Short tracks fun in offseason

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The biggest race on the short-track circuit is the Snowball Derby, and Johanna Long won it in 2010.

“Time flies when you’re having fun” is probably the most accurate description for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. While racing is a business and a career, it is important to never lose sight of why I get in that car, which is that I have fun and love doing it.

The NASCAR offseason allows me some time to get away from the business aspect and just focus on racing. I get the chance to drive in small, short-track races that I grew up running in. These races are generally in small towns across the Southeast, with shorter tracks and smaller late-model cars, which have less power than stock cars.

Every racing career starts at these races, and they are still fun to go back to. Many NASCAR series drivers continue to return to their roots of short-track racing even after they have made it to the highest level because, honestly, they are just so much fun to compete in.

The biggest of these short-track races is called the Snowball Derby, which I will be racing in this Sunday. The Derby, as it is affectionately referred to, is one of the most prestigious short-track races in the country and garners national attention, with many professional drivers coming to race. I was fortunate enough to win this race back in 2010, which really sparked my professional career.

Another reason I love this race is because it is held in my hometown of Pensacola, Fla., which gives me a lot of time to spend with my family. That can be tough during the NASCAR season due to traveling across the country every weekend. Being right in my own backyard allows many members of my family to see me race who would not normally get to.

So, although the NASCAR season is over, there is still more racing to do, and most important, more fun to have.

Thank you for following along with me this season. I hope I was able to give you a little more insight into the life of a race car driver.