My brothers and I play Fantasy NASCAR, and this past weekend we all attended the legendary Daytona 500. It was my first visit to a NASCAR event, and I am grateful to my sister-in-law Cindy, for making it possible. Given my current state of affairs, it wasn’t something I could have done on my own, but Cindy and my brothers looked after me!
We left for the racetrack at 9:00am, and by the time we got there, the place was already crowded. The race itself didn’t start until 2:30pm, so we had plenty of time to pick up our security passes, and to tour the grounds. The weather was warm and sunny, and just about perfect for walking around. As we looked at the cars, and the buildings and such, it was evident that our garages at home would never pass muster. There were no oil spots, and no grease on the tools; you could of safely eaten right off the floor!
The stands themselves are monstrous, with seating for well over 100,000 fans, all of which were filled at race-time. We had great seats, but they took some climbing to get to. The exertion was worth it, as we had seats overlooking the racetrack straightaway where the race started and finished.
NFL player JJ Watts was there to say those historic words, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” There is no way to describe the rumbling of racing engines, other than loud! As the race started, the noise got much louder, and stayed that way right to the end. It was eerie to watch the cars going by at such high speeds, with just a few feet separating them.
And then there were crashes. Several actually, knocking half of the cars out of the race. The engineering of the cars has made them as safe as can be, but the drivers need to have nerves of steel. They are gifted athletes, no doubt about it, as they put their lives on the line.
It was a great experience, and I’m so grateful I was able to be there with my family. Like the drivers who rely on their pit crews for safety, I am able to rely on my family, and nothing can be better than that.