NASCAR: Strong Enough For a Man, But Made For a Woman

April GatesCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2009

LOUDON, NH - JUNE 28:  A general view of fans watching pre-race ceremonies prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 28, 2009 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I know NASCAR got it's start in the South and with a majority following of rough and tumble men at the heart of it.

A few weeks ago I had a light bulb moment.  You know an idea so good and bright, the light bulb over your head lights up. 

Yes, one of those.

It was during the race at Infineon in Sonoma, California. 

Admittedly a race that isn't usually my favorite. 

Of course as anyone who knows me will attest, the only reason I'm sure it became a watchable race is because my driver, Kasey Kahne, road coursed his way to victory that fine day. 

As I sat and watched the race, I was Twittering updates and comments to my fellow race friends. 

Yes, I admit I'm a bit of a technological junkie, but that's another story for another day. 

So as I Twittered away in my happy place, I got an RT from my BFF.  (You know, a Return Tweet from my Best Friend Forever.) 

She could feel my excitement and wanted to know what channel the race was on. After several minutes she responded with excited tweets of her own.

But here's a little background on my BFF. 

She's into the Lakers. 

She and her family are heavy into basketball. 

She's not into NASCAR. 

Being the great BFF she is, and with basketball season over, she decided to give my excitement for NASCAR a try.  

She marveled at how intense the racing was. 

She critiqued the other drivers and their racing abilities. 

She asked questions. 

Before she knew it, she was-dare I say it—enjoying the race.  When the checkered flag dropped, she was just as celebratory for Kasey's victory as I was!

Within minutes of a usually boring road race, a new NASCAR fan and a new Kasey Kahne fan was born. 

So that got my wheels turning. 

Growing up on the West Coast, much less in the Central San Joaquin Valley where agriculture and farming are the way of life, how would your average everyday little girl find her way to NASCAR?

I grew up with an affection for racing. 

Much like other admirers of the sport, I came by it naturally. 

My grandfather had raced back in the late 40's on local tracks just for fun. 

My father was a big Dale Sr. fan, and so the love of stock-car racing was passed on to me. 

At the time my father didn't have sons, so onto the girls it went.

So when I got married 18 years ago, NASCAR wasn't a prerequisite, but it was high on the "what-we-need-to-have-in-common-before-I-marry-you" list.

Thankfully both my husband and I share an affection for NASCAR. He roots for Tony Stewart, but I don't hold it against him.

All kidding aside, how do gals not brought up with the love of racing find their way to NASCAR? 

Well that answer is simple...those of us that do have the love, need to share it. 

Share it LOUD and share it PROUD. 

My BFF sees what fun my husband and I, and our guests, have when we are infield in Fontana for four days straight twice a year. 

She sees the pictures. 

She reads the blogs. 

Now, she sees the Twitters. 

After one simple afternoon she found out how great NASCAR really is. 

I'm always thrilled and honored to read or hear about women in NASCAR. 

As for being female fans of a sport like NASCAR, I say the more the merrier. 

Spread the word. 

What may have started out as our grandfather's sport is no longer that.  It's quickly become a fantastic past time and a sport worthy of our attention.

Don't be afraid of choosing a driver and yelling with the men. 

I've got my cow bells, driver gear, sun screen, and a blender full of margaritas.

Come on, get on the train ladies!  We're infield bound, and we're the life of the party!


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