As I have mentioned before, I was born and raised in Michigan. Up there we never heard very much about the good old boys in the South that raced cars. When I knew we were going to move to Florida, I decided to watch the Daytona 500 that year. It was 1985 and Bill Elliott won the race. I kind of liked watching the race, but I still didn't know a lot about racing. Well, that was about to change for me.
We moved down here in August of 1985. During December and January they had testing at the Daytona track and you could go sit in the stands for free and watch the drivers test their cars. Only a few cars went out on the track at a time. I fell in love with hearing the cars roar by.
The following February, my friend took me to the local bowling alley to see the Nascar boys bowl in a charity event. I saw and met a lot of drivers. Richard Petty, Terry LaBonte, Alan Kulwicki, Tim Richmond, and Neil Bonnett just to name a few. I got pictures and autographs. I have to say that Neil Bonnett was the nicest and he became my favorite driver. Unfortunately, he crashed here at Daytona testing a car for Dale Earnhardt Sr and he died as a result of that crash.
We went to see our first Daytona 500 in February 1986. It was neat hearing a few cars go around the track. but someone told me to wait until I hear 43 cars start their engines. They were right, it gave me goose bumps and it was LOUD!! I was "hooked"!!
Since then my hubby and I have gone to several Nascar races. We have been to Atlanta, Richmond, Darlington, Bristol, Indy, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Michigan to see them race. My favorite track other than Daytona is Bristol. Bristol at night in August is the BEST race in my opinion.
We go up to North Carolina a lot every year and we love to visit all the race shops. My favorite driver is Dale Jr. We have been to his shop several times. A couple years ago we met his dog, Killer, at Dale's shop. We walked into the lobby of JR Motorsports and there he was lying on the couch. He let me have a picture taken with him. So laid back! Doesn't fit his name at all!
Here is a picture of me and Dale Jr! The first time I saw him as I walked into his shop, I thought "Really, he is here?". But as you get closer you can see he is not real. But I think he looks pretty close to real!
So soon we will be heading to Daytona for the races. The Dual Races on Thursday before the Daytona 500 are my favorite. They race in the Duals to qualify to be in the Daytona 500. I am "hooked" and "hooked" good. But I wouldn't have it any other way.................