When I was a boy, my father would occasionally take me to Atomic Motor Speedway, a dirt track outside of Lenoir City, TN. I loved the loud sounds, fast cars, and the adrenaline rush! Nothing was better than coming home from the track with dirt caked all over my body (to my mother's dismay).
Years later, after getting settled in Columbus, I decided to pursue racing as a hobby. I attended the Skip Barber Racing School at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and participated in 6 or 7 IMSA series races. Even though I almost always came in last, I still loved every minute of it.
My amateur racing hobby came to a screeching halt after the Columbus 500. My car spun out right in front of the grandstand (which I thought was really cool). After the race, my father looked me right in the eye and said he'd disown me if I continued racing! He told me that I had a family and a zoo to take care of, and that I was by no means a skilled or professional driver, so I should stick to what I was good at! So that was the end of that, but I still love the sport.
When Nationwide Insurance asked me to attend the Nationwide NASCAR Series race in Sparta, KY, I jumped at the chance!
Though I haven't raced in years, I still loved going to the track in Sparta. Here are a few of the photos - it was thrilling to meet the drivers and watch the race. My grandkids came with me and had a ball too!