Column: Giving up a Sunday for NASCAR

Published 11:41 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2004

By Staff
BROOKLYN - There is nothing more exciting than getting up at 3 a.m. and driving more than two hours just to cover an event.
Most of the time as a sports writer we cover events that are within minutes of our office.
So what would be so important to make me give up sleeping in on a Sunday morning?
Why it's NASCAR.
It's amazing how little traffic there is between Dowagiac and Brooklyn, which is south of Jackson on US 12.
It's actually not a bad drive. There are towns that dot the landscape as you make your way east. Some of them are bigger than Dowagiac, but most of them are smaller and only require a drop in speed rather than coming to a full stop at a light.
You pass through such notable spots as Mottville, the site of a short-track, White Pigeon, Sturgis and Bronson.
Then it's on to Coldwater, which means you are almost there.
Somewhere along the way I had to pass through Allen, which is listed on a sign as you arrive as the Antique Capital of Michigan.
I always wanted to stop there and check out one of the stores which is supposed to carry Christmas items.
I found it interesting that in June when I made the trek to Michigan International Speedway I got to watch the sun rise and actually wore sunglasses for part of the trip.
This Sunday morning, however, I saw dawn coming, but didn't actually see the sun above the horizon until I had arrived at the track.
No sun glasses this time around.
I actually noticed that the days were getting shorter sometime last week. That means that fall is coming and there is no way to stop it.
Despite a cold night, Sunday's weather felt more like summer.
The temperature reached the 80s by race time and under a partly cloudy skies it was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
While coming to the track is fine, leaving it another story all together. Long waits in traffic is something I really hate to do.
My blood is boiling by the time things finally break and I can actually get up to the speed limit.
Still, there is nothing quite like race day.From the time I arrive in the bustling garage area to the drop of the green flag, there is something to do every minute.
Unlike going to a college football game or a professional sporting event, NASCAR is pure action.
I wouldn't give up a Sunday morning for most things, but racing is one of them.
I cannot wait until next June.