Sunday, February 15, 2009

Let's go Racing Boys!!!!!

Ok, so I love NASCAR. I love cars, I love driving fast, but we have learned a lot, met great people and have had some great times.

Today is the beginning of the 09 Season and it starts, as always with the Daytona 500. So, I'm in my spot, in the recliner, watching pre-race coverage ready for this thing to start.

I've been lucky enough to go to nearly every race out at Texas Motor Speedway since the very first one. Not all my friends enjoy those times (Shannon) but a bad day at the track is better than a good day at work. That first year, I was in my single days and my friend Shannon and I headed out to the track on Sunday. It got windy, it got cold, it was louder than anything we had ever experienced. When it was time to leave traffic was AWFUL, and it started raining. I was at that time driving a Camaro and we were parked on dirt. We sat there waiting for traffic to clear out LONGER than the race lasted. About 4 hours. Shannon swore she would never ever go again. And she hasn't. And she never will. Trust me.
A few years back I was invited by Ford Motor Co. to be their guest at the Daytona 500. Another Bucket List item I could cross off my personal list. I had a blast.

The Golden Eagle paratrooper team was staying at our hotel and obliged me with a group photo. I was hating that as you can tell.

Since then, Ray and I have joined the legion of fans who head to TMS and stay for the entire weekend. We have met some of the nicest people, many who have become what will be lifelong friends. People from all over the country travel to these races every year and seeing them, catching up and enjoying a shared passion is a blast. We cook alot, eat alot, tell lots of stories - some true others not, sleep very little, play poker, sing karaoke and just relax. It's not even about the race on those weekends, it's about catching up with friends, hanging out and creating memories. We walk around, among about 1000 RV's actually talking to people, sharing food, stories, etc... I've met more people there going twice a year than I have met in my own neighborhood in living here 5 years. NASCAR is one of the most fan friendly sports. Ray's favorite driver (everybody has their favorite and least favorite) is Mark Martin, as we were walking through the pits we came up on Mark's pit box. These boxes are where the crew chief sits and they are raised up about 8 feet so that they have a clear view of what's going on.
A few of the crew were up there and I asked if Ray could climb up for a picture. They said sure and up he went.

The best passes to get though are the garage passes. You actually walk through the areas where they are getting the cars ready to go race. It's amazing, where else can you do that?
So, yes I am a redneck, NASCAR racing fan and I love it and am proud of it. The drivers understand it's the fans that afford them the luxury of doing what they love to do and get paid for it. They understand that they are role models. They get IT. Tell me what other sport, nationally televised still has an invocation prior to getting started.

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