Infineon: A Road Course Adventure Day 3- SundayPosted by in General
Our last installment of the Road Course Adventure had us never making it to the track on Saturday. Well not past the parking gate anyway. I am warning you right now that this is a LONG post (filled with lots of pictures) as Sunday was A LONG day. If you are on dialup though I don’t want to kill your ability to see my site so continue on to read the adventure of Sunday at the Races….
Yeah it was fathers day. And what do my BFF and I do? We leave our fathers at home and go to the races. Nice huh? Sunday was a long long day. We ended up having to get up pretty darn early (6:00) so we could be out of the hotel by 7:00 and on the way to Infineon Raceway. We did make a quick stop for breakfast on the way out- and it was a darn good thing we did because it would be the only food we would get until about 4 laps into the actual race. Once we got to the track, we parked (in gate 7 this time!) in a fairly good spot near the top of the biggest hill there and walked down to the shuttle area to get to the main grandstand area so that we could get our prerace pit passes/ driver intros pass. I think we actually strolled onto pit road about 10:30 or so that morning.
Now I don’t remember what I told you all about my experience with the pre-race pit passes in Phoenix earlier in the year but I pretty much felt the same in the pits at Infineon. It was like I was invading someone’s work area. I was very cognizant of my surroundings and tried my darnedest to stay out of the crew guys ways (and I did a pretty good job of that if I don’t say so myself…except for one minor incident to stop and take a picture and apparently Brian Vicker’s crew guy was concerned that I didn’t know he was passing me and I didn’t so good job letting me know cuz I probably would have been squashed by whatever that thing was that they were pushing…some sort of tire rack thing- I am sure that is the technical name for it). We spent a good couple hours just wandering around the pits taking pictures and chattering amongst ourselves. Here are some good pictures straight from pit road to you:
I wanted to join them up there in the shade just to get out of the sun. Pit road has NO SHADE. I was wearing a hat but still. We found a little sliver of shade at the opening of pitroad where it goes into the garage area…but we weren’t allowed to stand there. Darn.
Turns out that cooking spray is sometimes used on the tires to cut brake dust. Who knew? (The Nascar Insiders- that’s who- thanks again guys for answering all of our questions every Wednesday).
Not long after I took this picture (from inside the Office Depot/Old spice pit stall right on pit road), crew chief Darian Grubb actually came down from the pitbox and was speaking with some people and my friend grabbed him as soon as he was done and I got my picture taken with him. He was really REALLY nice.
You thought I was kidding about the tires didn’t you? Nope. I have a thing for taking pictures of tires:
After a bit more of the back and forth on pit road we finally decided to go get a drink and seek a little bit of shade in the NATIONWIDE tent before heading over to pre-race/driver intros. After our brief hydration break we were off to the Pre-Race/Driver intro area- which basically let us on the track at the start/finish line area.
Mostly then we hung out on the Wall and listened to the band play until they got ready to actually do the Driver Introductions. Being kind of short I had to stand towards the back to be able to get any decent pictures:
Kyle got booed so vehemenantly that it was actually kinda of scary. I am not gonna bore you with shots of each and every driver…but I do believe I got one of most of the field. After they announced pole sitter Brian Vickers. I turned thinking BFFM was right behind me but unfortunately she had wandered away. I did find her leaning up against the wall taking pictures of Jeff’s car sitting on pit road and then she grabbed me and said “Look it’s Ingrid and Ella” (Jeff’s wife and daughter):
Then the guy next to me said “Oh look, there is Rick Hendrick” so I was looking looking looking and did NOT see the man. Then BFFM grabbed my arm and said LOOK THERE IS TOM CRUISE:
Unfortunately I didn’t get that great of a picture because by the time I spotted Tom Cruise we were being ushered off the track by track officials. We would miss the rest of the prerace, including the warm up laps, because we were trying to get to our seats in turn 7. We ended up just grabbing the shuttle again. By the time we made it to our seat? It was 4 laps into the race. We did get to see the fireworks go off fairly up-close-and-personal like because they went off right next to our shuttle. Fun.
I have been to a road course before…just not with NASCAR. Having seen Indy cars and Sports Cars run at Laguna Seca I knew that it’s pretty hard to find any spot where you can see the entire track. We actually bought seats in Turn 7 on the advice of a coworker of BFFM and they definitely did NOT lead us astray as it did have a lot of action in that turn:
Overall? We had fun. Of course we always pretty much have fun whenever we are together- so you have to take that into consideration. After the race we started up the hill to the parking lot and that is when I realized…DAMN WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING NOT TAKING THE PARKING SHUTTLE. However I did see the MASS of people at the shuttle stop for the parking area so- I hiked up the hill. For awhile there I didn’t think I would make it. Seriously. Then I saw my car in the distance and was THANK YOU!!!
What was not fun? The traffic leaving Infineon. I drove straight home from Infineon. What was probably a 2.5 hour drive? Took probably about 6. Most of it was spent in bumper to bumper (sometimes literally) mostly stopped traffic. Seriously I didn’t get home until 11:30 pm…driving straight through stopping briefly at 9 or so in Pleasanton for dinner. I dare say the traffic leaving Infineon has been the worse traffic ever at all four tracks we have visited now. I think at some point into traffic when were hadn’t moved in like 20 minutes and showed no promise of moving, BFFM looked over at me and said “We really should invest in a portable weber or something and just eat at the track before we leave like those people in Vegas we saw the first year.” Then I told her that there were M&Ms in the cargo area…and she jumped out of the car and got them right on the freeway/highway whatever. And true to their word- they melted in our mouths not in our hands after sitting in the car all day.
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