Like most NASCAR fans with children, my daughters' have been fans since they were in the womb. We get them to watch races with us, teach them which driver to root for (and sometimes who NOT to root for), and and instill that love for the sport in them, as much as we can. Some even take their children to live events. I'm no exception. On Sunday, I loaded my two daughters, Angel and Maddie, into my mom's truck (my husband isn't a fan of the Brickyard) and we drove 3 hours to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. This would be their first time experiencing a live NASCAR race. They were excited, they asked questions during the entire drive and talked with each other about what they may see when we arrived.
When we finally did arrive at the track at 11 A.M., my girls were in awe. They couldn't believe the amount of people there. They were amazed at the size of the track and most of all, they were excited to see everything on the infield. During the walk to our spot on the infield, (my favorite spot is Turn 1 on a little hill beside the museum), I stopped them on the other side of the tunnel to show them pit road. Of course, they were excited for everything to start right away. With 2 hours to spare until everything started, I thought I'd have my hands full! We ate snacks, we drank water, we got cameras ready and secured our spot on the grass. It didn't take long for things to begin.
The driver intros, the pre-race prayer, the Anthem and the most famous words in NASCAR (all of which we could see, but not hear) took place and then it was time to see some cars. Anyone who has been to a live NASCAR race, knows that pace laps are quiet and slow. My youngest daughter asked me (while I was taking video of pace laps), if that was how loud cars were. Of course I had to tell her no. She also asked me during those pace laps, where Dale Jr. was. I need to explain here, that in my house, we're divided as fans. Me and my girls are fans of Dale Jr, while their father is a Kevin Harvick fan. The excitement in her voice & in her eyes, when I pointed out Dale's car, is something I'll never forget.
Their excitement throughout the entire day is also something I'll never forget. They cheered, they screamed, they rooted Dale Jr on (and sometimes Kasey Kahne) and they never complained about the heat, not being able to see the entire track or the amount of walking that you are required to do while at the Brickyard. They were especially excited to be rewarded with their own Dale Jr. T-shirts and hats after the race was over.
I can't pick out one highlight from their first experience, but I will say I'm happy I finally got them to their first race. They're definitely bigger fans now than they were before, and we're actually going to the race in Michigan as a full family. I'm excited to attend future races as a family and making as many memories as we can! Who knows, maybe their children will become NASCAR fans as well!
I have shared one video with this blog, from our day. You'll hear my daughter Maddie asking "Where's Junior", me pointing him out and then her screaming. If you'd like to see anymore of my short videos, please visit my page at https://www.youtube.com/user/JessLuvs88/.