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Prelude to a Race:

So our story begins last year when I decided that I would stop saying “Someday I will go to a NASCAR race” and decided that I would be going to a NASCAR race in 2008 if I had to drag my best friend kicking and screaming with me the whole way. Luckily being the best friend that she is she agreed right away to go with me, despite it not being her thing. Since she lives in Vegas we picked the Vegas race. Made sense to me. So I bought the best tickets for the Sunday race that I could afford at the time…and added Sunday Garage passes. I bookmarked up important passages in my GIRLS GUIDE TO NASCAR and loaned it to BFM so at least she wouldn’t be totally lost at the race.

Then something totally cool happened. BFM became a total fan. She is so into NASCAR now…and that is great. She could even tell you how the points break down before attending her first race and I couldn’t tell you that and I have been a fan since I was a wee one.

Then somehow Las Vegas Motor Speedway sent me an email stating that I had purchased garage passes for Saturday not Sunday. This was a mistake on their part but it got me to thinking that it might be a better idea to have garage passes on Friday because it was qualifying day and there would be more activity in the garage. So I called up the speedway and ironed that all out and they kindly obliged me in switching my garage passes to Friday and letting me purchase qualifying day tickets (note to self…next year do NOT buy qualifying day tickets..it is very easy to come across free ones).

Driver Appearances

About a month or so before the race BFM and I start to scour the websites of our favorite drivers looking for appearances in the LV area we might be able to attend. Finally I found out that Tony was appearing at a Home Depot in Las Vegas the Thursday before the race. I was excited to tell BFM. She was excited because that Home Depot is only a couple blocks from her house (Las Vegas has several Home Depots). This was added to our list of MUST DOs for the weekend.

Then she called me. Houston…we have a scheduling conflict. Her favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, decided to do an appearance at the same exact time as the Tony appearance…only it was across town. WAY across town. DAMN Now what do we do? She insisted that we meet Tony. I felt bad and insisted we meet Jeff. She won (she always does) and our plan was this: Meet Tony then fly like the wind across town to Caesar’s Palace to meet Jeff. Then we found out that Kasey Kahne was also doing an appearance the same time as the other two. This was becoming hard. Robby Gordon was doing an appearance the Wednesday before the race at an Albertson’s across town. We decided that we would start with Robby, definitely fit in Tony, then try to squeeze in Jeff and Kasey in afterwards.

On Wednesday we were able to meet Robby Gordon. The line wasn’t that long and he had hero cards to sign. He stood next to a table hawking Jim Beam. It was your standard cattle call type appearance and Robby wasn’t rude but he wasn’t overly friendly either. Mostly he would sign a hero card or something else if you had it and then you were off and his little support people would offer you a shot of Jim Beam before you left the store.

Robby Gordon

I did however meet the cutest little boy in front of us in line with his mom. BFM asked him who his favorite driver was and he looked up at us all sheepish and said Tony Stewart! When he found out Tony was my favorite driver too he told us all about how on his video game he always drives a home depot car. So I asked him if he is good at his video game and he said yeah I only crash sometimes so I told him that I usually crash about once a lap and he looked at me and said “You Know That Game?” So cute.

Thursday morning I went downstairs and greeted Misty who promptly told me that she was sick…REALLY sick…as in throwing-up sick. This worried me because I knew she was really looking forward to the races and we had qualifying tickets for the next day. She said that she was gonna call her doctor and see if she could get in as soon as they opened. She was able to get an appointment at 2:15 which is right during the time we were suppose to be inline to get our Tony wristbands. Oh well…I would rather she go to the doctor then I go see Tony… by this time I was thinking well hopefully she will be better for Sunday (it was Thursday). She asked her brother to stand in line to meet Tony with me and I told her that he didn’t have to I was ok not seeing Tony…but BFM insisted and she got her way. I stood in line for a wristband with her brother (she sat with us for about an hour but then left…her brother and I could both tell she felt awful) which we got and then we went back to her house because there was no way in heck I was hanging out at Home Depot for another three hours (Tony was suppose to arrive around 5:00 and at this point it was about 2:20). BFM’s doctor gave her some drugs to help her symptoms and they seemed to be starting to work by the time it was time for her brother and I go stand back in line to meet Tony. She was very insistent that we still meet Tony – and frankly I could see her point. If roles were reversed I would want her to go see her driver and not sit around watching me be ill. We then went back to the Home Depot and the line had grown quite a bit so we were towards the back. I assume Tony got there pretty much on time though because otherwise there was no way he could have gotten through all of us in that amount of time. While this appearance was also pretty much just a cattle call type appearance…it was way different than meeting Robby Gordon. Tony was sitting behind a table but it was on a platform so he would be like at eye level with the average standing person even though he was sitting…He was far more friendly than Robby Gordon though. He said hello to us, asked us how we were doing. Took the time to look through the book I was having him sign because he hadn’t seen it yet and didnt’ remember doing it. Tony seemed in a great mood and was extremely friendly.

Tony Stewart at Home Depot Appearance

I figure by the time we had gotten our turn with Tony I had been standing outside about 2 hours (four if you include the time I spent in the other line getting my wristband to meet Tony). It was totally worth it too…and I would do it again (although BFM made me promise that next year it is all about her getting to meet Jeff Gordon).

Next up…part 2: Qualifying Day

Ok…I decided that if I was to write everything about my first NASCAR race in one post that the post would be so long no one would ever read the darn thing…so I am going to break it up essentially into four posts:

1. Driver Appearances

2. Qualifying Day

3. Race Day

4. Other stuff…

Sorry for the silence…but between hacking up a lung with this cold thing, having two dental appointments and processing all the pictures from my Nascar weekend in Vegas I am just starting to get back into the swing of things. Throw in a time change, having to learn a new system at work and my slight swing towards procrastination when I am not feeling well and you end up with an empty blog. Sorry about that.

I am hoping to post today or tomorrow about the NASCAR experience….sorry it has taken me so darn long.

Back!!

Posted by Amy in General - (2 Comments)

I am back. Overall my trip was full of COMPLETE AND TOTAL AWESOMENESS… and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. And hopefully share some of the 400 pictures I took (and no I am not kidding).

I saw some totally awesome guest posts…and I will comment on them soon…(I did one already because I couldn’t resist).

Unfortunately I brought back with me some kinda cold/allergy thing (perhaps due to hanging out with 300,000 crazy NASCAR fans)… that has me sniffly, coughing up a lung, and tired (although that may have something to do with getting up at 5:30 AM and leaving at 7:00 am to then get lost AGAIN and have to find my way out of vegas…to then drive 500 miles home).

I will try to update you all again tomorrow.

On Vacation!

Posted by Amy in General - (1 Comments)

Ok…I am pretty much out of here as of very early Friday morning. I will not be back until March 5th or so.

Things I will be doing:

Seeing Slaughter in Vegas

Hanging out in Vegas with BFM

Going to the UAW Dodge 400 in Vegas

I am hoping to take LOTS of pictures. I am taking two cameras and 6 gigs worth of cards.

As always my usual suspects can guest post whenever they want (that means you Chrissy, Bill, ETS, Janet, E) but they shouldn’t feel pressured.

Susan sez: These questions come, once again, from the “Coke or Pepsi” book I
bought at Julia’s last book fair.

1. Are you always up-to-date on the news? I am fairly up-to-date on local and national news.
2. What is your favorite hot beverage? Depends on my mood. Usually it is a white chocolate mocha from starbucks or my Aveda tea.
3. Would you rather go to the museum of art or natural history?I love museums of any type really so it wouldn’t matter but if I had to pick I would probably say Art.
4. The best food comes from which country? This is an odd question…I don’t think I pay attention to where food comes from. I do like to try new foods.
5. Would you rather bicycle through Europe or go on an African Safari? A hard one!! I am thinking Europe…but the safari would be so interesting.

(and by the way? Coke Zero or Diet Coke all the way).

Ok peoples…I leave FRIDAY (that is THIS FRIDAY) for Vegas for the NASCAR races…I am so excited that I get all antsy just thinking about it.  I know I am leaving a whole week early but there is a reason- Slaughter is playing this weekend so I get a doubleshot…Slaughter AND Racing whoohooo). Anyways…for those of you who have been to NASCAR races before is there anything you can think of that I should take with me that I might not think to take???

***

Also I spent part of this last weekend playing with my new camera and so far I love it…it does have a learning curve as I find it more advanced than my little ol’ canon elf.  Anyway I have seen Janet do this before…so I am curious which do you like better (and why if you can tell me). You can click on each one to be taken to the picture on flicker if you want to look at it in a bigger size.

A:

B:

C:

Also if you want to see more check out my Asilomar Beach photoset, My Deer photoset and my Roxy with New Camera Photoset.

  • Lesson Learned: When sitting at an intersection screeching along with Bon Jovi…I might want to consider whether or not the sunroof is open before deciding to “sing” along…because people will laugh…even if the windows are shut.
  • Funny Sight I Am Sure: My brother happens to walk in to our house (he now lives across the street from us) on Sunday just as the Daytona 500 is winding down- to find my father and I both on our feet standing like two feet from the television screaming. My dad was yelling DRIVE BOY DRIVE (at Tony) and I was yelling GOGOGOGOGO (at- you guessed it- Tony). My mom? She was just sitting there going WHERE’S JR? And Roxy? Well Roxy was hiding and thinking Oh no…not this yelling thing again. I am sure our non-relative neighbors thought we were all insane. Ryan Newman won being pushed by his teammate Kurt Busch…the duo passed Tony with less than half a lap to go. URG!!!
  • Speaking of the Daytona 500…there were some great commercials. My favorite by far was the Toyota Fan Controller commercial. My next favorite was the DaleJr Gorilla commercial. And my third was the Home Depot commercial.
  • Also speaking of Daytona Advertisements I really the sprint catchphrase “Speed is Beautiful”.
  • Funny Thing My Dad Said: When I told him I wanted to go to the beach to practice using my new camera for when I go the races in Vegas…he replied “Well if you want to practice taking pictures for the races- it would probably be easier if I just dropped you off on the side of the highway for an hour or so…” I think he might have been serious. I had to explain to him that I just wanted to get a feel for carrying and taking pictures with a bigger camera. And get use to where all the damn buttons are and what they do. That will probably take longer though.