The first car I bought with my own money was a Ford. A bright blue 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 2-door coupe, to be exact, purchased from an ex-boyfriend’s mom (hello awkward, meet Alex).
I loved that car and all it symbolized. Every mile was mine. Every dent. Every oil change. Everything it needed and everywhere I went that Ford was my American-made car.
I held on to my Ford Escort long past its practicality. I was married with 2 children before I finally accepted that I needed a 4-door car made in the same decade as my children. After some debate, my husband and I also decided to buy the most eco-friendly car we could afford, and at the time, I was enamored with a he-who-shall-not-be-named hybrid. So I left my blue Ford Escort and Ford Motor Company behind.
Miles and years later news broke that the Ford Fusion Electric car would be the pace car for the NASCAR® race in Richmond. An electric car driving on the Richmond International Raceway? Did someone know I’m being forced to become a race fan?
I attended to my first NASCAR race just seven months earlier. My son and I cheered for “the blue car.” I’m a Connecticut Yankee who only knows football. However, I watched my son fall in love with racing in September, and I knew that I needed to learn more. Such as terms like “drivers’ meeting” instead of “players’ meeting” to keep myself from embarrassing him down the road.
After much debate about the weather – which was having a hard time deciding between rain and not – and a ride around the track with Brett Bodine that was terrifyingly fast, I met the Ford Focus Electric pace car. Yes, I’m nerdy enough to just want to meet hip new cars, but I also had a personal agenda. I wanted to know if I could make the jump from my hybrid to an electric car. Or even more radical, could my family dump our other traditional car and be completely eco-friendly?
I think we could. The Ford Focus Electric didn’t scream “I’m owned by a hippie,” which is a plus for me since I don’t need any help not fitting in. The car looked good. The only thing I noticed was that it was completely silent. And it plugged in like a laptop computer. I was falling in love.
I’ll admit it though: The pace car looked best when Carl Edwards was in the first spot behind it probably, because watching the race from his pit box made me a Ford Racing fan for life.
My son may never forgive me for not being able to take him, and I may never forgive myself for having to finish watching the race at home. Let it be known that when I left, Carl Edwards was still in the lead. Which I’m pretty sure translates to: If anyone at Ford needs me to bring good luck in the future, I’m available with a 5-year-old assistant. We may even show up in an electric car.
Bio: Alex Iwashyna spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it’s serious) about life, parenting, marriage, zombies, culture and religion with special appearances by aliens, alienation and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She has a muse of a husband and two young kids who are Southern but not rude. Yet.
Photography provided for this article by www.pink-photography.com.