I’ve been a race fan for the better part of my life (trust me, longer than you think! ;-) ) and I had the opportunity to join my sister and a friend down at the Daytona 500 this year. First, I was just SO elated to be going to the race. I mean, it’s the Super Bowl of NASCAR racing, all in the first week of the season! Second, let’s face it, we’ve had a bit of snow in New England and well, I’m over it. Yeah, I’m done with it. More than done with it. The thought of sun, fun and racing sounded fabulous.
We all arrived on Wednesday, a few days before the weekend events and it gave us an opportunity to not only “set up camp” in the infield but also catch the fun “Twin 125s”, qualifying and meet some of our neighbors. It was cold. I mean, really cold, the first few days. Thank goodness for neighbors with awesome bonfires! We had Sprint Fan Zone passes which got us out onto the field and in the pits before the big races, as well as watch the opening act with fellow Michigander, Kid Rock!
When it came to the big race day we moved around a bit, catching the start from the Fan Zone, watching parts of the race from the back stretch at the tiki bar (oh yes, really), moving back to the motorhome for lunch and then finishing up the last 40 laps or so with our friends, the notorious “Daytona Kentucky Boys”, on top of a motorhome between turns one and two. My only regret – not bringing my camera up on top of the motorhome! What a finish! We saw them just feet away from us going three wide at 200 miles per hour around the corner. It was amazing. There was a big wreck in the last lap and Joey Logano was first to cross the finish line … classic stock car racing!
What will I remember from this experience? The racing was amazing, but the people I was with and the new friends I made were what really made the experience memorable. I’m thrilled my sister, Jessica and her uber-generous friend, Jen, invited me to join along. Jen – you’re a rock star. THANK YOU!!!! :-) The people we met, from the folks next to us that shared their campfire, to the guys down the way that let us curl up close to their heating lamps the first night when it was SO cold, to the Daytona Kentucky Boys that entertained us and introduced us to “goeta” (so yummy!!!)…. they are what really made the experience what it was. I can’t wait to go back!