Okay, here I am in Daytona Beach and I want to recap the first week of Speedweeks for me and Carl Edwards. After the so called off time, and several weeks of anticipation, we finally arrived in the heart of NASCAR and completed the first week here in Daytona. The energy has been building for weeks and now we reset and kickoff 2013.
I arrived in Daytona Beach, FL on Wednesday, Feb 13th and got settled into my hotel for a long 10 days. Our first activity for the weekend was a big TV shoot with Fox on Thursday. They have all the drivers shoot different sets for their upcoming races. It was pretty cool. Directly after the FOX shoot we headed to the NASCAR media day. This is 4 hours of interviews with national and local media. It is a long grueling day, but much needed. It’s a day for NASCAR’s partners like FOX, ESPN, TNT, Sirius Radio, MRN, PRN, NASCAR.com, etc… They have all the drivers show up in their firesuits and shoot video for all the upcoming prerace shows and get the audio for radio. They also sat down with the media and caught up on the off season and looked into the future for 2013. For me, getting back to the track for the first time in 2013 is like the first day of school. You see everyone again and catch up.
The weather is actually been pretty cool down here and the wind has been whipping across Lake Lloyd in the infield making it even chillier, but the fans are trickling in to town and you can see and feel the excitement that surrounds the Daytona 500. We had plenty of fans in the fan zone and Carl and I saw plenty of fans wearing their 99 colors proudly. At one time we saw about twenty fans wearing the Blue Team colors and when they saw Carl they rushed to him to get autographs and pictures.
The Daytona experience has started out kinda rough for the old Fastenal “Blue Team”. They got caught up in a wreck in the first practice, so our day was cut short. The rest of the week was very positive. We made it through the Unlimited unscathed and ran well. Carl said he learned a lot for the Duels and 500. Before the Unlimited, Carl and I got to spend some time with about 40 Fastenal employees and vendors for a question and answer session and a group photo. It is always great meeting the guests that come out with the sponsor. Seeing that type of support always builds motivation for the upcoming race.
I’m going to have to leave you here, because I am headed over to Carl’s motorcoach to pick him up for qualifying for the Daytona 500. Catch up with you next week.