Monday, February 27, 2012
A Rainy Day At The Not Quite A Race
So, this past Sunday, the massive communications system here at the Taj Mahal lights up signaling that someone actually wants to have a live conversation with this olelongrooffan. Given that I am responsible for answering email inquiries at my new job, it seems these days a majority of my interaction with others is via these innerwebs. Anyway, it was thehorsefarmer on the other end of that wireless, satellite based communication system reminding this olelongrooffan he was headed down so we could spend some time out at the Daytona International Speedway watching the Daytona 500. As if I was going to forget.
So, he swung on by and picked me up and we applied that gifted media pass to the windshield of his BigAssTruck and headed to the FanZone out in the infield of that storied facility. Once we parked, we decided to leave our sammiches in the BigAssTruck as we were less than 500 feet from the garage area and could easily make the trek back when we got the munchies.
Once inside, thehorsefarmer took off like a kid in a candy store. He couldn't get enough of it. This olelongrooffan had a helluva time keeping up with him. Yeah, thehorsefarmer was stoked that day.
As an interesting aside, I had two passes courtesy of thejeepjunkie. One was good for HOT PIT access for every race from the Rolex24 through the Daytona 500. The other was a garage pass which we thought was good for the garage area of each race. I used that pass at the Rolex24, the Bud Shootout and another race but I forget which one. On the day of the Daytona 500, this pass was mysteriously not good for the garage area. Well, thehorsefarmer went on into the garage area, hooked up with this olelongrooffan just down out of sight of the security dudes and did the official pass swap and this olelongrooffan strolled right on into the garage area.
Well, Counters, after we had been there for a while the sky opened up and teardrops started coming down from all those angels watching over us. Yeah, it was plenty wet.
When thehorsefarmer arrived at the Taj Mahal, this olelongrooffan, a big fan of weather.com besides longroofs, mentioned that "We are going to get wet." "It's not going to rain longroof," was thehorsefarmer's reply.
A little later, thehorsefarmer headed off to pit row and this olelongrooffan, totally without an appropriate pass, managed to slide on through behind him. But let me tell ya, it was wet. We were appropriately clad in rain gear and managed to stay dry for the most part. But we weren't as dry as those covered up race cars.
We were able to observe the Furniture Row ride undergoing tech inspection. This is where they do the wheel base measuring to make sure there is not a bunch of cheating going on.
Yeah, did I mention it was wet?
And of course, what is a NASCAR post without the obligatory Danica Patrick inclusion. Ironically, the 500 just got underway and Danica crashed and is headed to the garage for repairs.
While the teams were waiting for the race to get underway, thehorsefarmer spotted the pit crew leader that Lowe's loves so much staying dry and chatting it up underneath the awning of his transporter.
And while this olelongrooffan strives to limit By The Numbers to mimimal political content, I can only wonder if this is the first time in history that a US Presidential candidate has sponsored a NASCAR racecar? By the way, Mitt Romney also made an appearance at the track on Sunday.
This olelongrooffan can only presume that basketball is a huge favorite sport of NASCAR teams as this is the second time I had seen a pit box television tuned to a bball game.
Meanwhile, thehorsefarmer wandered out to the pit wall to see what could be seen out on pit road.
So, of course this olelongrooffan had to wander up and see what was up. A bunch of covered up race cars and standing water on pit road.
There was a boatload of Toyota Highlanders out front of those NASCARs on pit road.
Meanwhile, thehorsefarmer was able to autograph the START/FINISH line, despite the wishes of that rude security dude trying to get us off the tri oval area of the track.
Well, as it turns out, that security dude was in error as we were able to watch the safety crew parade from either side of it.
We had a great view of it from adjacent the safer barrier just outside the "ball field" area.
Of course, in the meantime, this olelongrooffan had to autograph that safer barrier, just for posterity's sake. Or until that barrier is painted once it dries up around these here parts.
I'm not real sure why the airport had to send over this truck for the parade. This olelongrooffan had never seen it within the confines of the Speedway previously.
I guess there is a new movie about to be released called The Three Stooges, and in totally cheesy NASCAR fashion,
The Three Stooges actors drove up in some go carts to deliver the green flag for the start of the 500.
On the way out of the ball field, I spotted some cool flags along the driver's introduction boardwalk. This Mario Andretti one was pretty much the coolest.
I also captured this cool old Poncho race car from back in the day when NASCAR actually raced stock cars.
A tad bit later, thehorsefarmer and I were walking by the pace cars parked outside the Sprint Cup trailer. I remembered that usually these cars were left unlocked and today was no exception. So, of course, I had to grab an image of thehorsefarmer getting ready to climb into one.
And he grabbed an image of this olelongrooffan as well. Luckily, the keys weren't in those cars or there would be one parked in front of the Taj Mahal as you read this.
A little later we passed by the racer's general store and once I mentioned it was thehorsefarmer's first time at the 500, the proprietor of that store let thehorsefarmer go in and check out all that could be seen.
See those raindrops on those Hendricks Motorsports racing rims? That pretty much set the tone for the day out at the track.
We passed by the tech booth again and this time saw the old Red Bull cars, now racing under BK Racing livery, undergo wheelbase inspection.
Lenny Kravitz was the band of choice and this was as close as we got to that group although they were broadcast over every speaker in the infield.
So, thehorsefarmer and this olelongrooffan decided to take leave of the area and grab a bite to eat. On the way back to the BigAssTruck, I spotted this tag on the rear of this highly desirable Caddy. Thought you might enjoy it as I did.
As we were cruising around the infield so thehorsefarmer could see all that could be seen, we spotted this totally lust filled camper.
And in this image, you can see why we decided to call it a day and head out.
Even though it was a soggy day out at the track, thehorsefarmer and this olelongrooffan were both able to