For as long as I can remember I have had a need for speed.
Of course as a reporter working on deadline speed is an essential job qualification.
In terms of breaking news there is the speed of needing to be first on the scene when the story is breaking to be able to interview all of the main subjects.
Once back in the office, speed is essential in order to get the story written by deadline to ensure that the story makes the next day’s paper.
There is no worse feeling as a journalist than to be scooped by one’s competition so the need to be first is critical.
During my journalism career I never missed a deadline and often scooped the competition.
This attention to deadlines and speed is a part of all of my endeavors and can be both a blessing and a curse.
Once in a while the speed manifests itself in going too fast on the highway which can sometimes result in a chat with local law enforcement and online defensive driving school.
Other times the speed manifests itself in reading something faster than those around me. Although I was never formally trained in speed reading I have found that I can read and comprehend things very quickly.
In school I was often the first student to complete their assignments which led to a lot of idle time waiting on my slower classmates to finish their work.
I was not necessarily trying to finish before everyone else but it just turned out that way.
So throughout my life the love of speed and the quest to go fast has been harnessed in mostly constructive ways.
While my speedy mannerisms have not always been embraced by those around me this weekend I will be around a group of people who also shares the need for speed when I attend a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway outside of Fort Worth, TX.
The track is around four hours away from me and of course I try to break my personal best time to get up there whenever I make the drive.
Realistically I could probably make the drive in a lot shorter amount of time but there are so many cool places that I like to stop along the way so four hours is a good goal to meet.
For those who have never experienced a NASCAR race in person it is truly a sight to behold. If one were to go purely with the goal of people watching in the grandstands they would not be disappointed as there are so many things to see.
The fact that there is a race to watch as well is just icing on the cake.
From the sounds of the cars as they pass by at close to 200 miles per hour to the smell of the burning rubber there is just something about seeing a race in person.
Of course, television still offers the best vantage point for seeing the entire race since views are limited when seated in person but I highly recommended that everyone experience a race in person at least once.
This will mark my fourth visit to this particular track since moving to Texas with the last visit occurring in 2011.
The race was delayed by rain the first year I tried to see it so I was unable to watch the cars go fast. I had better luck the second and third visits to the Texas Motor Speedway with sunny skies and fast cars as far as the eye could see.
The weather forecast this time calls for similar conditions come race time so I am hopeful that once again I will be able to see the cars go by at full speed.
And as was the case during my last visit to the track in 2011 I will be sitting on the front row where I will likely have rubber that has worn from the tires and created “marbles” on the track land on me. Having actual debris from the cars land on you is definitely something that cannot be experienced by watching the race on the couch at home.
So if you happen to be watching the race this weekend and see a really happy person covered in tiny flecks of Goodyear Racing Eagles there is a strong possibility that it could be me.
Of course it could just as easily be one of my couple of thousand new friends who are checking out the scene as well.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a race to get to.
Copyright 2013 R. Anderson