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Race Day Reflection: Daytona 500

by Dixie Haag | Posted on Sunday, February 21st, 2016

I am not a life-long race fan.  I have become a race fan strictly through proximity.  I married into it.  When I said “for better or worse, in sickness and in health” that included race day, race weekend, race season and all that comes with it.  Granted, I didn’t marry a driver, so I escaped the danger.  What I did marry is a reporter.  When Mike and I first started dating, he told me he wrote about motorsports.  Every weekend during racing season he spent at the local circle track, San Antonio Speedway.  I was unimpressed.  Cars driving in circles?  What on Earth could be so exciting about that?  But, as women do who are interested in men, I tagged along.  Little did I know the extent of the rabbit hole I was jumping into!  I have met many incredible people, seen adults bicker like children, been awed by the sheer genius of technological manipulation, and experienced the thrill of the roar and vibration of being within feet of full throttle Sprint Cup cars.  I have to admit that even though I continue to find the poetry and intellect of the sport, there is an elemental pull to motorsports.  I don’t complain as much about every TV in the house showing or recording a motorsports event for ten months out of the year.  I even participate in fantasy sports some years and make the odd Vegas bet related to the Sprint Cup Series, but I am always looking for ways that an intellectual person like myself can thoroughly enjoy and participate in the racing culture.  Over the years I have found many unique experiences that were only possible through the racing world.  So, even though I began as a reluctant race fan, I have learned to embrace it over the years, even relish it.  As the green flag drops on today’s Daytona 500, I will be looking forward to the 2016 season.  I will be excited to see how Jeff Gordon does as a commentator.  I will watch to see how Dale, Jr.’s positive outlook and renewed enthusiasm will translate on the track.  I will await the latest interview with John Force.  And I will attend some races in person.  This year will be one to remember. . .like all the others before it.  All in all, it ought to be a great race day!

On the set of old Speed TV.

On the set of old Speed TV.

Buying a program from Mikey the Monkey at Texas Motor Speedway.

Buying a program from Mikey the Monkey at Texas Motor Speedway.









Asphalt Chef Celebrity Cooking Competition at Texas Motor Speedway. That's Guy Fieri!

Asphalt Chef Celebrity Cooking Competition at Texas Motor Speedway. That’s Guy Fieri!

Checking out Dale, Jr.'s car at Texas Motor Speedway.

Checking out Dale, Jr.’s car at Texas Motor Speedway.


About the Author

Dixie Haag is married to Mike Haag. She is a mother to two fantastic young people and a life-long educator.