Sunday night’s race in Charlotte before Memorial Day featured over 6,000 military personnel on hand for several different activities during the Coca-Cola 600. Chris Kyle, a well-known U.S. Navy Seal, was among the camouflage-wearing members.
Since his passing, a movie has been released making the story about his life and death popular. On Sunday, Taya Kyle was on hand to speak about her husband and her new book, American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Renewal. She also revealed some stories about how Chris was not fond of NASCAR when they first met, but came to love the sport.
“When I first met Chris, I thought, ‘OK, here’s this redneck. Surely he likes NASCAR,'” Taya Kyle said. “I was surprised when he wasn’t a big fan at the time. He just said, ‘I don’t know. I just never got into it.'”
All of that changed when he saw a race up close and personal.
“He thought they were such bad asses because one of the guys broke his finger during the change and didn’t stop, just kept going and everything was so precise,” she said. “And then he got to see the strategy behind the race, and he was in love with NASCAR from (then) on. He was a ridiculous fan after that.”
Every fan of NASCAR also has his or her favorite driver. For Kyle, that was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Not only for his driving style, but also his humility off the track.
“Meeting Dale Jr. was really cool to him because there were some high-ranking officials who were in the tent,” she explained, “and he remembered Dale saying, ‘You know, what? They can wait. I’m talking to these guys; these are guys on the ground,’
“That humility and putting off the generals and higher-ups just to talk to the guys serving was really cool.”
Along with her newly-released book, Kyle was also on hand to get word out about the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. She also received the first ever Stonewall Jackson Award from Charlotte Motor Speedway for demonstrating the highest standards of patriotism.
To say that Kyle is a strong woman is an understatement. To say that Earnhardt is just a good driver is also selling him short. Race fans got to find out both over the weekend.
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