As far back as I can remember, I have always watched NASCAR and I believe my first kiss was to a picture of "The Intimidator." But the reasons why I love this sport has changed over the years. It has gone from how cute the drivers are to the sounds of the engines as they speed by.

Many people are now being brought into the term "NASCAR Fan" including women, upper echelon of the corporate world to divers being from other parts of the country other than the south. Many times I have been in Matt Kenseth's store in Cambridge, Wisconsin and every time we go, I find something I cannot live without.

But nothing was as exhilarating as my own personal pilgrimage to Indianapolis, Indiana and the Tony Stewart Racing Store. Second to this is the day that Chicago got our own NASCAR store.

NASCAR and the roar of the engines sometimes is so soothing to my soul that I can easily fall asleep to the horse power racing. And when they crash, thanks to innovations of the drivers and the upper echelon of the NASCAR, there are less serious accidents unlike the one that took one of the greats out of life, Dale "The Intimidator" Earnhardt.

I also love the history of NASCAR and it's roots in the "boot-legging" era of American history. I love the dirt tracks, the start of many a superstar in the world of NASCAR. But what I love most is the fortitude of the drivers that risk life and limb every week. The drive to be the Cup Champion is a drive I wish I had.

The charities that are special to the drivers are admirable to me. Most are children's charities and as a mother of three, children are the most special and most precious commodities that we have. Having drivers that show their charities gives me hope for the next generations of NASCAR drivers.

I was so excited when the "Victory Junction Gang" opened. I was proud of the Petty family when their dream was realized. All those children now have something to look forwards to every summer. And the joy on the driver's faces that helped to build the camp was more than my heart could happen.

All the different charities that the drivers participate in make me glad to be a die-hard NASCAR fan. And I will stay a die-hard NASCAR fan until the day I die.

Published on February 26, 2006 in