NASCAR Dads and Daughters

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Jun 19, 2006 9:05 AM

A beautiful story of a father and daughter become Cup fans (and, they're from Jersey!):

That Sunday I got up early, drove to the race, watched Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick duke it out fender-to-fender around Loudon's flat one-mile track and then drove back to the lake with my ears still ringing from the roar of the engines and my heart still pounding with, well, a new kind of excitement. I had discovered the first great truth of NASCAR: whatever you think of it on TV, when you see it -- when you really take it all in -- in person, it's going to grab you...

The following season I took her to her first race, at Dover, which we have come to think of as our home track. Thanks to Gary Camp, Dover's redoubtable head of media relations, we were lucky enough to watch the race from a seat in the Monster Bridge, which spans the track at the end of the backstretch, so that the cars roar past beneath you and your feet and butt shake like an earthquake. The crowds were huge, the traffic was atrocious, but Valentina came home as revved up as I'd ever seen her.

If you've never seen it in person, you should do something about that.