'It was cool' being close to president at NASCAR race
Let me start by saying this, "I love Daytona Beach."
I've been going to the Daytona 500 for the past 23 years and have run into many different situations at the track.
Do you remember when President George W. Bush attended the Daytona 500 back in February of 2004?
I remember it well for several reasons.
The security in and around the race track was unbelievable.
There were snipers on the rooftops all around the speedway and many Secret Service men and police officers on the ground.
I was with my husband, Charlie, my sister, Rene, and her husband, Scott. We were all fortunate enough to have tickets to some of the best seats at the track, which is in the Sprint Cup tower, right on the start/finish line, three rows from the top.
The problem was we had to go through heavy security before we could get to our seats. Many race fans missed the race start because it took so long.
Once President Bush got to the speedway, he went down onto pit road to greet some of the drivers and then gave the command, "Gentlemen, start your engines."
He then made his way to his seat -- in the glassed-in section for VIPs and some NASCAR officials.
When I looked back, he was sitting directly behind me, just a few rows back, and I thought, "Wow, I've never been this close to a president before."
It was pretty cool.
It wasn't the first time a president had visited Daytona Speedway.
I wish I had been there for that one. In the future, if a president were to decide to visit the speedway and you're going to be there, get there early.
The Sprint Cup guys are in Kentucky Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.