NASCAR 2013: Let's get it started

It’s official ... spring is right around the corner. How do we know?

Practice begins Friday evening for next Sunday’s Daytona 500! (I betcha’ thought I was going to say something about pitchers and catchers reporting! Sorry, nope.) To 75 million fans nationwide, the sound of racing engines, thrilling finishes and lots of hold-your-breath moments are the true sign that winter is almost over!

The season starts with tremendous buzz. NASCAR fantasy leagues are being set. Las Vegas sports books are setting odds on prop bets. A brand new car will debut this year. A new champion is set to defending his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. We even have two competitors dating each other! This sport keeps surprising even folks like me!

In 2012, the April race at Texas Motor Speedway drew the largest crowd of the NASCAR season -- bigger than even the venerable Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis or the historic Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. The race was, in fact, the second-largest single-day paid spectator event in the United States. Did you catch that? Of the big racing towns in this country -- Daytona, Indy, Charlotte, etc. – more fans came to Texas Motor Speedway than any other last year. Dallas-Fort Worth is racing territory!

I just wanted to encourage you to pay close attention. The green flag on the 2013 NASCAR season drops in just a few hours. We’re only about seven short weeks away from our NASCAR race on Saturday, April 13! The Wild Asphalt Circus is coming!