Who Won The Race At Texas Motor Speedway? [Answered!]

After months of waiting, the day had finally arrived for my big-city girl dream to come true. I could feel the excitement even before the wheels of my rented red Corvette turned in the direction of the gleaming lights that were a sign of what was to come.

My family and I had driven all the way from Philadelphia for the big race. My dad was in his usual spot in the front row, camera in hand, as I took my place inside the cockpit of the beast that is a Corvette.

The Texas Motor Speedway was a site I had heard about since childhood. Even now, almost 40 years later, I can still remember the pictures that filled my mind whenever I thought about the place: the flashing lights, the deafening noise, and above all, the sense of thrill that I got just by being there.

The fans lined the banks of the freshly mowed Speedway. They were there to watch the race that would define their childhoods — the 500-mile, half-mile, quarter-mile and eighth-mile Monster Energy NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series races. A veritable cornucopia of spectator sport, the smell of burning rubber and gasoline, the excitement in the air… it was all there. And I was going to be a part of it.

Even now, whenever I think about that weekend, my heart skips a beat. The anticipation was almost more than I could bear. The night of the race, I could not sleep a wink. Finally, with the morning coming, I had to admit to myself that the dream was finally going to come true.

I parked the car, grabbed my camera, and made my way to the grandstand. As I got closer, I could already make out the figures of my dad and uncles. They were huddled together, their heads bent low over a piece of cardboard. When they saw me coming, they stood up and waved. I grinned from ear to ear, as I made my way to the spot next to them. We were going to be close, but still had a long way to go before the starting grid was ready.

Getting Ready

As the grandstands came into view, I noticed that the place was abuzz. You would have thought that somebody had just won the lottery or been appointed to the position of Pope of the Church. The atmosphere was electric. This was going to be fun.

My sister Amy and I got out of the car and stretched. The morning air was cool, but felt good. We were excited, but knew we had to remain composed. There were people around us, but we still needed to look relaxed and in control.

After helping my dad and uncles duck into the narrow spaces between the seats, I noticed that a man in a checkered suit was heading in our direction. He was smiling, and I could sense that he was going to say hello. Then he stopped, stood still for a moment, looked away, and continued on his way. A few moments later, he returned and repeated the same routine. This man was clearly not happy, and it was our job to make him smile. We watched as he approached closer, then stopped and turned around. He was now only a few yards away and I could see that he was carrying a small case. He took a step forward and opened the case, which apparently contained a laptop. As he plugged it in and turned it on, the room grew quiet. The motorsports gods were listening and watching, and we were about to get our just rewards.

The Start

The lights were dimmed, and there was the wave of the yellow flag as the starters made their way to the grid. I could see Casey Jones climbing out of his car. Soon, all the vehicles were ready, and there was a brief pause before the roar of the engines filled the atmosphere. On my right, I could hear the excited chatter of my family. My dad was holding his breath, seemingly waiting for the starting bell to ring. Then, all of a sudden, the yellow flag came down, and the drivers were off. It was now or never. The red flag came down a few moments later, and we were off to the races. My dad let out a sigh of relief. We were off to the start of what was hopefully going to be a long and prosperous racing career. This was our time to shine. We were pumped.

The First Half-Mile

As we made our way around the track, I was awed by the grandstands. It was a visual beauty, the combination of colors, the people, the noise… it was all incredible. My dad and uncles were on my right, and I was taking pictures on my left. Amy had her eyes closed, probably focusing on what was going on in the race, while my sister Kara and I were talking and giggling like teenage girls. It was all so exciting. This was one of the greatest sporting events, if not THE greatest sporting event, of my entire life. I had done everything I had ever dreamed of doing. My dad was proud, but there was still the nagging feeling that maybe he had done this all for my benefit. It was true, of course. I had driven well, had good pace, and had even passed a few cars. That last factor was a huge deal for a 14-year-old girl who had only driven go-karts. This was my proving ground, and I had just proven myself. I was ready for the pros.

Getting The Call

After the first half-mile, the cars settled into a comfortable pace, and I was able to take a break from photographing to watch the action. I was sitting directly behind the grandstands, which are made of concrete and steel. On the fourth or fifth lap, I could see a man in a white suit walking towards me. He was waving something in my direction. When I saw what it was, my heart skipped a beat. It was a business card, and he was beckoning me to come over. I stood up, and despite the fact that I had just participated in the biggest race of my life, I took the card and followed the man in the white suit to a nearby table. He pointed to a booth, and when I looked inside, there sat two huge figures. One was wearing a suit, the other a T-shirt and jeans. My heart sunk.

“Hi. My name is Jay Shiller, and I am an agent with Octagon Sports,” the man in the suit said, holding out his hand. “We heard about your experience, and would like to represent you.” I felt a tiny twinge of pride that they had heard about my experience, then instantly felt deflated that it was over a sports agent. They must have been talking about another little girl who had driven up from Florida. An agent… like Mr. T and the suit, I was going to have to do this the easy way.

“I have my dad and uncles with me. They also drove up from Florida. I am sure they would like to meet you, too.” I knew that if I wanted this job, I was going to have to play it dumb. There would be no shortcuts. After all, I had just done something that I had dreamed about since I was a child. I shook the agent’s hand and flashed an apologetic smile, then turned to my father and uncles. “Dad, don’t you think it’s about time that I did something that I had always wanted to do? I drove across the country. It’s about time that I got a taste of the good life.” They both nodded in approval as the agent stood up. “I’ll get your dad’s contact info, and you can give them a call. In the meantime, it’s been fun. Thanks for listening.”

The man in the white suit stepped out of the booth. He had a slight smile on his lips, as if he had heard something amusing. When he saw me, he laughed out loud and shook his head in mock amazement. “I’m sorry. That was very funny,” he said. “You have a very nice smile. You ought to carry that with you everywhere you go. It’ll get you a lot.”

“Thanks,” I replied, giving him an innocent look. “It’s a gift.” I watched as he walked away. I was going to have to get used to men telling me that I had a nice smile. It was going to be a busy day.

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