It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m home and I appreciate that.
For many years, when I worked as a subcontractor for NASCAR, I was often out of town for that special day.
I was the media relations guy — they called people like me media coordinators — for NASCAR’s All-Star Series, a Midwest-based touring series for dirt track Late Model stock cars. I did this from the summer of 1990 to late 2001, when the series ended.
NASCAR called its series directors and key people, including media coordinators, to Daytona Beach each February a week or two prior to the Daytona 500 for a series of business meetings and seminars. Sometimes we also helped with publicity duties at the speedway, including NASCAR Media Day. NASCAR paid the tab for everything.
It was a nice winter break for those of us from cold weather country, and we learned a lot and assisted a lot.
Part of the deal was we received credentials to enter the Daytona International Speedway pit and garage areas and were also allowed to stand along pit road, just outside of the retaining wall, during the various SpeedWeeks races.
We also spent the Sunday prior to the 500 socializing with NASCAR-sanctioned track operators from around the country in a hospitality area, then watched the Busch Clash (now called the Bud Shootout) and an ARCA race with them from a reserved grandstand section.
I’d normally fly back home the day after the Gatorade Twin 125 races, held on the Thursday before the 500. Then I’d watch the 500 on TV from the comfort of my home.
The only downside to all of that was often being out of town, and not with my sweetheart, on Valentine’s Day.
That’s why I now can say it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m home and I appreciate that.
Copyright 2009, by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises