Monday, June 27, 2011

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!!!!

Yesterday was up there in one of the best days ever! It was my second trip with a group of friends from work to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA to see Tony Stewart and the other racers of NASCAR drive the road course there.

My day started at 3 am, waking up and getting ready for my 4am carpool to show for the first leg of the trip. We met up with the rest of the party at 5am and arrived at the racetrack at about 7:30am. If you have never been to a race, there is almost a fair or carnival feel to the place starting early in the morning. We got parked, and headed out to where the trailers are where you can shop, get info, or meet a driver if you are lucky. Here is David Reutiman, driver of the 00 car, signing autographs for the fans:

One thing that totally impresses me about a visit to the racetrack, is that fans are treated really well. From the moment you enter the parking lot, you are treated with respect and courtesy, and people are really nice. I have to say that they do everything possible to make it a good experience. The prices on souvenirs and food are low and reasonable.

Here is Tony's trailer. (That is a random person posing in front of it and not a part of our party.)

Since we went in a group, we had a package that included a Q & A with Jeff Gordon that started at 9 am. He is so down to earth and such a gentleman. He is a total class act. You can not help but be a fan of his.

Afterwards, we all wandered over to watch the cars undergo inspection. It is amazing to see those famous cars close up! The colors are so bright and amazing. Here is Carl Edwards' car being pushed out by his crew:

We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, because we were standing in the right place as the driver meeting got out and we had the legends of the sport passing withing 4 feet of us! Unfortunately, my shutter speed is too slow on my camera so my photos are sorta sad. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. walked right by me!!!! Here is a photo of Jr walking away because my camera was not fast enough:

Here is one of the greatest drivers ever and five time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. He was looking right at me, and my camera was again too slow. Oh well... Anyway, we said hi and he gave us a friendly wave, which I thought was pretty nice.


We figured that we had better get our sodas and snacks from the vehicle and head to our seats. On the way, I stopped at the Sprint tent where I got to see this! The actual Sprint Cup! It is awesome!

I realize that this post is really long tonight and since I did not get home until 10:15 last night, I am going to sign off for now and go to sleep. Tomorrow night I promise to post photos of the actual race! It was such a cool day!


Gloria said...

I'm so jealous! Maybe one day I will be able to attend a NASCAR race.
Love your pics.
Where was Liesl?

Puppy's Mom said...

Patti -- Congrats on getting to see the Sonoma race! (Sorry, I know they are calling it Infineon now, LOL!)

Anyway -- Jeff really is a great guy, isn't he? He's my favorite, followed closely by Tony (used to be Rusty until he retired).

I'm glad that you had such a good day and are so chipper, especially considering how the race ended for Tony. :(

Can't wait to see your race photos!