Many people who know me, know I'm from a small town in South Georgia about spitting distance from the Florida Georgia line. No, not the country singing duo but the actual line between the two states. To go see any race it's going to be a drive for me anywhere I go. So, last weekend I decided I was going to take a trip to the good ole state of Mississippi and check out a race over there at Whynot Raceway in Meridian. As we say where I'm from, I was going "over yonder". From the moment I said where I was going to the time I got there and even after I left the question everyone asked me was "What made you go so far?". I was asked over and over again in texts, phone calls, in person, and even on my snapchat. I would just say "Well, why not?".
The truth is, I have a reason for traveling the 6 and a half hour trip. Love. Maybe a little wild passion with it. You know love plus wild passion can make us do all sorts of crazy things. It makes us even drive 6 and a half hours there and 6 and a half back in a span of 24 hours just to see the one thing that makes us feel complete. The one thing that makes our heart beat wildly and our pulse quicken. Racing. I just pure and simply love racing. I love to watch the sport grow. I love to help it grow. There wasn't a certain series or anything at the track I visited and some people questioned if it was a big race. I guess by their standards Lucas Oil or names like Davenport or Bloomquist are the only reasons to drive that far for a race but all tracks, series, or racers deserve that kind of attention. This is racing and it takes all of us to keep it going. I don't need big names or the likes of super late models racing to make me drive to a race. There was a young kid over there by the name of Spencer Hughes who is a big name in his own right and if you don't know him then I strongly suggest you look him up. He may not have been a Lucas Oil or WOO name but him and the guys he raced with like Ben Keith are all just as well deserved for the attention they get. They raced their hearts out in one of the best races I've seen all year on a track where you can drive the top or bottom that just blew my mind. Dedication is something else it takes. I stay dedicated to what I love and what I'm passionate about. I've said before that racing requires certain things from you. The website takes just as much. Much like a racers life. Long nights to and from the track and the task of paying for gas and hotels should you need them. It takes a toll. The dedication keeps me going. The love and the passion I feel for the sport keeps me going. Taking a week off once the season starts is unheard of with the exception of being a bridesmaid in a wedding of two very dear friends and maybe a vacation this summer, there will be no time off for me. Traveling will be a part of every weekend and more coffee than a normal person can ingest will be drank for the long rides. Last weekend I believe I came home on Sunday morning around 6am and got to watch the sun starting to come up. When asked by my racing friends why I would do such a thing I feel I should ask them why wouldn't I? Don't they love the sport just that much? Don't you want to see it continue?
Isn't the long hours of no sleep and the money spent worth it for something you love so much? Recently I had two GoPros stop working properly for me and with the expenses I already have in my own household and with racing on the weekends there was no way I could get two more to make up for them. I posted a status on Facebook about the cameras not working and in my own style of trying to make it humorous and not cry at the same time I posted not thinking anyone would really read it. To my surprise I had someone send me a message about the cameras. It took a minute to realize but he wanted to buy new cameras for me. It was something that brought me to tears in that moment because the kindness this man was showing me was humbling and something he didn't have to do. I told him he didn't have to buy me new cameras that him offering was more than I could have asked but his words that followed have resonated with me. He said that he bases his decisions on who to help based on how sincere and committed they are to what they are doing. He wasn't looking for anything from us like telling everyone of his kindness, just the opposite, he wanted to remain anonymous but he DID want us to keep working as hard as we do. This man had shown the greatest of kindnesses but only wanted me to work hard as return on his investment. Why wouldn't I go to Mississippi and work hard and deal with lack of sleep and money if this man invested so much in me why wouldn't I return on it by doing the very thing he asked?
I've had many people offer to help and am more grateful than I could explain because it takes a toll on your wallet doing what we do, but it's these people who offer to help that keep me striving to work hard and travel. They have seen how hard we work at what we do. I hope it's our dedication to what we do and to the sport of racing that they see and know how sincere we are about it. These people help keep me going along with the fans who love what we do. They're part of the reason we do it. We want to share what we love with them. You don't know how much it can make your heart happy to have someone come up and tell you they love what you do. It's a feeling I couldn't describe to you. We all love this sport so much. To know you're helping keep it going for yourself, your friends, family and the fans of the sport is a huge part of why we do it.
One thing I've always stood by is the fact that every driver, track, and series deserves the same amount of attention as everyone else. I may be crazy but I will drive to Mississippi or Tennessee or wherever to give those drivers and tracks the time and attention they deserve. My wallet may be crying because of it but it's worth every dime spent. Some weeks are harder than others but like the saying goes, "if there's a will there's a way". You know, there's also some saying about money can't buy you happiness, I believe that wholeheartedly. Which, anyone who knows me knows I don't like to spend money period anyways. It's going back to the part of it being for love. Love of racing makes me drive the hours. Lose the minutes of sleep. Spend money on gas and hotels that I cringe when I get the bill for. It's love I do these things for. There have been times racing hasn't loved me back but it's one of those things where I say I'm gonna love you whether you like it or not. You know, like any other relationship any human has ever been in. There may come a day that I can't continue what I'm doing, and trust me I do not want to see that day but I'll still be found at a track somewhere, somehow supporting what I love. I'm a hardheaded type of woman. I don't give up easily though so here I am. Still in love with racing as much now as I have ever been and willing to drive two states away for what I love and not having a second thought about it. So, why did I drive 13 hours there and back total for a race?...... Love, and you know what? I will do it again over and over this year because it comes down to this.......How can you ever say you love something if you never prove the lengths you'll go for it?