Thursday, February 24, 2011

NASCAR Speed Weeks, 2011

So, over the past 15 days or so, this olelongrooffan has been immersed in all things that are NASCAR.  thejeepjunkie was able to score some killer tickets and nearly every spare moment of this olelongrooffan's time has been spent either spending time out at the Daytona International Speedway or blogging about it.  The first blogpost was about the ARCA race and the Bud Shoot Out that occurred on Saturday, February 12.  It appeared both here on By The Numbers. as well as over in the Hooniverse, a blog this olelongrooffan is fortunate enough to be able to be a contributer on.  I did a couple more over there, one for Hooniverse Truck Thursday, one for Last Call, and another for Weekend Edition.

Now Counters, this olelongrooffan was on my expansive cellular communications system the other night having a wide ranging conversation with an old friend with whom I have not talked to in way too long.  She brought up the subject of my blogging over in the Hooniverse and I related how it made me feel good about myself that total strangers, other than those of you Counting Along With Me, enjoy my ramblings and comment positively about them.  I don't mean to sound conceited but my writing style had gotten off to a rocky start over there but my fellow Hoons have come to accept it and even comment positively about it now.  This olelongrooffan, due to my employment situation over the past few years, enjoys having my ego stroked every so often and with the Hooniverse and By The Numbers, that happens often.  I used to get that from my job and it is nice to know that I can derive even better satisfaction from a more personal effort on my part.  Thanks Counters.  Sorry for the diversion but I Mean It, Thanks Counters.

So, anyway, this blogpost combines many images gathered over this past couple weeks and somehow, my host site decided to move around some of the images to where it thought best so please be patient as we move on.

If you have clicked on through some of the links above, you might recognize the pass this olelongrooffan got from thejeepjunkie was pretty awesome and allowed me some spectacular access.

Here I was standing on pit road observing the "Biff" having a prerace conversation with Jack Roush.  If you were watching the Fox broadcast of the Daytona 500, you probably saw Jack come out to congratulate race winner Trevor Bayne on his victory while the latter was in the grass in the infield having gotten out of his car prior to reaching Victory Lane.  Follow that link and note the NASCAR official in the left portion of that image.  Each car is assigned an official and they track those cars like an old style coon dog.  Nothing misses their observation.
Yeah, this is the kind of mix up I am talking about.
This is what the camera on the rear of NASCAR racecar looks like.

Then back to some on track action, this time during a pit stop for the UPS sponsored racecar.
And as this olelongrooffan was walking around the garage area one day, I spotted Roger Penske, in the center of the above image with NASCAR president Mike Helton walking just behind.  Yeah, a fairly significant amount of NASCAR power in that image.
After the Duels, this olelongrooffan saw this NASCAR donut spare, even a Kumho, on a wrecked car
that didn't make the race and was being loading on its transporter for the long trip home.
And as happened during the 2009 Daytona 380, those powers that be left the Camaro pace car unlocked and this olelongrooffan got an image of the interior of it.
And then blogspot must think pace cars are boring as it sends us back to some more on track action.
In the garages of the 500 winning Wood Brothers 21 after the Gatorade Duels, all was not joyous.  I spotted a lot of long faces and many anxious Ford shirt wearing dudes were around.
But those guys with Wood Brothers and Jack Roush racing did a jam up job getting the sheet metal in spec for the 500.
Oh yeah, this is the Camaro as this olelongrooffan remembers it.
On Saturday, thejeepjunkie showed up with an infield access credential and we hooked up and got out and about in a relatively popular area.  Yeah, follow that link and this olelongrooffan is surprised not to see a bright yellow Willys in it.
We then bolted out of tent city and thejeepjunkie commandeers this parking spot just across the street from the Nationwide garages.
And we stroll on in, catch the race and see thehorsefarmer's heartthrob giving some post race interviews.
And on the way back to the Taj Mahal, this olelongrooffan's massive mobile cellular device lights up with a distress call from thejeepjunkie.  And that call resulted in a rare rescue mission this olelongrooffan was able to provide thejeepjunkie.
As I was heading back through the Nationwide garages to thejeepjunkie's favorite ride, this olelongrooffan spotted these slightly out of balance wheels and tires abandoned in the nearly vacant garage area.  This olelongrooffan has no extra room in the Taj Mahal so I passed them up in favor of
a NASCAR Restrictor Plate gasket, providing yet more wall art for my living room.  I had forgotten to mention those wheels and tires to thejeepjunkie at the time but when he saw them on the Hooniverse in the form of a Last Call blog, he commented that this olelongrooffan should not make that mistake again.  And know this Counters, I won't.
So, it was then on to the Daytona 500.  thejeepjunkie arrived a bit before I did and we didn't meet up until later in the day.  In the meantime, this olelongrooffan headed as far into the inerds of the 500 as I could get.
I am fairly certain that this olelongrooffan couldn't get anymore inside the "Daytona 500 Experience" than standing at the beginning of pit road, almost on the track observing the trucks destined to carry the 500 drivers around for fan viewing.
And Kenny Chesney, one of my favoright country singers was the prerace entertainment.  This is as close as this olelongrooffan got to him though.  Sh*t, they had ropes set up to keep me on pit road as opposed to gaining access to the grassy area and the grandstands.
And that is NASCAR Turn 4 in the flesh.
Much like Flying Lizards Motorsports I mentioned in this blogpost (Counters read the comments in that link to see what this olelongrooffan was referring to earlier with reference to "my ego boost"), TRG (The Racers Group) is crossing venues and entered NASCAR racing over the last couple seasons.  However, where Flying Lizards chose to go race DPs in the Rolex24, TRG chose NASCAR.  I had not previously known of this but recognized the name of the driver of the number 71 machine, Andy Lolly, posted above the drivers window.  I am sure you those of you Counting Along With Me know this olelongrooffan struck up a conversation with the two TRG shirt wearing dudes and queried them as to whether this is the same TRG that runs Porsches over in the American Lemans Series (ALMS)?  They looked surprised and responded in the affirmative.  I asked if they were new to NASCAR and they mentioned "No, we have run a few races in each of the past couple years."  I then asked if Andy had been their driver then also.  "No, we just put him in this car this year."  This olelongrooffan responded with "Well, hope you guys do as well with this Impala as you do with your Porsches over there."  They both laughed, shook my hand, and said "Thanks" as I took my leave.
And Counters, remember NASCAR, while slowly advancing on a more technologically enhanced world, is still a low tech racing series.
And now, just a few obligatory images of some of the celebrities of the NASCAR world.  Michael Waltrip.
Richard Childress in black slacks this weekend instead of the usual starched and creased Levis ala Dan McClernon back in the day.
And this olelongrooffan is sure those Counting Along With Me from the Ozarks know this is last year's 500 winner Jamie MacMurray, driver of the Bass Pro sponsored racecar.
And a general image down pit road this olelongrooffan was able to gather that day.
I have seen this before but I thought I would share this golf cart sized UPS truck with ya'll once again.
And this is an image of the driver's motor coach area.
And of course, these are a couple What I Saw Today images of this
drop dead gorgeous Cutlass W-30 ragtop that I absolutely lusted after.  I saw this just outside the garage area a couple different days and suspect it belongs to one of the gatekeepers.  It was badged locally and I will keep my eyes open for it in the future.
Finally, the Bus's brother in law's daughter's boy friend, Pride, had a (upon review, this olelongrooffan must insert the word "amusement" here) ride down here at the Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks 2011 and thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan kept an eye open for a Pirate Ship Ride the entire time.  We spent some time driving around looking for it and it wasn't until the last day of Speedweeks thejeepjunkie spotted it just below the Budweiser Party Deck on the backstretch and he noted this on the way out.  Well, of course, anytime you can say hello to an almost relative, especially when you are 1,200 miles away, you gotta do it so thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan headed over to find him.  And this is the parking spot thejeepjunkie got while we struck out to find Pride.

We had left the 500 at about lap 150 of the 200 laps scheduled and headed back to thejeepjunkie's garage to catch the remainder of the race.  We were able to catch all of the drama of the last few laps via FOXSports and this olelongrooffan and thejeepjunkie, once again, realized the best place, after having attended a bunch of them, to watch a NASCAR race is in front of your back porch or garage TV.

But know this Counters, thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan had a blast over the course of those ten days but the look of surprise on Pride's face when thejeepjunkie told him who we were really allowed us to

Celebrate Life.


Anonymous said...

Way to go....

great entertaining article

Gentleman Farmer would be proud of you....
even if you did get an F in writing..
was that grade school ????

Good blog


Yo genius.............that wasn't Kenny Chesney performing but Brad Paisley! HAHA! "My favorite country singers..........obviously, not such a favorite that you know what he looks like!