was founded in 2003 by Steele, and has grown to be successful by combining child-safe, high-quality, custom-made blinds with affordable DIY pricing. Hundreds of thousands of customers have provided glowing reviews, while millions of windows have been covered with our help.
How many Phoenix-based companies do you think can say that?
Where the SelectBlinds.com-adorned car will finish over its next three races is anyone’s guess. NFL great Deion Sanders once said something to the effect that if you look good you’ll feel good, and if you feel good you’ll play good.
We may be biased, but we believe Ragan has the best looking car on the track.
Of course it would be helpful if other, less-stylish cars didn’t cause wrecks around it, but we all know that’s a possibility at any time before the checkered flag comes out.
Yet no matter where Ragan and his No. 38 car finish, the story of how he got to that point is one that, to be honest, is as fun as it was unexpected.
Spring has officially sprung, and I am especially happy for its arrival. With May in full swing, I can already tell that summer is hot on its heels. So, I thought I’d share my favorite ways to welcome one of my favorite seasons before the summer solstice is upon us.
First up, coffee is practically a ceremony in our house, one that my husband Kris and I carry out each day. Over time, we’ve found ways to up our cup of joe game. Our current fave is adding cardamom. In my opinion, cardamom is a spice that should be a staple in every home. It has a bounty of health benefits like flushing toxins, aiding nausea and alleviating tummy trouble. Not only that, it smells delicious! Our current obsession is a cardamom and rose ice latte – Japanese-style iced coffee to be exact. We top ours with crushed, edible rosebuds. It’s delicious, and as Kris has pointed out, borderline addicting. Yum! Sharing the recipe here.
Next up is spring’s open invitation to get outside. Go for a walk. Stop and smell the flowers. Soak up some vitamin D while gardening. Ride your bike. That last one was a game changer for me. I’d put my bike in storage for years. On a whim I got it out and quickly discovered the revelation of a simple bike ride. There’s nothing like the fresh, fragranced air of spring, with its jolt of jasmine, orange and honeysuckle breezing by you as you cruise to your morning meeting. One of the perks of running my own studio is that I get to set my day. Spring’s my time to take total advantage of that. I leave my bike by the front door and take a ride around the block in between calls or shoots. It wakes my brain and stirs my soul each time. It’s a ritual that remains straight through summer’s end. I like to keep a stash of travel blankets in my bike basket. They turn every bench, spot of grass, or picnic table into a work station. Add a cup of coffee (for Kris) and mint-infused water (for me) and the two of us can run an entire department meeting from under a tree. Love that.
Lastly, because every inspiration moment begins and ends with floral for me, spring is undoubtedly one of my fave floral times. Add the farmer’s market, local nursery, or floral counter at your grocery store to your errand list, letting the season’s brightest colors and subtle scents lead you in your selection. Fling open the windows and let the sun shine in throughout your home, from small arrangements in simple vessels to dress your nightstand to full blown bouquets to accent your favorite space. There’s so much hustle and bustle to our lives, spring’s beautiful blooms bring a moment of beauty anywhere you plant them.
Captured by @moderntype
Now it’s your turn. Tell me all the ways spring brings a smile to your routine.
It’s so hard to decide … Former Bachlorette Ali Fedotowsky and Veronica comparing samples from the Veronica Valencia Collection at Select Blinds.
Veronica Valencia got her start behind the scenes, pulling off makeover magic on homes for networks like ABC, NBC, FOX and OWN. Now she’s stepping out in front of the lines with her very own collections at SelectBlinds.com, Barn Light Electric and At Home stores, with more to come. She and her husband, Kristopher Hughes, split their time between NYC, L.A. and wherever their current design project is located. The couple founded The Design Hunters, their interior design, styling and creative services company, in 2013. Inspired by a love of food, wellness and florals, and nearly always outfitted with a trademark hat, her style is a mix of well-traveled details and modern touches. Follow her on Instagram @VeronicaValencia and #vvselectblinds.
A little bit boho, a mix of modern and a dose of vintage. That’s the feeling Veronica inspires. She’s been inspiring us for the last several years with her joie de vivre and infectious energy, both of which are evident in every single space she designs. And that’s why we’re so excited to be the newest partner in her design world with the launch of her exclusive collection of window treatments for Select Blinds.
“For me, windows and natural light are everything in a home. Select Blinds has always been my first call when designing beautiful, inspired windows,” says the 32-year-old interior and product designer, and creative director who got her start as the head of design production for some 500+ home makeover shows on ABC, NBC, FOX and OWN.
As the fresh face of a style she sums up as New Modernism, Veronica’s design sensibilities beautifully blend bohemian and well-traveled elements, balanced by femininity and clean lines.
“I’m a girl who loves a floral print and a classic stripe, and I just happen to think they can all live in the same space. It’s not about rules. It’s about living with what you love the most, all captured in one space.”
Veronica’s aesthetic has broad appeal. Remodelista called her the “Master of Design Transformations” and Australian magazine Renegade Collective deemed her “Miss Makeover.” Her work has been featured in Domaine Home, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Lucky Magazine and more.
So what does the founder of The Design Hunters, a modern day interior design and creative services company she founded with her husband, Kristopher Hughes, find inspiring?
“I’m forever inspired by nature. And you’ll rarely hear me pass up the chance to play host. I’m happiest when I have a table full of family and friends and a feast on the way to being plated. That sound of people laughing, floating in the air – that’s everything. Oh, and bike rides. A must.”
You’ll find all that inspiration wrapped up in the AH-mazing (if we do say so ourselves) new collection she’s created for Select Blinds – and you!
“When you’re in the field and pulling off 10 home builds a season, you’re making thousands of decisions. I wanted this collection to be the easiest choice someone will make for their home. This line has all my loves. The textures and bohemian feel of rich woven woods and elegant fabric tapes; fresh, modern colors collected from world travels in my cellulars; and the fun shapes, florals and botanicals you’ll find in the patterns on my solar shades.”
She has some great tips for designing your windows, too.
“Put away that rule book. If you love white but are worried your kids are going to ruin your sofa, go for white woven shades. If you love wood but can’t re-floor your home, reach for it on your windows. A good room is like a good outfit. It’s never one pattern from head to toe. Mix it up! Layering is key.”
Known to her family as the world-traveling “free spirit,” Veronica splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. She travels constantly for show production and private clients, and her own lines of specialty lighting and wall decor. “We’ve mastered the art of living out of a suitcase and how to make the perfect hotel room matcha latte.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kinda love our vagabond life. We get to see the world together by design and that’s all I could ever ask for.”
Did you catch HOME FREE this week? You might want to go back and take a look if you missed it. The transformation was incredible! This week, they took a Georgian brick home and made it into a home with a southern revival style, all in one week. Here are our favorite before-and-after photos. Which one is your favorite?
Going into next week, there will only be 3 couples left. Who do you think will win the grand prize?
Tune in every Wednesday at 9/10 pm ET/PT on FOX to see our window coverings used in the final redesigns of HOME FREE. This new design competition series is full of exciting twists and never-before-seen surprises. If you’re looking for beautiful designs, heartfelt stories, and deserving families, this is the perfect show for you.
We’re excited to be a part of this show and the difference it is making in the contestants’ lives. Watch it with us every week!
Take a look at some of these before and afters from the very first episode.
What do you think of the final design from the first episode?