The morning is bright and the day you’ve anticipated for so long is upon you. As you walk through the gates you get a chill; the atmosphere so electric. You step onto the asphalt; you drop to your knees and close your eyes. You touch it and you feel the shiver of history rush through you.
You can smell the ocean and feel the sand that is packed down from tires roaring over it as they race to the finish. A soft breeze tickles your face and the whine of the engines in the distance comes closer. You open your eyes and suddenly the past is all around you.
You see Marshall Teague in his fabulous Hudson Hornet coming toward you as you step off into the grass. Drivers like Fireball Roberts, Fred Lorenzen and the Flying Flocks follow close behind. Scenes from long-ago flash by you; you can feel the drivers’ triumph and defeat.
Then you see it coming off of Turn four; a black car with a white number three and a driver with a grin like no other. Fans and crews all stand as he finally gets the checkered flag that has eluded him so many times before. You feel his joy and happiness so strongly it brings tears to your eyes and for a moment, the sense of tragedy is gone.
Suddenly the past fades away as today’s drivers get ready to run the biggest race of their lives. An image captures your attention and faintly you see him watching his son intently as he climbs into his car.
Engines roar to life and the grandstands shake with energy and anticipation. You’re captivated and holding your breath as laps go by, one by one. You can feel the frustration arise for those who won’t be taking the trophy home this time, the ever elusive win slipping through their hands. Cheers erupt for the winner as the checkered flag falls! The happiness is infectious as the champagne showers the crew members and fans. For one, this victory is special, it’s like no other.
Its history, its present, its future, its magic! It’s Daytona.