Friday, July 18, 2008

At the races... Yeehaw!!!

After torturing me for 2 days by text message and email about the fact that they were at the NASCAR races at Chicagoland Speedway, Jen and Mo begged an extra ticket from their hosts and invited me to the Sprint Cup race Saturday night. Needless to say, I was out the door in a heartbeat!

The traffic was much better than I anticipated and parking was not bad at all. I was a little worried given all the rain we’d had over the previous couple of days. Jen and Mo met me at the entrance to the infield and we headed over to the Expo area to spend some money. While I was waiting for them, I spotted Jamie MacMurray and Kasey Kahne being driven around on golf carts. On the trek over to the Expo area, Richard Petty passed us. You couldn’t miss the guy in his signature black hat, but of course, Jen and I noticed and Mo missed it completely.

It must have been fate that the first trailer we encountered was a Newman trailer. I got shirts for Marli and me and a sticker for the car. We wandered a bit more, I got stuff for the other kids and then we headed back to the infield. I had no idea what to expect and boy, was I surprised with my first view of the track!

They were in the new Turn 4 area of the infield and I think if I wanted to, I could have spit on the track from where we were. Holy cow! It was amazingly calm around there despite RV’s packed together like sardines in a can. Except for the spot directly across from us; it was empty. I really think Fate was on my side this weekend!

I thought it was loud in the grandstands. Man, was I wrong! It was so loud that we couldn’t hear a thing that was going on. I brought my radio and headphones figuring I could listen to the broadcast on US99 and protect my ears at the same time. No way that was happening. So really, we had no idea what was going on outside of our view, which while nice and close through turns 3 & 4, left a lot to be desired on the other side of the track. It wasn’t a terribly exciting race, no major wrecks, not a lot of bumping and passing. But it was an experience I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. I took pictures of several of the busses for my dad to look at so he can make his own. Though I think after having experienced the race from both the infield and the grandstands, my ideal way to spend time at the track is to camp out/tailgate in the parking lot, but watch the race from the stands.

After the race was over I hung out with Jen & Mo a while since I figured it was silly to fight all the traffic. We wandered all the way around the infield. We saw a bunch of haulers leaving, though none of the important ones (Newman). We saw a massive pile of tires and some of the most bizarre RV/bus setups you could ever imagine. One RV had a slide from the top to get down. A few slots actually had little pools to kill time in. And I saw more bean bags being thrown in one place than I ever have before in my entire life (I have to get a set of those).

Thanks Jen and Mo, I had a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime night!

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Anonymous said...

Glad you able to come to see the race and enjoyed it