I’m Sorry … Let’s Race

Dear Mom & Dad:

As your youngest child, you know that I’m not used to apologizing. I think it’s in the genes of each baby of the family. But I digress …

You’re likely wondering what is calling for such an occasion. Well, I want to say I’m sorry for making fun of you. No, not because just how loudly you snore, daddy. Or, mom, because of what the Pee-Wee Herman dance you did at cousin Brian’s wedding.

Here I am in Jeff Gordon's pits "working."

Here I am in Jeff Gordon’s pits “working.”

Nope.

I’ve made fun of you for decades about your love (read: obsession) of all things NASCAR.  I never understood it. What’s the big whoop about watching cars drive in a circle for three hours? Drive a little while, turn left. Drive some more, turn left again. Big deal. Well I’m here to tell you, I was, ahem, wrong.

Remember when I rubbed into you both that I was going to the Auto Club 400 in California to see the AARP Drive to End Hunger No. 24 car race, and that I would have a coveted “Hot Pass,” so I’d get to see all the drivers I heard you talk about for years? I told you that I’d tell them all “Hi” for you. Well, I didn’t get to do that. But I did get to watch from the vantage point of Jeff Gordon’s pit box and I’ve got to admit … I’ve got the need for speed.

What a natural high you get from the first rev of the engine … then 43 of them? My ribs are still shaking. I’m baffled that fans have so much access to the racers. You don’t see that in the NFL or NBA. The pit crews are unbelievably nice. They answered all my lame questions (picture me pointing, wow that’s a lot of tires) but they are true athletes. They train for three hours a day so they can get tires changed in less than 12 seconds. It’s incredible to witness these men in action. (I was kinda afraid of the gasman. He was big) And finally, we get to the drivers.

These guys are true rockstars in their own right. They’re swarmed wherever they go but they all stop take pictures with kids and adults alike. They let fans in and out of their garages. But when it gets down to it, it takes a person of delicate skill to drive 200 mph with 42 other cars around them … and not hit the wall. The endurance it takes is baffling.

So, here I am saying it, “I’m sorry.” You didn’t hear those words when I had that party while you were in Hawaii. Or the time I lied to get into the Depeche Mode concert.

And now I’m asking you for something: Please text “HUNGER” to 50555. It’s for a good cause.

Thank you and I love you,

PJ

PS:  Remember, Steven was the one that crashed dad’s truck! :)