I think an introduction is a great way to start off the blog. So, here it goes:
If the story of your interest in auto racing is anything like mine, you have probably had numerous people question how you could like racing. “It’s just a bunch of guys going around in circles” is one of the statements we have heard used frequently. However those of us that are fans of the sport know that there is more than meets the eye.
My love affair with racing started in the mid-90s. I was born in Bethlehem, Pa., close to where the Andretti family called home and just a few miles away from Nazareth Speedway.
After hearing the noise all the way from our house, my parents decided to take me to the race track. After just a few laps, I was hooked, with my eyes glued to the cars and barely focused on anything else. At three years old, I left Bethlehem for Phoenix, but the trek from Pennsylvania to Arizona did not deter my passion for racing.
Even without a huge group of people to share my interest, my enthusiasm for the sport traveled with me wherever I went. Despite the struggles of growing up, the passion I felt for racing as a two year-old kid from Pennsylvania is something I continue to carry with me, even as a 22 year-old and recent graduate of Purdue University.
I would like to pay tribute to some people who have helped feed my love of racing:
To Jeff Gordon: Thank You for being an amazing driver and an even better ambassador for NASCAR. You were the first driver I called my favorite and when I have gotten my friends and family interested in the sport, you were the one selected as their favorite driver. Although it will be sad not to see you racing, I wish you and your family nothing but the best as you move to the next stage of your life.
To Steve Byrnes: I followed your career and always enjoyed seeing you on pit road and in the booth during your broadcasts. You are one of many people who I consider to be an influence in my ambition to become a sports journalist. As sad as I and NASCAR Nation are that we will not get to see you during the races, I thank you for the contributions you made to the sport and the type of person you were in every aspect of life. While watching NASCAR Race Hub’s tribute to you, I was inspired to emulate how you conducted yourself both personally and professionally. I hope those of us trying to make it into the journalism field will always be influenced by your work.
To Dale Earnhardt, Dan Wheldon, Greg Moore and others who have lost their lives in the sport. It is your devotion to auto racing that has helped make this sport what it is. Although you may not be here with us today, I hope that it provides your loved ones with some comfort that your lives had such a profound impact on the racing family.
Finally, to everyone who has ever been involved in motorsports: Whether you are a driver, crew member, employee or a fan, your love for our sport has helped make it what it is today. If we haven’t met, I hope that one day we can so we can talk about a bunch of guys going around in circles. Have a great weekend everyone.