Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Scenes from NASCAR

72 hours. How much can you fit into that timespan? Let's see.

First twenty-four hours:
A 5:30 a.m. flight through Phoenix to Atlanta. The world's most competitive game of Cranium on the flight, which I still believe I won. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. A 115+ mph adventure to find Cracker Barrel for breakfast in the evening. Learning that driving that fast with the top down on the convertible might cause you to lose your sunglasses. A cool country-western themed dinner at the Hilton (complete with pulled pork and hush puppies) hosted by Bass Pro Shops, featuring Richard and Kyle Petty. And a sweet little race track that you could drive remote control cars around...and yes, I won the race. A few guys from Kentucky, who while pretty amusing, didn't think anything of calling later that night at 4:00 in the morning, just to see what was going on. Finally falling asleep around 3 or 4 a.m. - depends on when you switched the clocks back for daylight savings!

Second twenty-four hours:
Making it back to the Hilton by 7:30 a.m. to take the police-escorted motorcoach to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Breakfast and a cool pit tour (see the slides above) of the race pits. Seeing all kinds of drivers, mechanics, and cute team members preparing for the race. Creating our own pit tour and hanging out there until after the start of the race. Seeing all these drivers and teams that I'd only read about in my Nascar For Dummies book...right up close! It was loud. So very very loud. Sometimes, you wished for a crash so the yellow flag would slow things down. (How horrible is that?) Watching a whole race (3+ hours!) in the sunshine with over 125,000 other people, actually starting to understand just what was going on...seeing Carl Edwards win in the last few laps...and his backflip out of the car to celebrate...

In the slideshow...a few cool things:

  • The pic of me smiling with the checkered background is me IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE! How sweet is that?!?
  • Michael Waltrip is stretching out before the race (in the NAPA racing gear)
  • Seeing lots of peeps from Enumclaw boy Kasey Kahne's family...
  • There's a cool pic of me with the US Army car (props to my cousin Zach, who is in the Army ROTC - this photo's for you!)

The third twenty-four hours:
Sleep. Lots of sleep. Lots and lots of it. I was tired. Lunch at Panera! Oh so yummy! A drive-by tour of the Martin Luther King Historical Park. Flying standby coming home, and offering prayers to Our Lady of the Airways, so I could get home earlier...and I did, by nearly six hours!


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