Boy, was I wrong.
This past weekend I headed down to Phoenix, Arizona to cover the USO’s presence at the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Phoenix International Raceway and got a true education about all the complexities and strategy that goes behind the sport. And yes, I said sport, you read that right.
After spending a full watching all they do out there on the track and talking to the drivers and pit teams, my opinion on whether or not to call NASCAR a sport has changed. It is totally a sport that requires quite a bit of strategy, team work and physical preparation.
Chess, however, is still not a sport. Sorry.
Anyway, the entire reason why I had the wonderful opportunity to jet to Phoenix was because Trevor Bayne, who drives his No. 6 Ford Mustang for Rousch Fenway Racing, featured the USO logo on his vehicle this weekend in honor of Veterans Day this week. In addition to having the USO logo on his far, Bayne also had Medal of Honor recipient Fred Ferguson’s name on his passenger door — something that I understood is very, very special in NASCAR and doesn’t happen very often at all.
While the weekend was a total blur (I was shooting photos and videos — fellow media people know doing both at the same time is craaaazy), I honestly enjoyed my time on the track.
I was surprised at how friendly and down to earth almost everyone I met was, including Trevor, who’s my age. Plus, I think I got some awesome shots and captured some special moments for Fred and the other USO VIPs that were with the group on Saturday. I even got to sit down and talk with Trevor on Friday before the race and snapped this Instavid!
@roushfenway driver @tbayne21 took a moment to thank #troops before this weekend’s @nascar Nationwide Series (NNS) event @phoenixraceway. Bayne’s No. 6 @advocare Ford Mustang will feature the USO logo and the name of Medal of Honor recipient, Frederick Ferguson. #usomoments #military #militaryappreciation #nascar #racing #RFRdriven #phoenix #latergram
You know, I think that there’s always something special to be learned from veterans and older people in general. All too often, I think people discount the elderly and their tales, or only remember those who served twice a year.
Meeting Fred and seeing how much he enjoyed Saturdays events — meeting people, being honored by a standing ovation, seeing his name on the car — was a nice reminder to continually say thank you not only to veterans, but people in general, a bit more than we already do.