If you asked a pollster, they'd probably tell you I'm the last person they'd expect to speak out for a Democratic presidential candidate a few days before the election. I live in a rural part of a conservative state. I'm an avid hunter and fisher. I've voted for many Republicans over many decades. And let's face it -- NASCAR car drivers and Democrats don't usually mix.
But then again, no one expected my state of North Carolina to be a toss-up a few days before the election, either. And yet here we are. So what's going on?
Well, I'm a small businessman and a farmer, and in this economy it's getting harder everyday to get ahead. I know too many hard working folks around here who are worried about keeping their homes, losing their jobs, or struggling to send their children to school.
I respect John McCain and those who support him. But I'm focused on my children, Robert and Meredith. I'm worried about their future. And after the last 8 years, I just don't think we can't afford more of the same.
Barack Obama understands what we're going through and he has a real plan to turn things around. He shares our values -- including strong protection for second amendment rights. And he has the kind of steady hand that we need on the wheel in times like these. I believe that's why North Carolina is finally ready to vote for change -- and it's why I'm ready to do whatever I can to help.
So what can we do? Well, I'm certainly no expert when it comes to politics. But I do know a thing or two about winning close races. Maybe it can help here.
Back in 1960, I had a problem. Corporate sponsors were shelling out big bucks on my opponents' cars -- me and my old Chevy just couldn't keep up. But then one day I discovered "drafting". It turns out that when two cars line up together, they both go faster than they ever could alone. And that's how I won my first Daytona 500.
Now in 2008, America has a problem. Corporate lobbyists are shelling out the big bucks to rig the rules in Washington. Small businessmen like me and regular Americans everywhere are finding it harder and harder to keep up. But this campaign has already shown that what works in racing also works in life: when we line up and move forward together, we can go farther and faster than we ever could alone. And that's exactly how you and I can help win this race.
In these final few days, I'm going to speak out however I can about why I support Barack Obama. And wherever you are, I hope you'll do the same. Maybe you can spend a few hours talking to your friends or neighbors. If you're not in one of the toss-up states, then consider driving over to North Carolina or another state where the election is close. We could sure use the help.
I've been in a lot of races in my life. But I do believe this may be the most important one yet. Because if we put the pedal to the mettle for this final turn, when that checkered flag waves on November 4th we'll win something far greater than any trophy -- we'll win the change our beloved country needs, and the future all of our children deserve.
Junior Johnson is a Hall of Fame NASCAR driver and team owner, named as one of NASCAR's 50 best drivers of all time. He currently resides with his wife and two children in Yadkin County, NC.
This post originally appeared at BlueNC.com.