One of the many questions race fans ask other race fans is simple: “How did you get into racing?”
Most people say something along the lines of “I grew up near a race track,” “my family always liked racing,” or “I just decided to watch it on TV one day.”
Me? I got into racing because my dad worked in the pit crews of Indy cars.
It was one of those things where I didn’t realize just how amazing the experience was until I was older, looking back on it all. And the fact that I can still smell the tires and fuel, see all of the drivers and workers walking by in their fire suits, and seeing the cars rolled onto the track…makes me realize just how important racing is to me.
Spending a good couple years of my childhood traveling the country to various races and staying on Gasoline Alley is truly something I could never forget. It’s grown me into the race lover I am today. Between arguments over who will win with other kids of the drivers and workers, to never wanting to put my headphones on to block out the sound of the cars going by, racing is something you have to experience to understand.
Yes, watching a race on TV is great. You get all of the good angles, you get commentators explaining everything that is going on, and you get inside news on things like pit stop times. But physically being there brings the race to a whole different level – a level that one could never forget.
Sure, I liked meeting the drivers, seeing all of the news reporters, and getting autographs (I still treasure my first ever IRL hat signed by Jacques Lazier, Buddy Lazier, and Sarah Fischer), but witnessing the race so close to the pit stalls is among one of the best feelings in the world and something I will always cherish.
As race fans, we all can relate in some way or another, even if this way is through rivalries of favorite drivers. Whether you’re traveling with the series to each race, or simply watching the races on TV, we all can relate in one way - our love for the sport that is racing.
The season has just begun!