Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A different kind of NASCAR race

Since I have a day off from running today (and because I am tired of discussing the weather), let's talk about NASCAR!

I fully admit that am a NASCAR fan. I know what you are saying. You are saying, "Jean, how can a sophisticated gentleman such as yourself be a NASCAR fan?"

I know, I can't really explain it either.

I think it was partially due to frustration and boredom with watching the pathetic Minnesota Vikings, but I tuned in to NASCAR about 5 years ago and got hooked. Face it, race cars are cool! There is a lot of drama in racing, so it is never boring, and the season-long points race creates a lot of excitement. Watching NASCAR in high-definition is amazing, and the fantasy leagues are a lot of fun as well (I am currently in two different leagues). And it is nice to watch a sport where the athletes aren't constantly getting arrested or accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs. :)

The drivers are pretty entertaining characters, and most of them seem like they are really good guys away from the track. Take Kyle Petty, for instance.

Kyle and his wife, Pattie, started the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp in North Carolina for seriously ill children. It provides opportunities for the campers that they might not get to experience otherwise, allowing them to simply be kids and have fun, but in a medically safe environment.

The camp was created in honor of the Petty's son, Adam, who was tragically killed at a race track in New Hampshire several years ago. The NASCAR organization has absolutely embraced this charity and has helped make it quite a success.

Anyhow, the reason I even bring this up is because I just learned today that the Victory Junction Gang Camp is hosting an inaugural half marathon in December. Kyle is an avid runner himself, and he has partnered with John "The Penguin" Bingham to launch this event. The race is to serve as a fundraiser for the camp.

How much fun would this be? Running with Kyle Petty in the heart of NASCAR country to support a worthy cause? I need more money and more vacation time so I can afford to do stuff like this. :)

Until next time,


A quick update: I just found another recent story related the Petty's and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. This weekend, Pattie made her first trip back to the track that took her son's life. And Tony Stewart made another large pledge to the camp. Click here to read this emotional story. Tony is one of the good guys.
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