When I was laid off over 9 months ago, I wondered what in the world I was going to do with myself. I did the usual-cleaned the house, learned to cook better meals, exercised- but I also immersed myself more fully into a sport I really enjoy-NASCAR.
Through Twitter, I began interacting with other fans and even race teams on a regular basis. A few knew what I went through, and we bonded over the experience of job hunting as well as our favorite pastime. I won a couple of neat contests-I got to drive a Mustang convertible in the Parade of Power at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and I got to attend a Kevin Harvick press conference.
But I had yet to fulfill my dream of actually attending a race, in person.
That changed in April. I responded to another Twitter contest-and this time was rewarded with four tickets to the Camping World Truck Series race in Rockingham.Those tickets were courtesy of the Richard Childress Racing #2 Truck team, driven that weekend by Tim George, Jr. I had an absolute blast.
After that race, I began to get discouraged about my lack of progress on finding work, and sought more ways to keep myself occupied. In May, Doug Rice of PRN radio, gave away some tickets to the Sprint Cup Pit Crew Challenge-a unique event that showcased the skills of the driver’s crew. I was able to get tickets to that event from him, and rushed to Charlotte to spend the evening in awe of the precision and ability of these teams.
Just a week later, I won tickets to my first NASCAR Nationwide Series race. I know, you’re thinking “Boy, does she spend ALL her time on Twitter?” The answer is no, not really, but I seem to have been able to make good use of the time I do spend there.I won those tickets from Brian Scott, a Nationwide Series driver. As I was getting ready for that race, someone introduced me to another Twitter friend who was GIVING tickets away to the main event-the Coke 600 in Charlotte. We got together, and I was able to attend all three NASCAR major series events in a little over a month.
And just yesterday, I won tickets from John King, the Truck Series driver who won his first race at Daytona this year, not to a NASCAR race, but to an NHRA race at Bristol. I will get to check a new experience off of my list as well.
In addition to the teams, there are individuals out there-other FANS, who are giving of their time, energy and resources to make the interaction fun. People give away die cast cars, clothing, and even signed memorabilia, often at their own expense. I’ve come to realize that NASCAR, it’s teams, and especially it’s fans are probably the most generous I’ve seen in any professional sport.
If you are one of those people who have in some way helped me achieve my dream, thank you. You’ve given a down in the dumps fan a chance to have some fun and keep her mind off of the tough times.I hope to be in a position to do what you do in some way.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the sport, interaction with some of these folks could make you one, easily.
Again, thank you!