Tums Fast Relief 500 - October 30, 2011 - Martinsville Speedway

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Monday, May 17, 2010

NASCAR Traditions

Traditions are good.  Family traditions can be even more special.

In my family we have traditions such as fresh seafood for Thanksgiving Dinner. Another is taking the ‘Tacky Light Tour’ during the Christmas holiday while we enjoy a thermos of hot chocolate and singing Christmas carols. Even a simple tradition of how we all say goodnight like the Walton's when we are fortunate enough to be sleeping under the same roof, is a family tradition I will always treasure.

The first year my husband and I dated we started our own special traditions.  Some we have preserved and continue today.  Some have changed, and others have become fond memories.

One tradition is the love of automobiles …. Corvettes especially!  My husband grew up around generations of Corvettes and was destined to own one in his lifetime.  He did one better - he purchased his second Vette when we first started dating. It was a beautiful black over black convertible that purred like a kitten - yeah, right!  Maybe with earplugs in!

As a proud owner of his new black Corvette, we joined the Black Sheep Squadron, an elite group of more than 1,100 members worldwide. Most members are located in the United States, but they also have members in Austria, Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and The Netherlands. Members pay no dues. You just have to own a Black Corvette to join.

This group of enthusiastic Corvette owners gets together several times a year in different locations across North America.  One of our first outings with more than a hundred of our new friends was to Daytona.  After a great lunch at one of the more popular restaurants, we headed to Daytona U.S.A. for a private tour and a little racing!  This included laps around the famous Daytona Speedway in our Corvette.  Well, our Corvette and the other 75 that showed up for the fun!

I have to say, I never really knew how steep the banking was in each of the turns until driving around the course that day.  Although our speed was contained by a pace car, the memory of all those Corvettes on the world’s most famous speedway is a sound and sight I will never forget.

Here are some photos from that day.

Meeting of the Vettes outside the track.

Ferrari club leaving the track as the Corvettes take over!

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Oh, and ….Ladies start your engines!

Birds eye view of turn 4.

Not a person in the grandstands that day, but from the level of noise the Corvettes made, you would have thought you were at the speedway in February for the Great American Race….the Daytona 500!

Nascar has its own traditions.  From kissing the bricks at Indianapolis to Richard Petty’s signature hat and sunglasses, to all-star racing in May and earning a stripe at Darlington. These traditions have become important as they connect the fans with the sport and remind us why we love Nascar.

A new tradition is under way with the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will induct the five members of its inaugural class May 23. I am fortunate to be a part of this highly-anticipated event.

So come back next week to read about my evening with some of the most respected founders of NASCAR.  I will post up-close pictures of the museum and the evening of the inauguration.  A dream comes true for me!

Until then….

Happy Racing!

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