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Day 1: Champions Week in Las Vegas…Fan Fest Pictures and Words

Posted by Amy in General

So as many of you know I left December first in my HHR for Vegas. My friend and I were SO excited about Champions week that even though I had just driven/ridden 1700 miles round trip two weeks ago for the Phoenix chase race I was READY! My drive to Vegas was problem free and my BFF and I spent the rest of the day hanging out and planning our week’s schedule.  It started on Wednesday at FanFest- which was being held at Las Vegas Motorspeedway.  In our excitement we got their a little early and sat in the car, parked in the infield of a mostly empty race track. It was actually kinda creepy feeling.

Neon Garage

Neon Garage

Finally we were let into the Neon Garage area where the red carpet was already laid out and all the show cars for the drivers sprinkled out and about  the main area for the photographing / viewing pleasure of all the fans. A band was playing. It was fun.  Took pictures of lots of the cars…

What? You notice I don’t have any of Tony’s car? Well let’s talk about that for a second.  I actually spent a lot of time taking pictures of Tony’s car.  One thing you don’t realize about Tony’s car (at least I didn’t until the first time I saw it up close and personal) is that the red paint isn’t flat. It’s got a gorgeous gold metal flake to it that sparkles in the sun. However I have spent TONS of time trying to take pictures where it doesn’t look just flat red and not just this time but anytime I have been able to get upclose to his car.  This time most of the pictures that do catch the metal flake made the car look dusty- which it wasn’t. It’s a hard thing to photograph…that glitter.  Then I found this picture I took from the hip of the Impala logo. For some reason it looks really dark which I can’t figure out why it looks like that since it was broad bright daylight out but you can see the glitter that I am talking about:

Anyway…if you have been reading me for any length of time you know that when I am in the garage area I find a theme and take pictures that go with it. I did tires at PIR in the spring. I did numbers at Inifineon.  I even did tools- that one might have been fontana last year…can’t remember. Well this time was no different. This time I did spoiler endplates. I won’t bore you with the 20 pictures I took of spoiler end plates but here are a couple:

(see what I mean about the red paint on Tony’s car photographing as a flat glossy red?)

Anyway- we took pictures upon pictures- then decided to take a sit and listen to the band. Then we staked our claim along the red carpet which spanned the garage area diagonally with the stage right in the middle. We didn’t do this right away because egads that would mean literally standing for four freaking hours. As it was we ended up getting a pretty good spot for just about three hours of standing. You will later see…it was totally completely worth it.  We ended up taking turns going to wander about, use the facilities, get beverages, whatever.   Here is our bundled up (hey it was cold) shadows as we stand against the railing flanking the red carpet:

We got bored and started making shadow puppets on the red carpet…the fun in that lasted all of about five minutes. I even started snapping pictures of the jets from Nellis AFB playing overhead:

Contrary to the picture this guy isn’t in a hard climb but actually landing. I just took it from a really strange angle as he was flying overhead and I was pretty much bent over backwards trying to take pictures.

Then Dale Jarrett hit the stage and took questions and answers from the audience.  As he began to make his way back to the media center from the stage he walked the red carpet:

Then finally the drivers started making their way down the red carpet- after each one had a little time on the stage. I didn’t realize they would be that close…I didn’t realize WE would be that close to them and had NOTHING for them to sign…a great missed opportunity. But I got some terrific pictures:

Vickers

Edwards

Kahne

Newman

Denny

Martin

Gordon

Tony

Busch

Series Four Time Straight Champion Jimmie Johnson.

I didn;t get any good pictures of Biffle or Montoya…the few I had were them with their backs to me for whatever reasons.  We stayed and watch the roast from the infield…and hustled out of there when it was over because it was cold.  Little did we know how cold it would actually get…

Stay tuned for Day 2: Burnouts and Stewies.

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