Once upon a time, a young girl went on an adventure, and a big one at that. This young girl walked into the world of gas fumes, burning rubber and screaming fans and her life changed forever. With her dad by her side, a young girl discovered the world of IndyCar and never looked back.
That young girl is Christie Mack and that IndyCar race that changed her life was none other than the Indianapolis 500 in May of 2006.
What was it about the Indy 500 that changed Mack's life?
"I just fell in love with the entire atmosphere," she said. "I was absolutely hooked to IndyCar since that day" and it didn't take her long to discover the world of NASCAR after that.
"To me, the blur of colors, mixture of fumes and burnt rubber, and the cheers of thousands of fans mixed with the roaring engines, were something I never wanted to be away from," she said in her personal blog "Chasing the Checkered" (find it here).
Since that fateful day in 2006, Mack's world has been nothing but life in the fast lane. When she had the opportunity to speak with IndyCar's Martin Plowman, the advice that he gave her has carried her to great heights.
(Martin) told me that I had to be a "polite pest" and get my name out there. He explained that racing is like a family, and they don't welcome outsiders very often," she said. "You have to be known, to become known."
Mack took that advice to heart and started putting her name out there for the racing world to see. Then in June of last year, her hard work paid off. After noticing a post about an internship within NASCAR Spotter Mike Calinoff's new company 140BUZZ, Mack reached out and applied. Within a week, she got the reply she was hoping for, a offer for the internship.
Since being a part of 140BUZZ, Mack has had many more opportunities come her way, including an all-access pass to the 2013 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway where she was able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of NASCAR.
Most recently, a call from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the very place where she fell in love with racing, has asked her to be a VIP member of their Social Media Garage for the upcoming SuperWeekend.
"I would get all access," she said, "as long as I promoted the weekend on my own Twitter and Facebook pages as well as a blog."
One thing is for certain, this will be an experience she will never forget.
All of this wouldn't be possible without her family's support.
"They've helped me travel to these places so I can have these experiences," she said. "They've supported me 100% since day one."
Professionally, there are a few people who have really helped her get her name noticed in the racing industry.
"Amanda Ebersole has been a mentor for me," Mack said. "She's taken me under her wing and gave me a chance when I was just a college Sophomore with no real experience. I've grown under her watch and am now where I am today."
One name that is very familiar in the NASCAR Industry is that of Mike Calinoff, spotter for the No17 team in the Sprint Cup Series. He, too, has been a mentor for Mack.
"Mike Calinoff has also been a key to everything that I've done," she said. "He believes in me and is truly a great guy for giving me a chance when I probably wouldn't have given myself a chance."
All of these once-in-a-lifetime adventures have left Mack with a dream for her future.
"My dream," she says, "is to work in racing as a marketing/public relations representative for a team, driver, or track. Really, whatever gets me by those cars week after week."
With all of the big opportunities that have come her way, Mack can't pinpoint just one that stands out the most.
"I can't count the times I have opened my email and found another opportunity that Amanda or Mike or lately, IMS, has sent me that doesn't leave me grinning from ear to ear while I read it," she says, "it has all been a big whirlwind of activities that I pray doesn't end anytime soon."
As she awaits her next big adventure at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mack is certain about one thing, her love for motorsports.
"The truth is, I am not a fan who knows everything about NASCAR or some social media guru. I am just a dreamer and a fan that is passionate about all things racing," she writes on her personal blog.
"The burning desire within me has been inside of every other member of the racing community at some point or another. Now, with this amazing opportunity I have been given (at IMS), I can let the fire loose and show fans a side of the Super Weekend that they would not be able to see otherwise."
Make sure you follow Christie Mack for an inside look at Indy's Super Weekend by checking out her blog, Chasing the Checkered. With big dreams and a bright future ahead of her, this won't be the last you will here of Christie Mack.
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