Well, after working with Manuel Labor all week long, over at the "I'm not a smoker, I'm a toker"s house where I am involved in the process of installing a new kitchen in that 56 year old woman's, constructed in 1946, home, this olelongrooffan decided to head out to the track and take in the sights.
Now, I have to tell you, the NASCAR experience is a world apart from the Rolex24 experience and this oleman definitely prefers the latter.
I stopped at MickeyD's out near the track for one of their cheap McDoubles and every one in the place was a tourist, aside from me.
And at 160 pounds, I weighed less than everyone there, including a, looked to be, 14 year old kid. Yeah, everyone there was a biscuit, Grande Style.
So, anyway, this olelongrooffan steered my olestationbus up to that USPS facility a short 12 minute walk from the track and guided my means of transport into that free, at least to those in the know, parking lot and commenced to heading down to the track.
On the way, as with the last NASCAR event I attended, this olelongrooffan strolled down Bill France, Jr. Boulevard past all of those increasingly expensive paid parking lots and just chuckled to myself the whole way.
Once I arrived at the track, I decided to head over to the Midway and see what was up.
As at the July, 2009 race, Chevrolet had a huge presence, including a copy of the new GT2 Corvette of the ALMS series of racing.
As much as this olelongrooffan likes the Rolex Series of Sports Car Racing, the American Lemans Series provides the racing technology that can be applied to street cars across the world. I mean, Audi has won the Championship of this series for many years, IN A DIESEL!!!
This Chevy booth featured a placard displaying the technology this race car has that is applied to the street version of this Corvette. While not a huge fan of Corvettes in general, I like the application of technology this represents.
It is one of General Motors most successful racecar applications of technology around today and is recognized worldwide.
Remember, NASCAR, while still popular, still utilizes old school carburators on their V-8's.
When was the last time you could purchase a new Chevy Impala, or Toyota Camry for that matter, as a non-fuel injected automobile? Just saying...
Anyway, let me step off this soapbox and get back to the midway.
Just down a bit in the Chevy booth, I noticed this. At a distance, it looked to be a pace car with a "500" decal on its side.
Well, I knew this was not the same pace car this olelongrooffan had seen last year.
And, as a car guy, I knew this happened last month.
Well, needless to say, this olelongrooffan had to solve this mystery you Counters out there did not even know was in place.
Well Counters, it seems Chevy has gotten their Camaro as a pace car at the Indy 500 once again.
And an image of the side of their big *ssed transporters.
And a shot of the street version of that famed race car.
This olelongrooffan then moseyed on into the track proper and headed down to a "cold" pit road.
While I was there, introductions for the ARCA Lucas Oil 200 were going on. I have to say this about that, Danica Patrick received the loudest round of applause from the fans in the grandstands, more than any other driver. And, as it turns out, she represented herself well in her virgin closed wheel racing event.
I was able to snap off a couple shots of the fuel inserting devices in this form of racing.
But check out those Gatorade cups in the supply tubes of these cans. Perhaps someone's idea of a joke?
Sure got a chuckle out of this olelongrooffan, that's for sure.
And here is a shot of the office of the crew chief for one of the Toyota teams.
So now Counters, the title of this post comes into play.
For quite sometime now, this olelongrooffan has enjoyed unrestricted access to all parts of the many, many events I have attended at the Daytona International Speedway.
When I step back and look, objectively, at my current access to the 2010 Speedweeks, I am confident there are many out there who would love to have what this olelongrooffan has in his possession.
Free admittance to the ARCA Lucas Oil 200
Free admittance to the Budweiser Shoot Out
Free admittance to the Duels at Daytona
Free admittance to the Camping World 300 race
Free admittance to all of the practice sessions for all of the above mentioned races
Free admittance to the Daytona 500.
And, access to the pits for all of the events listed, but cold pits only.
Now, this oleman in not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but, I am a spoiled Brat.
Those dudes in Daytona Blue Security will not let me into the "Cup" garages, no matter what method of persuasion I enlist.
Yeah, I know, A Spoiled Brat.
So, after having been denied access to any garage area and to the pits while the yellow flag friendly ARCA race was going on and pit access no longer available, and garage access was unavailable to me, and that is where the real backstory is, this olelongrooffan took a look around at my surroundings.
I am standing in the Sprint FanZone, a highly desirable access point for many NASCAR followers, and looking at the tattooed inscribed, Budweiser drinking, NASCAR clad hoons who are frequenting this place, and this olelongrooffan decided to get the H*ll out of dodge and drop off my pass to the Kid who was anxiously awaiting his trip to the Track with thejeepjunkie later Saturday evening.
On the way out, I thought I would pass through the Midway and see what was up.
Toyota had a fairly strong presence and I have included a few images from their booth.
In the following Kyle Busch show car, the driver's door actually opened, and with no roll cage present, NASCAR fans could get into the car and have their photo taken.
I spotted this Camry up on a carousel beckoning all to us FedEx for their latest ebay shipping needs.
And while there were many NASCAR Camry's to be seen, this olelongrooffan did not see one Prius, Avalon, RAV4 or Corolla around.
But, I have this to say about that, it was a Chamber of Commerce kind of day down here in central Florida.
And, know, it is not just hundreds of horsepower to be seen at the Speedway.
Sometimes, four horsepower is way cooler!! Thanks Augie Busch for a blast from the past.
And on the way out, this olelongrooffan saw this.
And a final shot of the Kid's CJ5 just outside the paint booth at thejeepjunkie's favorite body shop.
Yeah, lots of redneck cr*p happening around here.
So, this olelongrooffan dropped off my free pass and told the Kid to remember his name tonite is not James, but John, Lee.
Well, thejeepjunkie and the Kid went on out to the Speedway and, as thejeepjunkie always seems to do, fanagled his and the Kid's way into the garage area.
While there, they see the remains of the 06 car that had flipped on the back stretch around lap 68 of the ARCA race.
thejeepjunkie starts chatting it up with one of the pit dudes and asks what was he going to do with that mangled up tire and wheel off that destroyed racecar?
"Looks like junk to me," was the reponse directed to thejeepjunkie and the Kid.
"Can we have it?"
The pit dude nodded his head and walked away.
thejeepjunkie snagged that bent beyond repair
tire and wheel combo
and drug it home, similar to the actions described in this blog about the Rolex24 a few years ago.
I got these images when this olelongrooffan was over at the Kid's garage hanging and watching thejeepjunkie strip parts off the Kid's CJ5 prior to sending it off for some prescribed body augmentation.
the Kid told me this combination was supposed to go back to Hoosier Tire so they could take out the inner liner and they weren't even interested in messing with it.
This olelongrooffan found a video of the crash on YouTube. Sorry about the kids', not the Kid's voices in the background.
Yeah Counters, that's right. thejeepjunkie sold that CJ5 and, as always, is in search of another means of transport for the Kid.
And know this, even though this olelongrooffan was denied access to the garages, the fact thejeepjunkie and the Kid were able to get in allows me to