Daytona 500, all fun and no work!…

Many visitors to this blog know I have been a motorsports fan since I was a little kid. It’s a long story, but here’s a quick summary in case you don’t know. Even after some high-end hearing loss directly related to too many rock concerts and auto races, it’s still a thrill to go see a race live. After all the races I’ve been to, I’ve only stayed in the infield one time before, in a van at Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowes) and never in an RV. That was the plan for this year’s Daytona 500. My friends, Dave and Norm, left NJ on Monday and arrived at our spot in the infield by Tuesday evening. I flew out 6 AM Thursday morning and after two plane flights, a cab, a Greyhound bus ride and another cab, I arrived in the infield as Craftsman Truck Qualifying was finishing up and was ready for that first beer of the day, around 9:30 PM.

To me, the coolest thing about staying in the infield is waking up and you’re AT THE TRACK! No traffic, no hassels, no “I’ve Never Seen ‘Em Backed Up This Far Before!” We had to wear these sparkly wristbands to get access to our section and it was like living in a gated community. Kinda nice, actually. They even delivered the local paper right to your front bumper every morning!

Watching the races from the infield does pose it’s problems: you can’t see a whole lot but we had this little Nextel Fan Monitor with about fifty buttons on it for switching to all the cameras around the speedway and in the cars, very cool. You also get to meet and talk and hang out with some other really cool race fans from all over, even if they do root for the wrong drivers. Right, E?!

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Sweet spot to film/watch the race from…maybe next year! 

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Jeff Gordon’s Dupont Chevy going through final tech-inspection.

Being the Fifty Year Anniversary of the race, most of the old winning cars were present and cruising around the track at various times. Here’s a few of my favorites:

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Sterling Marlin’s Kodak Chevy

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Two of Richard Petty’s winning cars, a Plymouth and the STP Dodge.

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 Got back on Tuesday to find a ton of new work – yeah!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted March 3, 2008 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Wow, that looks like it was pretty cool. My brother made that pilgrimage too, got sign the finish line and all that. Hope you got your in person racing fix, because it’s not sounding too good for the future of the PDX Grand Prix..

  2. Lynn Brown Speer
    Posted March 10, 2008 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Hey Brian! Great pictures. I remembered you liked racing but I thought you did Formula One or Indy. Jamie Dimaggio, Bill Garrison and Dale Gaskill were all at Daytona too. They go every year. My husband, Jay and Jamie try to go to a race every year, somtimes Peg and I get to go, too. Jay and I went to Charlotte a while back and although we didn’t stay infield, we had garage passes and got to meet a lot of the drivers, crew chiefs and wives…we even got to go their church service before the race…it was an amazing day.

  3. Eric Loeffler
    Posted April 3, 2009 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Great pics by the way Jeff Gordon is the right guy and we all know it!


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