Photo: Jeff Siner email@example.comCan you imagian how I feel? I have lots to tell you about today's race. Promise to continue when I'll have better connection to Internet. Stay tune.
I am back to tell my story of going to Daytona.
The trip to Orlando was plained at last minute. When Michael Waltrip announced he will bring back #15 car to honor Dale Ernhardt in the 10th anniversary of his death in the last lap in Daytona 500 2001. I say OK i am going. I went and it was the most amazing event!
Thanks to my sister we have tickets before i even knew i can get my visa on time. she also ordered for me Michael Waltrip book , his newly released book "In the Blink of an Eye" Dale, Daytona, and the day that Changed Everything. i read the book faster then i thought. i wanted to complete it before going to Daytona on Sunday race. Read more in this link. Buy and read the book even if you are not racing fan!
We have chosen to buy the package offered to have morning fan forum with Micheal Waltrip, i wanted my book autographed by the author/race driver of the #15 on that fatal day in 2001. The book is a must read even if you are not race fan.
Michael Waltrip impersonated Dale SR. Comedian in the house...
Saturday afternoon my sister and i left for Daytona. i was so so excited. when we reached the road close to the DIS we could hear the race car sound! we didn't go to the race on that day. we just wanted to soak in the race town atmosphere day before the race on Sunday.
We have a friend and school mat from our village in Israel living in Daytona. what is better than that? we left our car in his parking, and we headed to town with his car. driving around to look for good food for dinner.
That was not an easy mission. it was speed week in Daytona, the town was packed with fans, and all were hungry like us...we found nice place. had nice dinner. and left to see another family friend. he owns a memorabilia shop in Daytona. Daytona 2000 43 S Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach FL.
Gilbert has an amazing collection of all the cars Dale Sr and dale jr drove. Gilbert grow up in Canada with my late brother in low. he is a wonderful man and loved Dale SR very much! It was great talking to him in my mother tung Moroccan lol...and switched to English from time to time.
Gilbert was so kind to let me take photos of the rare collection, including autographed photos in his office privet collection that covers the wall. many of theme autographed by Dale E.SR.
Sunday race day. early morning wake-up. Again i'm so grateful for everything my sister doing for me, including wake - up early to be on time to meet Michael Waltrip...first i checked that the book is with me in my bag!.
We didn't know how tough this will be! we almost missed the event , but made it finally (breathless) when Michale started his signing session . I stood in the Que for my turn to get my book and cap signed by Dale's SR friend!.
For someone like me who comes all the way from Singapore to honor Dale Sr, that morning was important to see and here someone whose life was changed literally on that fatal day! Michael answered fans Question and was funny...we all laughed when he impersonated Dale SR . Well done Mikey...natural comedian!
thanks Michale It was great pleasure meeting you.
It was very warm day in Daytona. The distance from one place to another was so far. The atmosphere was fantastic. Very colorful fans all over and everywhere. The Que in front of Dale Jr #88 track selling memorabilia was the longest everywhere.
We enjoined every moment despite the heat! now heading to our seats....the race will start soon. i can't wait. It's a big day for drivers and fans alike in Daytona. What a great idea to come . I am so proud of me.... ;)
I must say if not for the morning meeting with Michael , we could of got a better seat. but the package comes with turn two seats which i didn't like at all...But who cares now . I wanted to enjoy the moment! as long as you are having fun and great fans around you the rest can be ignored. we happened to be in great place with all Dale Jr fans. few of KB fans. and some MW fans. So we felt at home! when Kyle b. car pass we heard loud boos around us. My sister din't like it. She say Kyle B is nice so she cheered for him. lol . Kyle you have new fan!
The anthem and the US Air-force Thunderbirds flying over Daytona were a great experience. check the photos it's #16 photo. I don't have good photo of my own.
But the most touching moment for me in Daytona500 was the silent third lap honoring the INTIMIDATOR. Dale Erenhardt SR. all the fans were standing with their arm up and three fingers pointing in the air. I couldn't move or breath, it was very powerful moment of silent, no cameras clicking including me...i wanted to honor him at that moment, i was in a verge of tears seeing what i saw at that moment of silent. So many people were touched, influenced, motivated or their life has changed knowing "The Man in Black " We all miss him. Riding with Earnhardt was Knowing him.
The race was amazing. We were so excited, we cheered screamed every time Dale Jr #88 car and MW #15 passed . We were not alone ...all the stand did the same.
When Michael crash, the couple next to me were so sad. we were sad as well, it was to early. When Dale racked...the lady in front of me cried! Yes it was sad. he was 5th and we hoped for the best, then comes the crash and ended our hope for Dales win! But we all were so happy seeing him running so well among top tens, and leading many laps few times. He was fast and good. We hope this is good sign for this year for him! it was great meeting more of his fans seating around us, we shared our thoughts and feelings as the race progress.
Some short videos from the Daytona 500 race.
#21 Trevor Bayne. Congrats young boy. You are the champion!
As you can see, a picture worth thousand words...you know i enjoyed my time there.