Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I came to blogging through the NASCAR world. Many of my friends who knew me before 1990 would never guess I was a NASCAR fan and many who have known me since 2007 would never guess I wasn't one! Sports were never a must-see for me on television; I preferred family situation comedies, one hour dramas, and, eventually, watching live home shopping television (QVC). Growing up I distinctly remember my father watching The Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons as he waited to get ready for his evening out with my mother for their weekly date nights. Although he watched whatever they broadcast he would become adamant about not leaving while a racing segment was aired. I also remember the Daytona 500 was on each February and my father had himself glued to the set for the entire event. If made no difference in my life except I couldn't watch my programs at those times and I always knew who Richard Petty was.
My father, an avid car enthusiast and race fan, was also a race car driver. In the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA), the same club my husband currently drives, my father has raced for over thirty years with myriad vintage cars that delight him. From Lime Rock, Connecticut to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix he has showcased his cars, run the good race, and brought home the admiration and love of the crowds. Never wanting or portending to be the fastest, my father motors around and races well, puts on a great show, and grapples good-naturedly with his 'competition' on the course.
When Days of Thunder premiered the summer before I moved to Virginia with my husband, my father took me. He was thrilled a racing movie was out and he was not going to miss it! Not knowing anything about NASCAR I was tickled to be asked to attend, but ignorant to the topic. From the opening of the movie to the final sequences I was captivated by the world exposed in the movie. Only later would I come to find out what a "Hollywoodized" version of NASCAR and its season I was shown, but I loved it all the same. Once living in Virginia my husband decided that if he was going to live smack dab in the middle of NASCAR Nation he was going to check the sport out. Tuning in to the last race of the season ender for the 1990 Championship we listened to the commentator explain that driver Mark Martin was the current points leader. A driver named Dale Earnhardt had to lead the most laps and win the race to win the Winston Cup (that's what it was called back then). Loving an underdog to root for my husband and I cheered Dale Earnhardt to victory! We were elated when Dale found himself not only in Victory Lane but also hoisting the Winston Cup over his head. From that point on we were hooked. In the off season my husband learned everything he could about NASCAR. When the 1991 Daytona 500 aired he was a much more knowledgeable and sophisticated fan. I was most interested in the pre and post race interviews.
NASCAR is a sport. NASCAR is entertainment. NASCAR is racing. NASCAR if family. What NASCAR has that other sports do not is a face. Yes, it is a team sport, but the drivers, crew chiefs, car owners, and families all have a face in the sport. Family means a great deal in NASCAR and that is brought to light immediately.
First, there are several generations represented in NASCAR. Knowing Richard Petty's name I was excited to see that his son, Kyle, was also in the field, and at that time winning races. We cheered Kyle Petty and were relieved when he chose to stay the course in NASCAR instead of switch careers and become a Country singer! We mourned when the Petty's lost Kyle's son, Adam, as did the rest of NASCAR. We mourned, too, when the sport lost Neil Bonnet, Clifford Allison, Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, and Dale Earnhardt. We watched a tight-knit family encircle and collectively mourn; competitors on the race course were hugging, openly crying, and finding comfort in one another. This was a small group of people who live their lives in much the same way; whose jobs revolve around racing and entertaining the masses. They live to serve us, the fans. And the NASCAR fans are the most loyal, vocal, and dedicated.
NASCAR charities, The Victory Junction Gang, the Kyle Busch Foundation, and myriad others raise money for children, the ill, and and community improvements. Each driver seems to have his own foundation and they all seem active in other nationally recognized organizations like the Make-a-Wish Foundation. NASCAR fans are exposed to the marriages, births, divorces, and deaths of their NASCAR idols. In football, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc. a few key players may get singled out and the media exposes their personal business, but in NASCAR everyone is accessible. Again, the fan feels a kinship to his/her favorite driver(s).
After the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, I found it nearly impossible to continue watching the sport I had once enjoyed. My husband was still a huge fan and had taken to root for most of the field as he admired them all for their racing prowess. We started to grow apart in this area, which is huge because NASCAR's season is inordinately long.
Around 2005 my husband bought himself a Christmas present on Ebay, an iPod. He downloaded his enormous compact disc collection onto it (it took days) and began to research subscribing to podcasts. In addition to the news podcasts he wanted, my husband looked for NASCAR podcasts to feed his lust for daily NASCAR information. This is when Rowdy came into his life. Rowdy is a NASCAR podcast dedicated to reporting the NASCAR news of the day from the perspective of NASCAR fans. The podcast was informative but also extremely funny and entertaining. By the end of 2006 I would listen to parts of the program.
In 2007 after the airing of the Daytona 500 I noticed my husband had been taking notes on a yellow legal pad. After the race he logged on to his computer and started typing. "What are you doing?" I inquired. "Blogging" was his reply. What?! I was the writer! He explained that his favorite NASCAR podcast was launching a social networking fan site and they had asked their listenership to post blogs about the races. Being a stalwart my husband, known from that point on as Racer 187, heeded the call and began blogging about races, racing, and a lot of technical information I still don't understand. Within a few months, after watching him gain a readership (mostly attractive women), I had developed a relationship with NASCAR again. Commenting about incidents in the Coca Cola 600 from Charlotte post race my husband said, "Alright, that's it, don't just tell me, blog it on Rowdy!". He set me up an account that minute and my life as a blogger, and as Chief 187, the name my husband created for me, began.
Since that night I have posted over 450 blogs at Rowdy. Many of them are about NASCAR and that world, but I found my voice and began blogging about other topics as well. Those topics netted me a loyal readership and led me to this site today.
Without NASCAR there would be no Chief 187. Without NASCAR my husband and I may have drifted so far apart we would have lost each other forever. Without NASCAR there would be no Rowdy, my first online home. Without NASCAR I wouldn't have the amazing online and offline friends that I've made. Without NASCAR there would be no Chief 187 Chatter. Thank God for NASCAR!


  1. Thank you, Buck and Bass, for Rowdy Racing News and!

  2. Amen with out NASCAR I would not know Rowdy and without Rowdy I would not no Tribe 187 ! Eeek !

  3. Two thumbs up for Nascar and ***** for Rowdy