November 13, 2012

Toyota Racing: Discovering The World of NASCAR

Inside Legendary driver Darrell Waltrip's Award-Winning race car

NASCAR has literally been under my nose this whole time but I never really see it. Nor tried to see it. Neither plan of ever seeing it. The reason? I've never been a big fan of the sports and I was OK not seeing it at all even though it's literally in my backyard. While living in Charlotte, I'm very aware of NASCAR and the prominent role it plays in the city and to its fans, but I remained oblivious to its existence. This, until Toyota put me behind the scene of NASCAR and immersed me in a world so immensely vast and different from what most people see on the surface.

I have no idea that as soon as I walked into that gate leading to the race, I was stepping inside a world beyond anyone's imagination.

A world rarely seen even by fans. Its people. Its culture. The lifestyle they live.

Wendy Venturini, Reporter for Speed and lifelong resident of the racing community, said it best, "It's not for the faint of heart." And I can't agree more.

One thing's pretty obvious too, NASCAR is no longer just a man's world. Women now plays a vital role in this once male-dominated arena. Coming from the "outside" world, and a woman, it's quite inspiring and empowering to witness this change first-hand!

My first taste of NASCAR made me witnessed the rawness and scary reality of cars figuring in freaky accidents right before your eyes! It was gravely shocking but this is as raw and real as you'll get watching the race in person. Accidents are part of the sports. And there was quite a few during the 2 day-race; Dollar General 300 and BOA 500. But we also shared in the victories! Toyota drivers won both races.

TWIN with Dollar General 300 winner, Joey Logano
inside Winner's Circle Lounge;
where only those privileged can enter.

Now, I can't imagine living within the loud fortress of this racing community, continuously bombarded by the deafening roaring, thunderous sounds of race cars speeding by, the daily hustle and bustle of a highly-demanding environment, the fast-paced life that only the resident and citizen of the racing community can appreciate, is a "normal" that even their children naturally adapts to. One thing that to a lot of us would say is crazy but definitely a haven for them.

On the race track before the big race!

The passion, the dedication and the love for this sports is evidently so strong, from the race car drivers down to its crew and their families, that one can't help but feel nothing but admiration and appreciation even from a non-fan like me.

I may not see another race like this again but one thing's for certain, I have acquired a deep respect and appreciation for NASCAR and the people that makes NASCAR, NASCAR.

**Toyota covered all accommodations to attend this event as part of being a member of TWIN. All opinions are mine.


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