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  • kerribmcmullen

It All Began In Section 161, Row 5 Seat 18

The fun week ahead began with Speed Week while working for the NASCAR Racing Experience (NRE) on pit road. I was working a lane and felt very empowered when I learned the spotter I was working with was a female. Logan Miscuraca, races in the ARCA series and in addition to being a spotter at the NASCAR Racing Experience, she is also a ride-along driver. I was ready for a busy day ahead fueled by knowing that there is a place for women at NASCAR. With that being said, I have never felt out of place on pit road at work as everyone is helpful and there to have fun and it is by far one of the most unique part-time jobs that I have ever had. I was definitely looking forward to spending time with them during the 500.

One evening after work, a few coworkers and I headed to the hauler showcase at One Daytona. These rigs were spotless and everyone was excited to see their favorite team haulers (even the ones they did not like). When each semi pulled out of One Daytona, their blew their airhorns as fans were clapping and cheering. I heard a few boos but even when people boo'ed, everyone laughed about it because everyone was simply there to have fun.

After a few busy days as a ride buckler where I was meeting amazing peopl fulfilling bucket list adventures and having fun, I was able to watch the Bluegreen Vacations Duel right from pit road and I could hardly believe where I was standing. I do not have a bucket list, but I do like adventures and having fun, so I could not believe that I was standing not far from where the driver introductions were taking place and my face hurt from a constant smile. After the first Bluegreen Vacation Duel was over, I walked right in toward the end of celebrations for Joey Logano in Victory Lane.

The Daytona 500 was here and I arrived early so I could soak in as much as possible because I knew I did not want to stay for the entire race due to wanting to avoid traffic going home. Little did I know the fun that I was about to have was even greater than expected. There was so much going on that it was nearly overwhelming because I wanted to make sure I was doing all of the really fun things. I could had looked at the schedule with the NASCAR app but I am more of a "wing it" kind of gal.

It started with signing the checkered flag on the track, taking a photo with the trophy, meeting Pitbull, saying hi to Ross Chastain again and watching the 500 right from pit road. I also was able to meet owners, drivers and pit crew. My solo adventure that began in August of 2022 led to a very fun job where I have met interesting coworkers, guests, drivers and celebrities. I wish I could tell you that never in a million years did I see that coming, but I have had my eye on the prize since I sat in section 161, row 5 seat 18 at the Coke 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The adventures are just getting started. Next race, I will be taking my professional camera now I know what to expect.

Working the NASCAR Racing Experience during Speedweek

Because it was Valentine's Day, I had to sport my "peace, love, watermelon" shirt with Chastain's hauler behind me.

Preparing to watch the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 from Pit Road.

Joey Logano in Victory Lane after Duel 1 of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona International Speedway.

I asked the photographer if I could pose this way and was shocked he said yes, so I made the best I could.

My signature on the checkered flag on the track.

Jimmie Johnson right before the 500 was to begin. He has returned as a cup driver in 2023.

Truth be told, this is one of two selfies I took with Pitbull because I am a huge fan.

It was great to say hi to Ross Chastain again ahead of the 500.

Pit Road was packed right before the National Anthem.

These tires are made for speed and traction.

A view of the Daytona 500 during Stage 1 from above the garages.


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