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NASCAR racing is in the DNA of FOX8 Sports, and now, after covering the sport for 30-plus years, it is my DNA. People look forward to spring during cold winter days. I look forward to going to Daytona to cover the 500 and the first race of a new season. There is so much to be excited about in 2022. NASCAR is going to a completely redesigned race car that should enhance the competition. The hope is it will bring the cars closer together giving more drivers an opportunity to win. I really hope that is true!

The roots of NASCAR run deep in the Piedmont Triad. From the King, Richard Petty, to the Labonte Brothers, both NASCAR champions and Hall of Famers, to Richard Childress Racing and his long history with the late Dale Earnhardt. FOX8 has been there covering these teams and bringing their stories to local fans who love the sport for years.

I get asked often about going to Daytona and what my favorite moment has been. I have several.

Kevin Harvick beating Mark Martin in a photo finish is one, but I really love an underdog story. Trevor Bayne’s upset win for the Wood Brothers and Michael McDowell winning last season are my favorites because the raw emotion and joy was so evident. Will there be an upset winner this year? I kind of hope so.

Being there two years ago when Ryan Newman was involved in that horrible crash is a race that I will never forget. You could feel the uncertainty, the uneasiness in the air, until it was announced that he had survived the crash. You just don’t forget things like that. Every time I see a replay I’m amazed Newman is still with us!

We work long days to cover Daytona and I stress “We.” FOX8 has a great team headed to Daytona, and our sole goal is to bring the best, most interesting and relevant stories to you. In addition to our daily content, FOX8 has specials where we get to do just that. This Friday at 7 p.m. is “Countdown to the 500,” and on Sunday at noon we have the “Countdown to the 500 Live.”

FOX8 is your home for NASCAR, and we are proud of it!

– Kevin Connolly, sports anchor