As the new Social Media Coordinator for Strange Oval, I was ready for Speedweek to finally arrive. Seeing the growth that Strange Oval has made as a company during the past two years was burning a hole in my “creative thought pocket.” Getting out to the track and meeting the builders and drivers who have made our company explode over the past year had been building anticipation within me from the day I marked it into my schedule! “You will love it…” they said, “It is a fun event..” they said. Little did I know these promises of a good time would turn out to be the most minimalistic comments I had ever had bestowed upon me!
It was a passion igniter to say the very least! I was heading into Florida for Speedweek 2014, in hopes of learning all there is to know about the highs and lows of the explosive week of racing. You guessed it, there were no lows! I had no idea how excited these races would get me. How they get into your blood and keep you on edge, flip your stomach and leave you wanting more…and more…and More! This was my experience for Speedweek. I left the races at the end of each day riding out the adrenaline rush and brushing the dust off of my phone so that I could call and tell all of my friends how much fun I had just had! For those of you who have never visited the speed circus that is “Dirt Track Racing”, you have got to get out there! You have to get your families to the track, it is NOT an experience to miss! As someone who would not call myself “prissy” on an average day, I found myself elbow deep in the dirt, trying to get the best picture, the best video footage, the best bragging rights!
As a newbie to the dirt track, I maneuvered my way around the races slowly…unsure of exactly where I could, and more importantly, could not situate myself in order to get a great shot. The friendliness of everyone I came into contact with immediately made me feel at home! Everyone was into it, everyone was excited, the passion of the sport was electric in Volusia, Fl. I found myself getting closer and closer to the fence. Quickly I realized I would need a hat and jacket to keep myself protected from the clumps of mud flying from the powerhouse cars as they passed. Before long, I was laying on the ground, dirt flying all around me, it was great! I had people coming up to me after heat laps asking me who I worked for….I guess a gal down in the mud was less common than one might think. I answered with an excited smile “Strange Oval!”, and off to find a closer spot I went.
Just in time for the feature late model race, I managed to get inside the fence, down on turn four in prime position for some close up racing action! Media staff scattered the fence; everyone hoping to get the perfect shot of the night. I was high with adrenaline, covered in dirt and dust, and hooked already. I scurried my way past the retainer wall and situated my camera to where I thought I could get a good angle. I was so excited and filled with an unexplained anticipation that I had not ever experienced! With my camera in place, I plugged in my earplugs and watched in adoration as the four wide salute began!
It was perfect! No delays, no caution laps, just perfect execution of dirt track racing at its finest! I was lost in the moment, it flew by in seconds! Watching Scott Bloomquist glide through the race with the expertise of an Olympic skier; he took down name after name, hugging and gripping his way to the top. Such big names speeding past me, I felt like I was in the “eye” of a tornado of speed! Bloomquist raged on, passing by dirt late model legends Dale McDowell, Eric Wells, and then Billy Moyer midway through for the lead. Bloomquist never looked back, gliding around lapped traffic and right into victory for the win! I let out an excited yelp and rushed for my camera after the last of the late models had slowed, anxious to see if it were half as good on the lens as it was in the flesh! To my amazement it actually was! I could hardly contain my excitement as I rushed off the track to my computer to upload it, it just got better and better! I can only say that I hope you get a feel for the absolute adrenaline that these dirt track races instill in you by watching. But in all honesty, in order to feel the excitement, to feel the anticipation and the thrill that these races have to offer, I suggest everyone go..as in go now! Get online and find out when the next dirt track event is in your hometown, grab your friends, grab your date, grab your family and get out there!