NASCAR's Toyota Savemart 350, at Infineon Raceway, June 26, 2011.
What can I say? After growing up watching "stock car" racing on Sundays, I lost touch with a sport that became mundane to me, what with all the left hand turns on oval tracks. All the drama didn't interest me, still doesn't, but damn....when it comes down to some fast and loud cars, plus a road course (Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Ca.) I couldn't help it, and decided to go to my first NASCAR event. To be honest, I'm game to watch just about any kind of racing.
(A photo of the bike parked up the hill.
I had a chance to sit in a top fuel funny car, very cool.
And then Steph stood by this wheel for size reference. hahahaha)
For me, if you aren't bringing much with you, riding the motorcycle turned out to be the best. In California, you can lane share to the front of lines, so traffic didn't bug us. Go in thru Gate 1, and immediately turn to the left up the hill. You will see a sign that says "Motorcycle Parking starts here". Park your bike. :) we changed, and off we went to explore.
On the way out, we would ride down and out of Gate 1 as well, and CHP has the lanes well figured out, and honestly, we suffered no slowing due to traffic, thanks to the moto.
I live in an area where NASCAR events get a lot of flack. Racing motorcycles myself, I see why. All I hear is, "they only turn Left, what kind of racers are those" and " they can't turn right, how boring". haha So I called the one person I knew would be down. My friend Steph. Who's usually off mountaineering, and bagging peaks in the snow. We had actually talked about doing this almost 2 years ago. Finally we would be able to coordinate our schedules to go.
She's chinese, and a huge country music, bull riding fan (strange but cool, lol), and also wanted to go to a NASCAR event, so off we went.
I saw this old Ford Galaxie decked out for stock car racing. Very cool. Then we went over where Darryl Waltrip (I remember watching him race, and even remember when he retired) was getting ready to host the intro to the race weekend, with his co-hosts. We got in there and then yelled for the camera. Just look for the beer hats at the beginning of the race events. haha
much like other sports, I'd rather watch in person, and experience it in person.
and let me tell you, NASCAR was very cool. haha I'll go to see them at an oval track as well...hell, I remember watching Dale Earnhardt, King Richard Petty, the Allison's, C. Yarborough, etc... as a kid.
oh, Steph's a huge Car's fan, so we had to stop by the Car's tour trailer. They brought out Lightning McQueen (a remote control full size electric car), pretty cool actually.
Of course, this event would not have been complete, without our beer hats. hahahaha
we were foiled though, as they only sold bottles, but we used them as best we could.
A few photos of the pile up in T7 where we were sitting, after one of the restarts after a yellow flag. They were coming 2 and 3 deep into this turn bumping over the track corners.
1st place: Kurt Busch He dominated the lead throughout the race (76 of 110 laps). This was also Kurt's 1st road course win, in 22 years of racing.
2nd Place: Jeff Gordon, from Vallejo, Ca. just up the road. Probably why he has 5 wins at Infineon Raceway. He came from far behind to reel in the #99 car, and pass him with 2 laps left, for 2nd place.
3rd Place: Carl Edwards, matching his best finish here.
all in all, a great day. Near the end it felt as if it was dragging on some. Next time, I'd probably go and find other seating...which we did with 15 laps left. Turn 9 stretch, has a grassy open seating area. Probably would have been more comfortable here.