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The View From The Track


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Dave Carter



Having been behind the wheel since 2:30AM today, I was eager for daybreak to come and work its rejuvenating magic on the senses. The truck's headlights seemed barely able to penetrate the thick fog that had encased the road during the night, prompting me to back off the throttle in accordance with my own personal rule to never outrun my headlights. If I can't stop within the stretch of road made visible by the headlights, then I'm allowing unknown factors to control my destiny, which doesn't seem especially smart in an 80,000 pound vehicle.







Have you seen a NASCAR race? Television gives only the lightest impression of what the event is really like, and doesn't begin to compare with the sensory overload of experiencing the event in person. It would be like trying to learn what a good gumbo tastes like by looking at a picture in a magazine. At over 2 1/2 miles in length, the track is a monster.




When it came time to roll out the Ride of Pride for the crowd, the reception was heartwarming. Another employee of our company, a retired Army major, rode in my truck as we made our way around the track. The 2012 Ride of Pride, driven by Tony, another Air Force retiree, had a special rider in his truck as well. Sitting in that passenger seat was a 65-year-old gentleman named Larry. Larry served in Vietnam as a teenager. At the age of 19, he received three Purple Hearts during a single combat tour in 'Nam. As down to earth and unassuming as the day is long, it was a privilege to listen to the soft-spoken veteran and enjoy the camaraderie of four vets trading stories and comparing notes from our service. The gentleman riding in my truck, also named Dave, is one of the funniest people you could ever meet. As the video below shows, we enjoyed our lap (though a couple of times, we did forget that we were being recorded).


Remembering an incredible weekend that allowed me not only to represent my company, but to fly the colors on behalf of all who have served as well as their families, it seemed that my cup truly ranneth over this morning as the drums and guitars of ZZ Top rang in the new day to the hard-driving sounds of La Grange.....(Snip)



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