Today was the day of the Daytona 500, the Great American Race, the first race of the NASCAR season. My heart can once again find its natural pulse, revved by the sound of engines. My blood can course through my veins at its natural speed, pushed through by a draft of cars circling around an oval track.
I love the beginning of the season; there is much to which to look forward. Every Sunday will become a ritual in front of my television. I will become hypnotized by aerial views of the track, where cars look like small colorful boxes, swerving and jockeying for position. The adrenaline rush that puts each driver onto the track will be revealed in the words they choose to swap after a crash. My friends and family will be brought together by tales of swapped paint and botched pit stops.
Of course, the speed is what draws me to the sport, but there is also the science. The science is what made me drool over NASCAR. When I learned about all that goes into the engine to improve the statistics on the side of the driver and his crew. Or, when I discovered that physics is also intertwined into this display of horsepower and torque, I was hooked. It is a display of man harnessing a machine's power.
Thus begins a season of speedways, superspeedways, short tracks and road tracks, evening races and daytime races. In the end one victor will stand among them all. This victor will be declared master of the machine, aka Nextel Cup Champion.
I await each exciting weekend with anticipation, exhilaration.
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