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March 27, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, February 22nd 2014 at 11:00am

Davis' Daytona Diaries: Seizing the moment

By Katie Davis Staff
click to enlarge
Waiting outside the ESPN truck for Joie Chitwood III, president and CEO of the Daytona International Speedway
I knew this after the first 24 hours in Daytona: our access was limited.

Unless your name accompanied ESPN, MRN, PRN or F-O-X, you were confined to only certain places.

No press-conference rooms, no pit road, no hauler or garage access.

I knew something else too, however: sometimes you’re going to feel an uncomfortable tug to take a chance and it’s because you’re in the right place at the right time and opportunity has cometh.

The day started as it did Thursday, with an early-morning jaunt by myself and Rebecca Cameron to the Daytona International Speedway.

(Want to see what it looks like in the pre-dawn hours? Check out this video:

After the sun rose, I went to the media center to get my fifth cup of coffee (but who’s counting) and while in their, I glanced at an agenda for the day.

Joie Chitwood III, president and CEO of the Daytona International Speedway was giving his state of the track address: Daytona Rising.

There’s a lot of construction going on around the Speedway, the intricacies of which I won’t get into here, but suffice it to say it’s a millions-upon-millions investment and will enhance an already phenomenal fan experience. Thus, a state of the track press conference (which as mentioned before we wouldn’t be allowed to witness) was apropos.

I exited the media center and saw a man walking towards the ESPN truck to my left, so in my usual subtle manner I approached him and said, “who are you?”

“I’m Joie Chitwood,” he replied.

“Score,” I thought.

His hour, from 7-8, was filled with interviews…ESPN, MRN, PRN and F-O-X, but I wanted one for W-D-U-N, so I simply asked the question: “Any chance I could get a couple of minutes with you?”

“Wait here for me,” he said, “and walk with me when I’m done with ESPN.”

So I did, and he followed through, and what occurred next was two minutes of someone not caring that we weren’t one of the “big boys.” He was engaging, he wasn’t dismissive or rushed; he gave me the time he didn’t have.

Uncomfortable tug, right place, right time, opportunity seized.

Link: Check out pictures from our first 24 hours in Daytona
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