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How a “Yankee” became a NASCAR lover

Ironically, shortly after the death of Dale Earnhardt I began my journey with NASCAR. Like many women I watched my first NASCAR race on TV on the sofa next to my “forever guy” well at least I thought he was … but I digress. Anyway I suspect my man thought I was just humoring him, but I quickly became hooked to the speed, the gorgeous cars and the racing strategies.

The phrase “what have I created?” was frequently uttered when I got to the remote and gave him “the look” when qualifying was about to begin and he wanted to watch something else. Soon after I received my first Fantasy NASCAR game as a Valentine’s Day gift, which I was thrilled about. Then I started planning trips to races. First Dover, my local track, then Martinsville and then Indy. I still remember the first time I saw Dover Speedway. … how the track seemed to jut out of the landscape and then the smell of the track and the sound of the cars taking their laps. I was a goner.

My family isn’t quite sure what to make of this obvious transgression into what they consider another world. Although I now live on the other side of the Mason Dixon line, I was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia where “real” sports reign — baseball, football and hockey — and where people generally have an inordinate amount of phlegm (yes, they spit a lot) and believe that traffic signs are mere suggestions. But I digress …

So my family wants to set up an intervention about this NASCAR thing. My nephew often comments “You know you aren’t really from the South? Those cars just go around in circles!” Hmm. I can honestly say I was missing something when I wasn’t engaged in the sport. When that flag drops and it is time to go racing it is not like anything else I have ever experienced.

I guess I’m just a church-going, NASCAR loving, southern woman now!

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