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Daytona, Daytona, Daytona...



It’s that time of year again, NASCAR season is about to begin again. I love racing since I was a little girl. Growing up in Virginia it was all around me. My favorite driver was the “King” Richard Petty. Over the years, I have had to change favorites as they have retired and left the sport. The biggest race in NASCAR is the Daytona 500. It’s my favorite race of the year because it is always close to my birthday. 
My partner and I got together in September of 2015. We spent some of our weekends watching races as the weather turned cooler. He wasn’t much of a fan, since he hadn’t grown up watching NASCAR. Needless to say, it was a quite the thing to teach him about racing. My favorite driver at the time was Matt Kenseth. It was just after Thanksgiving when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas and my birthday. I had a smart-ass answer for my birthday, which he expected as usual. I asked, do you want the “politically correct” answer or the truth? He chose to go with the “politically correct” answer. My response was that it had been a life long dream to go to the Daytona 500. But I was still saving my pennies. I never dreamed he would take me serious. He said ok, get online and order the tickets. I will make arrangements with the travel agent first thing Monday. Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. 
We went to the Daytona 500 in February of 2016. And we had the time of our lives. I told him that he had to pick a driver to cheer for. He looked at the tower and took the guy at the top, Chase Elliott. Well, Chase didn’t last very long in the race, so I gave him the opportunity to pick another driver. So he did the same thing, looked at the tower and took the top number, the eleven car, Denny Hamlin. Denny just happened to be my driver’s teammate. So I could live with that. Wouldn’t you know it, Denny won that race. His first ever Daytona 500 victory. My partner gave me the biggest ration of crap. Out to dinner we went to celebrate the victory. 
Matt retired after the 2017 season, so I switched to Denny because not only was he my partner’s driver, when he watched. Denny was also from Virginia. Denny won again in 2019 and 2020. We watched every Daytona 500 together since we went to the one in 2016. He really didn’t like racing but would always watch the Great American Race with me. This year the race is on Valentines Day. Our race on Valentines Day. It upsets me just thinking about it. I was watching some pre-race programs this weekend and they showed Denny’s first win. Flashbacks of memories of such good times I miss him. I’m not sure how much I can handle watching the race. It will be a long race.....

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I forgot to say, that he asked me a couple days after we got the tickets what the truth answer would have been. My answer was a candlelight dinner at a nice restaurant. He laughed and said I should have asked for the truth first. LOL

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