For the Love of NASCAR

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For the Love of NASCAR
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I'm a Yankees fan. Sometimes it's hard to admit it when there's a Red Sox fan around. I'm afraid of what they'll say or do.

And I can never admit to thinking Jason Varitek is hot. My uncle would throw his awesomely cooked steaks at me when I go over to watch a game on his big screen TV.

 

But here's the thing I love about NASCAR: I can love Tony Stewart and you can love Jimmie Johnson and our neighbor can love Kurt Busch and it doesn't matter. Why?

 

Because we all love NASCAR. And that's what matters.

 

Last week I was lucky enough to go to many of the Championship Week events in Las Vegas. Lucky it was that week because the week after the temperatures dropped 30 degrees and it even snowed. It was like the heavens knew NASCAR was coming.

 

I went to the Victory Lap in my Dale Jr. jacket knowing I was safe to walk around without being booed or have steaks thrown at me. In front of me, standing in a row, were the following jackets facing me: Home Depot, Lowe's, DuPont, and Office Depot. I even saw a little boy dressed up in his Home Depot Halloween costume wearing a Kyle Busch hat. Confused? Maybe. Cute? Definitely.

 

After the lap was over, I headed to The Stewie Awards. I was the first to arrive and the security guard told me it was three hours until showtime so I would be okay to get something to eat. I told him no thank you, I wanted to save my spot.

 

I also told him I wasn't going to be the only one for long. He told me I was out of my mind and gave me 10 percent off for my dinner. Hey, I'll take the crazy woman discount!

 

My mom held my place and I went to get a sandwich to share. I was gone no more than 15 minutes when I returned to see about a dozen more people lined up or sitting in the chairs around the ropes.

 

I went up to the security guard and he was laughing. Then he apologized for not believing me.

 

Around me were fans from all over the country. Some of the speedway banquet winners shared their stories of winning and being treated like royalty. The media mingled with us. The security guards laughed at us.

 

But the best part of all was talking with my fellow fans.

 

You root for Tony? That's awesome.

 

Want to have the Denny vs. Brad argument? It's civil.

 

You went to Daytona? Tell me about it since I've never been there.

 

You have a brick at the Hall of Fame, too? We should exchange numbers!

 

And when each NASCAR driver (and special guest stars—thank you Chad Knaus for making an appearance!) came out to accept their award, the screams were always equally loud. Not because they are all equally popular, but because they are all NASCAR drivers.

 

And that, in the end, is all that matters.

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