I've gotten a lot of questions over my years as a NASCAR reporter regarding some of my favorite things about the sport. One of the most common revolves around my favorite track.
Fans always have a favorite track for one reason or another and I'm sure that they want me to agree with their choice. However, I have favorite tracks based on my personal memories of things that happen there.
I have several places that hold significant importance and memories for me and my family.
Daytona will always be special as the place that I spent every February from birth to about the eighth grade watching my dad run the ARCA series. However, it is not my favorite.
Rockingham always treated me as family in my naive reporter years and many of the people there taught me how to operate efficiently at the race track.
Atlanta will always hold significance after I interviewed Richard Petty in his last race and Jeff Gordon in his first race in 1992. That will always be a special location.
However, if I was to pick a favorite track, it has to be Darlington. The Lady in Black holds some amazing memories for me and I've witnessed many special moments in the South Carolina Sand Hill area.
I remember spending time with Junior Johnson's wife Flossie in the driver's parking just talking about everyday things that go on in a NASCAR family's life on race day.
On another occasion, a friend of mine stopped Cale Yarborough as he headed out to the track for practice just to get a couple of hats signed for me to give to my dad. Cale didn't like it much but, my friend was his PR representative so, she made it happen.
I experienced history being made in victory lane at The Track to Tough to Tame when Bill Elliott won the first Winston Million. I regret to this day not grabbing a few of those Million Dollar Bills falling from the sky for a keepsake.
When Rockingham fell off the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, many of my friends moved to Darlington bringing that down home hospitality with them. In my opinion, the merging of the staff between those two tracks lifted Darlington to a new level.
Darlington always seems to bring surprises. You never know who you will run into at Darlington on race weekend.
A couple of years ago, I ran into David Pearson when he rolled in his famous Wood Brothers No. 21 celebrating his historic career at the track.
Last year, my dad's favorite driver, Cale Yarborough, walked into the media center for a surprise visit. I hadn't spoken to Cale for many years and it was good getting to catch up with him and revisiting some old stories.
So, it's hard to choose a single track as my favorite but, when I look back on all of my experiences, Darlington definitely is at the top of my list.
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