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Sunday, June 17, 2012

NASCAR and Father's Day; one moment for me

For me, Father's Day and NASCAR is epitomized by one beautiful moment in racing history.

It was February 2008, the year Ryan Newman won the 50th running of the Daytona 500. It was the race that illustrated the pride of a father who watched his son's accomplishment. It was a moment they had worked hard for and likely shared since Ryan was a little tyke riding a go kart in a parking lot. Their dream had come true when Ryan won the Daytona 500.

That year Ryan's father Greg, one of the strongest pillars of Ryan's racing career, was his spotter. As Ryan led the pack in the last turn of the first and biggest race of the year, and drove his race car across the finish line to victory, it was a triumphant moment shared between this father and son.

Greg Newman was on the radio, his emotions raw, just like the rest of Ryan's fans who also felt jubilation that day. The exhilaration was palpable as we held our collective breaths as our driver won the biggest race of the year. Not only was this the Daytona 500, but it was a landmark anniversary of the storied race.

It was especially poignant that Ryan and Greg shared that moment together. Because this was a family experience, it was all the more special.  All of us who root for Newman each week felt like members of the Newman family that day. It was certainly a day I will always remember.

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