I am so excited for the Daytona 500 it’s hard to put it into coherent words. I LOVE RACING. I don’t know how to say it any other way. Let me try to give you a couple examples. In 2008 Tony Stewart did a Home Depot appearance in Pleasanton California in advance of the race at Infineon up in Sonoma. It was on a Thursday and it so happens that around the corner from the Home Depot is a pretty decent mall. I begged my mom to go with me- (she had the day off but I had to use a vacation day) basically promising to take her to The Cheesecake Factory if she would go with me to see Tony. Pleasanton is about a 90 minute drive from where we live…and it’s a lot hotter there than it is here. Anyway- we get there- she get’s her Cheesecake Factory lunch and we go off to the Home Depot to get our wrist bands. While we were standing in line (for hours and hours) there was a whelen modified series car on display in the parking lot and someone got in it and fired it up. My mom looked over at me at about the same time and said “Why are you smiling like that?” and I just shrugged and said “I can’t help it. I love the sound of a race car.” She rolled her eyes and said “You are your father’s daughter.” That same year my dad got complimentary tickets to go see the Daytona Prototype cars run at Laguna Seca- so the three of us went and were walking around the paddock area and my dad was off doing the photographer thing and I was standing back with my mom and she looked over at me and said “What is that smell?” I chuckled and said “That is the smell of speed. Techically its rubber, gas and oil…and probably some sweat.” She doesn’t get it. It’s a smell I LOVE. If I could bottle it? I would.
Daytona marks the beginning of the new season. We are warmed up with the Bud Shootout and the Gatorade Duels were on Thursday while I was toiling away at work…I dvr’d them and promised myself I would wait…but I lied to myself and peeked so by the time I got home to watch them I already knew who won (Jimmie won in Duel 1 and Kasey Kahne won Duel 2) but that didn’t stop me from rooting for Tony.
Mostly I am excited about Daytona because it means that in two weeks I will be at a track. Walking around with my friend and my camera…taking in the sites and sounds of a race. The last race I was at was Phoenix- and it was in November- but it was TOO LONG ago. The track at Las Vegas calls to me. This will be my third year in a row going to the Vegas race…and I can’t wait.
For now though, I will be contented to cheer on Tony and hope that he gets his first elusive 500 win on Sunday. Gentlemen…start your engines.
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