DAY 12 and COUNTING - Feb. 23, 2013 – “Good Morning Daytona!” – a phrase that I’ve been tweeting a lot lately, and to be precise, going on 11 days now. Although some of my fellow PR bubble cohorts are new as well, I still consider myself a newbie to this traveling circus they call NASCAR. The twitterverse has been only a small piece of insight into the industry’s own Superbowl game, better known as the Daytona 50o.
I arrived in Daytona with Kevin Woods, Nancy Padula and Andrea Perry where we kicked off our 12 day stay with a NASCAR PR Summit. As informative as it was, nothing has trained me better than becoming the shadow of Randy Fuller, Carl’s PR rep and a veteran to the Air Force, Carl and the exciting industry of stock car racing. I got to see the typical day of a driver through media day, photo shoots, meet and greets, and multiple interview sessions.
A few RFR colleagues and I ventured to Disney World during one of our off days last week. While the track does prepare you for long days on your feet, nothing compares to President’s Day crowds of kids and families making their way through endless thrills in Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. A particularly fond memory I will bring back with me is when Kevin Woods and I, the two most dedicated rollercoaster riders out there, crafted the “Fast Pass” system to work in our favor.
While we were told to come back for Space Mountain between 8:40-9:40 p.m. a hungry pack of women pressured us for time and with the bat of an eyelash, we snuck in at 7:15. We waltzed out, hair blown back from the midnight wind tunnel that is Space Mountain, ready to grub and get on the road. Once we hopped in the car, as Andrea previously mentioned, us kids fell asleep in the back while Dad (Kevin Woods) returned us to Daytona for a long awaited, peaceful slumber.
Although the 99 Blue Team had its ups and downs through Speed Weeks, going through two cars and multiple repairs, one never knows what that fateful Sunday will hold. As I sit here mentally preparing for the big day tomorrow, I can assure you this: Daytona is unlike any other weekend, track and mindset. When the green flag waves tomorrow, 43 cars will rush towards their dreams of Victory Lane freedom and the badge of honor that is, a Daytona 500 Championship.
Brooks Powell is the account manager for the No. 99 Roush Fenway Sprint Cup team. She joined Roush Fenway last season and is an accomplished theme park attendee and connoisseur of fine roller coasters.