As you know from via the grapevine, or my mom's blog, I've had the best NASCAR week of my entire life--literally. (By the way, Smoke is Tony Stewart's nickname.)
Back in the beginning of September, I was able to go to a car show at Kansas Speedway, in the infield. I walked through the garages, thinking to myself that "Tony may have been here!" I walked through the Gatorade Victory Lane...I clearly remember saying to everyone "We (as in Tony Stewart) will be here on October 4th. I can feel it." Honestly, I never suspected to be even remotely close.
On September 30th, which I posted a short tidbit already, I met Tony Stewart. I missed some school for it, put off my homework, and stood outside for 6 hours just to do it. I made new best friends, ones who shared my interests; we connected immediately. It felt like oil and fire, burning up our souls into a friendship with an unbreakable bond. I felt so happy to meet Tony...my driver, my sports idol. He told me liked my shirt (I was wearing one I had made in an art class--it says Respect The Red Fourteen on it.) He looked at me with a smile, just like he did to every one of his single crazed fans. I didn't change his life, nor did he change mine, but, this experience did. Besides seeing myself on the 10 o'clock news being the "ring leader of the crazed Tony Stewart fans" as my father put it, I was excessively happy. "This week could never get better" I thought to myself, however, I was clearly mistaken.
October 4th came around--the biggest day in my lil redneck heart. Mounted up with my sandwiches and best friend, we drove to the track. I felt as though I had been stranded on the road, and that I was finally coming back to the mothership. The flags of the drivers, the smell of the tailgaters and rubber...I felt at home. Sporting my new Tony Stewart shirt, I watched my race. Tony was up in the front of the pack the entire race, and was able to snag first position towards the remaining 20-15 laps of the race. With Jeff Gordon fans cheering on as their rainbow warrior was seen in our rear view mirror, Tony held him off. My excitement was exponential as I screamed my driver to victory. All of us Stewart fans bit our nails down to a stub as we watched our friend hold off the looming 24, and all of us rejoiced. Poor Tom probably has a bruise because I was so excited I hit him.
I will never, ever forget this experience. "Aubrey, you couldn't have staged this any better," my teacher said to me this morning. What are the chances that the same week I meet Tony Stewart, he goes and wins the race I'm at? Talk about some serious "God Loves Me" luck! :)