Why I Love NASCAR: Numbers

Do numbers have a signifant meaning? Ask Dale Jr fans after he drove the #3 Wrangler paint scheme in honor on his father, to victory lane in Daytona July 2, 2010
Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
Numbers have never played a huge part of my life, or so I thought. I wasn’t superstitious about any specific numbers; in fact, my husband’s and my first house was a #13! I was blissfully ignorant to the significance and importance of numbers until the fateful day my son was signing up for Cub Scouts in the spring of 2008.

During a warm May Monday evening in 2008, my then Kindergartner son, his father, his baby brother and I, his mother, strolled into an elementary school gymnasium to sign up for Cub Scouts. The leaders in attendance were friendly, enthusiastic and kind. While one engaged my son who would be the Scout, another took my husband and baby boy to get a snack and look at the memorabilia of the Pack that was around. I was left to ask questions of the Pack Master and the rest of the Den Leaders.

My first question was, “What night would the Tiger Den Meetings take place?” This led to a round of twinkling eyes and knowing smiles and a response of, “If YOU were the Den Leader that would be YOUR decision.” Knowing we already had a jam-packed schedule at night I was intrigued. “Well, tell me more about Den leadership,” and thus my fateful journey had begun. Still, I wasn’t convinced until I had learned that the Pack was #88. This was the inaugural year of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports and his first year in the #88. 2008 was also my son’s inaugural year in scouting. Then I asked the question that sealed our fate and made me stop hesitating, “What Den number would my son’s new den be?” I was told, “Den #3.” As a Dale Earnhardt fan since 1990 when I became a fan of the sport this number is, was, and always will be synonymous with Dale Earnhardt. When I put the two numbers together – Pack #88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and Den #3 (Dale Earnhardt) there was no way we weren’t joining scouting. We did and have had myriad great experiences ever since.

Numbers and NASCAR have gone hand in hand in our home since we’ve had children. We’ve taught our children numbers by testing their knowledge of NASCAR team car numbers. “What’s Tony Stewart plus David Ragan?”  “Twenty, Dad” says a little voice. “What’s Jeff Gordon minus Joey Logano?” “Four, Daddy, just like me!” announced our pre-schooler! The third grader knows that Kyle Busch divided by Brad Keselowski equals nine. It’s a great tool and beats the heck out of boring ol’ flash cards!

Once I looked deeply into my relationship with numbers I found I was swayed by them, or at least influenced a little. Three has been my number throughout my life, even before I was aware of NASCAR. I am the third of three children, I did several things 30 years after my parents (graduated high school, graduated college, got married, and had my first child thirty years after they had me), I have three children, and my husband’s and my wedding anniversary is 1/9/93 and my wedding ring has nine diamonds in it (the nines are divisible by 3). This may be mumble jumble to many of you, but to me three has always been a very meaningful number. Liking Dale Earnhardt was destined for me as he drove the number 3 car. And, all these years after his death, the number 3 and NASCAR still weigh heavily in certain decisions. It may not make sense to others, but numbers are yet another reason I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: Numbers Why I Love NASCAR: Numbers Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, March 21, 2011 Rating: 5