Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Daytona 500 Experience. Finally!

While my daily driver laptop is in the Ormond Garage getting a sorely needed tune up, TheGoodAttorney loaned this olelongrooffan one of his netbooks. It is kind of like a mini laptop and my fat fingers are working overtime while jetting around these interwebs. Why should those of you Counting Along With Me care about this insignificant fact? Well, I am reluctant to upload any images to this Micro Machine for display and that means this olelongrooffan finally needs to finish up a few blogs I have on my Dashboard. This is one of them.

This olelongrooffan has been working on this blog post for the last few months.  I just couldn't seem to get it together with a common theme. Just the other day it all came together for me and this olelongrooffan sincerely hopes those of you Counting Along With Me enjoy it. A note about it though.  Between the time I started this post and updated it here and there, my host site, Blogspot, modified their formatting procedures and nothing I can do can remove the spaces between some of the images, bear with this olelongrooffan on that issue, if you will.

Last summer and fall, this olelongrooffan posted a few blogs about the repaving of the Daytona International Speedway.

It was pretty cool being able to view this estimated twenty-two million dollar project first hand.

The technology used in the application of that was as old school as the technology used in its original installation fifty one years ago.

The asphalt itself, however, was all modern technology.

Needless to say, being up in the grandstands for the reinstallation of the catchfence was pretty d*mn cool for this olelongrooffan.

Yeah, up close and personal!

Needless to say, these images are not in chronological order.

Now this olelongrooffan can hear those of you Counting Along With Me screaming at the top of your lungs, "Why is the olelongrooffan rehashing some posts he did last year?"

Well Counters, it's like this. During one of those visits out there this olelongrooffan was wandering around and I noticed there were no guards at the entrance to the Daytona 500 Experience! So, this olelongrooffan took a look around and sauntered on in there and got The Daytona 500 Experience, gratis. And I've got images to prove it. This Experience had to have happened prior to November 10, 2010 as that is when the International Speedway Corporation closed the 500 Experience due to low admission numbers. Yeah, 25 bucks per is quite steep! It was the first time I had been in since LilJim and LilMom and family visited a few years ago.

But all is cool for me and now onto the images!

One of the displays they had up was of the 24 car (commence spitting you up there in the Ozarks) and it was pretty cool.

It had a series of cables to raise the body up in the air exposing the chassis and roll cage.

Then another series of cables would raise the roll cage up off the chassis exposing all of the innerworkings of it.

All in all, regardless of the car's number, it was a pretty neat display.

As I was looking around to see if anyone had noticed my ill gotten entry, no one had, and this olelongrooffan spotted some land speed cars from way back in the day.

Sadly, this olelongrooffan did not note who the driver of this speed racer was but it is a pretty cool looking open wheel racecar.

I did however, capture an image of this list of speed times. Can any of you Counters imagine driving 231 miles per hour? In 1929? On the beach? Today the speed limit is 10 mph.

This is the car that did it. A Sunbeam "Mystery S". Yeah, that Sunbeam from Great Britain! I wonder if it leaks oil?

It was driven by Sir Henry Segrave and it was the first car to break the 200 mile per hour barrier. In 1929, on the beach, just in case you had forgotten.

That fin on the rear of it is huge!

And, it's a dually! Just like thehorsefarmer's big *ss pickemuptruck! Two tires at each corner on the rear for a total of 6 of them treadless skinny tires.

And they sure took a beating out on my beach.

A schematic of the car was included as part of the display. Amazing technology for 1929 Britain.

So, after checking out the Land Speed Racers, I sauntered over to the NASCAR display area. Over the bar area was a grouping of current style NASCAR race cars and trucks on a simulated Daytona Speedway.

Behind them were white cars from back in the day.

It was interesting and I could identify those old white cars better than I could identify the new ones!

There was also a pretty cool picture of the beach/A1A race track from back in the 1950's.

This is a part of the original A1A surface that was raced on removed prior to resurfacing back in the 60's.

They also had a part of the Start/Finish line from the Speedway.  Notice all those signatures on it? I was one of the first to sign the newly repaved/repainted Start/Finish line. A disclosure here. After every race, the Start/Finish line is repainted so the attendees at the next race get the same opportunity to autograph it. But it is a pretty cool experience, nonetheless.

I then beat it over to check out last year's Daytona 500 winning race car. I had seen this trophy a couple years ago when I snuck into Victory Lane during one of the 500's I was at. Yes, this olelongrooffan was promptly ejected but not until I had gotten an image of it!

It's pretty cool, they take this car directly from Victory Lane to the 500 Experience.

It is still covered in Gatorade and the ticker tape from the victory celebration.

With a nod of the head to my family members up in the Ozarks, home of Bass Pro.

They also have a Daytona Prototype from the Grand-Am Road Racing series, host of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

I'm pretty sure that Coyote was is still a Daytona Prototype chassis manufacturer a few years ago.  (Thanks CarGuyDad for the clarification.)

And on one of those back roads thehorsefarmer, thebarngoddess and this olelongrooffan took during their visit a couple weeks ago we were able to take in the sight of Spirit of Daytona Racing's garage.

As I was wandering around, I spotted this display about Goodyear tires through the years.

And a recreation of the front facade of Bill France Senior's garage.

Finally this Petty blue Mini is included for your viewing pleasure. "Why?" Just check out the length of that roof!

I hope those of you Counting Along With Me enjoyed this post and me finally getting it published really helps this olelongrooffan to

Celebrate Life.


kashgar216 said...

Fantastic pictures, especially of the blue Sunbeam.

Speaking of Ozarks, there was a sad article in the NYT this Sunday about a young sheriff who got messed up with drugs. Have you read it?

Anonymous said...

Great post,

Yeah some sheriff got mixed up with the meth crowd...

He'll be spending time in the big house....


Busplunge said...

Over in Carter county, Van Buren area.

It was in the New York Times

FishHawk said...

"By The Numbers" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

Tere said...

Great job John! Love the new camera shots....I will definitely be sending folks your way! aka Tere
other half of JustaCarGuy...hee hee.