This is me, two years ago today, right before the NASCAR race was to begin. I had set the camera on self-portrait and handed it to our friend Ron so that he could point it at me. Not too much later, it started to rain which led to the race's being delayed until the next day.
I entered this photo in the Kodak Best Race Moment Ever Contest and won the grand prize--a trip for two to the last three races of the season in Homestead, Florida, in November, 2006; Leland went with me--we had a blast.
Mama and I got to go to the spring race in 2006 because our friends Kay and Milton helped us get there, then offered their bed in their travel trailer to us for the duration. Milton and Kay stopped on their way up to their seats on Monday, May 1, 2006. The race had been rained out the day before, but we didn't have to go home without seeing it, thank goodness!
Kay and Mama weren't the only ones enjoying the campfire--they just happened to be the only ones in the photo. Weren't we lucky? Our campground was within walking distance of the superspeedway which made it easy to get to the gate. Mama stayed at the trailer while we went to the races--she had just as much fun watching on TV and no physical stress, something she knew she couldn't do.
Here's some information about the Talladega Superspeedway from NASCAR dot com:
Completed : 1969
Distance : 2.66 miles
Shape : Tri-oval
Banking : 33° turns16.5° frontstretch2° backstretchFrontstretch : 4,300 feet
Backstretch : 4,000 feet
Seating : 143,231
Kay and Milton's friend Cecil got garage/pit passes and gave them to Kay and me. We were in 7th heaven, let me tell you. This is just one photo of many from those three exciting days. Looking at it again on Saturday, I realized that it sort of foretells the way things are now for three drivers--in the photo, Mark Martin's car hauler is on the left, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s is in the middle, and Kyle Busch's is on the right.
Junior left Budweiser and his No. 8 team at the end of last season. He went to Hendrick Motor Sports, a move which led to the departure of their driver of the No. 5 Kellogg's car, Kyle Busch, to make room for Junior at Hendrick. Mark Martin left the Roush team and now drives the No. 8 for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Junior drives the No. 88 for Hendrick, and Kyle Busch drives the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs.
Saturday before the Nationwide race, after Joe Nemechek ousted Tony Stewart from the pole for today's Sprint Cup race, I called Kay and Milton on the cell phone so that we could crow a bit together. We're not Tony Stewart fans, not in the least. Later on, drat it, he won Saturday's race. Anyway, like other years, Milton will call me on the cell phone just as the cars cross the start line for the Sprint Cup race today. I'll be watching on TV, but like Kay said to me on Tuesday, "It's not like hearing it in person!" She is so, so right--when 43 cars roar by at almost 200 mph, it's outta sight wonderful.
Milton and Kay had these two flags flying high above their trailer at the campground.