Monday, September 20, 2010

Racing Ticket: My Special Item

Snooping around my kid's computer recently, I found this little gem. It was written by my oldest son for a school assignment.

The tradition continues...

Racing Ticket: My Special Item

by Ricky Johnson

Ever since I was little, I was fascinated with race cars.

I loved how fast they were, and how they looked.

Unlike most people that liked NASCAR, I liked Indycar.

The cars were faster, and looked to me, more awesome.

My dad shared the same interest with me, as he lived less than a mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he grew up.

One day when I was around ten, he asked me if I wanted to go to the Indianapolis 500 with him, as he had tickets.

I excitedly said yes, and then we made plans to go.

The day we went to the 500 for the first time I will never forget.

I have my special item, the ticket, to remember it by.

On the morning of the race, we woke up at around five and started packing things that we would take to the race: food, sunscreen, drinks, and the like.

We got into the car, and drove to Speedway in my dad’s gray Cadillac.

We stopped at my dad’s friend Kevin’s house, and watched the people walk by.

I laughed so hard when someone set a wallet with a string attached in the street and pulled on the string when someone bent down to get it.

Once it was almost time for the race to start, we headed to J Stand, which was in the last turn of the track, turn four.

These were and still are possibly the best seats at the track.

You can watch the cars going into the corner from the backstretch, and you can watch them go into the pit lane or down the front stretch.

We sat halfway up on J Stand, and the buzz of the crowd assembled there was enormous.

Everyone was excited for the race to start, and once the national anthem played and was finished, everyone started cheering.

When the person said to start the engines you could hear the engines through the speakers drowning out the cheers, because they were so loud.

The cars rolled out onto the track, and I watched them go around on their pace laps.

I knew the race was about to start, and I was excited.

The next two to three hours I will never forget.

On the final pace lap, the cars sped up after going through the fourth turn, and the crowd went crazy.

As the race went on, I was continually mesmerized by their speed, and how they could take such corners so easily.

Whenever I got hungry, I ate cold chicken strips, which may be the best food ever when at the track.

We talked with the fans around us, and made new friends.

Near the end of the race, the drivers got a little more frantic, since winning the 500 is a major accomplishment.

The crowd was on their feet for the last 25 or so laps, watching the passes, and once or twice, the crashes that came from the craziness of the drivers’ moves.

Throughout the race, I wanted Helio Castroneves to win, because he was my favorite driver at the time and he had an orange car, which is my favorite color.

o his and my satisfaction, he won, and made my experience all the better.

I was excited that he won, and I cheered for him as he took his victory lap.

Eventually, people started to leave, but since my dad didn’t want to deal with the traffic, we sat up there for a while longer.

We talked to people, and I thought back on how awesome of a time I just had.

We eventually left, and headed over to my grandma’s house, less than a mile from the Speedway.

I love my grandma, and she is very nice, so it was nice talking to her.

We spent the night, and then headed home.

Once we got home, my dad handed me my ticket stub.

It looked like all of the normal race tickets: it had the seat number, stand number, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo, and a picture of last year’s winner.

Although it was just a normal ticket, it meant a lot to me from then on, and I put it in a drawer where it couldn’t be damaged.

To this day, that ticket is one of my most favorite items.

It helps me remember the times I have been to the track.

It also reminds me of my dad, because every time we go to the track, it’s my dad that always brings me.

I love going to the track every year, and I hope it can continue in the years to come.