The real reason I love racing

aarwbasm Just a few days ago, I attended the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association annual awards banquet at the John Force Racing shop in Brownsburg, Indiana. It was an evening of race drivers and personalities intermingling with the media that cover them in a relaxed, social atmosphere and that got me to thinking.  Yes I enjoy watching the action on the race track but I really love the friendships I’ve made at the race track.

I’ve always said that when I was involved with CART in its glory years as a member of their radio network, I was part of a family.  We travelled together, we stayed in the same hotel together, we worked at the track together and sometimes we cried together.

While racing is what brought us all together, it was the camaraderie and sense of family that made 30 hour travels to Australia, 12 hour days in 105 degree temperatures in Brazil and Mexico, and sadly sometimes tragedy that made it all worthwhile.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that it’s friendships that make racing so popular.

I’ve gone through the infield at Michigan International Speedway where I’m one of the track announcers and talked to those that are camping there.  They talk about the racing but they also repeatedly talk about the friendships that have been forged.  Many are parked side-by-side and make the race their “reunion.”

It’s the same in the grandstands.  People who haven’t seen each other for 12 months but have seats next to each other renew their friendship at the track.  They show pictures of their families and share what’s gone on in their lives for the last year.  They’ll remember the time they spent with their once a year friends.

I’m off to Daytona in a few days for Speedweeks.  I wonder how many new friends I’ll have when I come home.

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