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If you know me, I am not just a NASCAR fan. I love motorsports in general.  A couple of weekends ago, I ended up watching some crazy motocross-type race where there were sidecars and someone in the sidecar that was being broadcast from the Ukraine thanks to the wonders of satellite television.

I know that I have told the story of my first in-person race on here before. It wasn’t a NASCAR race. It was an Indycar race (back when their sanctioning body was CART before the split) at Laguna Seca. It’s the closest track to my house- literally only 10 miles, maybe less if you go by how the crow flies. I got to take a day off school even (because you know Friday at the race track is the best day). It was in October of 1989, which means I was a junior in high school at the time. Here is a picture of my ticket because I save every ticket and race credential I get:

(Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Yes, my Friday and Saturday things have detached since they are nearly 30 years old, but that is my original ticket from my first motorsports event. I didn’t go to school that Friday (who would complain about that?) and instead went to the races all weekend with my dad! We had a great time that weekend. I got to meet AJ Foyt! I mean how cool is that? I remember standing there, shocked that he was right there in front of me. I was shy too (ha was- I still am), and my dad had to push me towards him to get his autograph. I also met Scott Pruett and Danny Sullivan – two of my favorite drivers at the time. By the time I found them, I had gotten the hang of going up and getting an autograph.  It was a great weekend that I will never forget.

When I heard that the IndyCar championship this year was going to be at Laguna Seca, this was my dad’s birthday preset this year:

(photo credit: Ralph Marbach)

Talk about coming full circle!

So this coming weekend stay tuned to my instagram (@AmyKatherine1974) and my twitter (@AmyKayRocks) this coming weekend for highlights when this #NASCARGirl goes back to her #IndyCar roots.

 

Tire barrier and threatening clouds at Laguna Seca during the Spring Test at WeatherTech Raceway. (Photo Source: Amy K. Marbach)

I may write primarily about NASCAR, but would you be surprised to know that the first race I ever attended in person was an Indycar race in the late 1990s? The closest track to my home is Laguna Seca Raceway (now called WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca), and my dad took me to my first in-person race when I was a teenager. He spared no expense and got us paddock passes to go with our seats in the grandstands. It was wandering around that paddock area watching teams work on their cars that my love for motorsports was cemented into my soul. The last Indycar race at Laguna Seca was in 2004. But 15 years later -it’s back. They will now host the 2019 IndyCar final race of the season.

On Friday, February 8th, Indycar held their first spring test- at Laguna Seca and luckily for me I was able to get the day off and attended it, with yes you guessed it, my dad. The weather at the raceway was tenuous. It looked like it would rain most of the day, after having rained on and off the day before. We pulled into the track about 8:30 to the sound of cars already on road course. We drove over them as we made our way to park in the paddock area. The teams were obviously there getting as much out of the day as they could while the weather held out.

It was just so fun for me to walk around the paddock and sit in the stands while the Indycars were running around the track. I couldn’t help but smile- while I have been to various other types of races at the track since the “big boys” as my dad calls them were at Laguna, and there is nothing like the sound of an Indycar. Sadly the test was cut short after the teams brought in the cars for a lunch break, the rain came and didn’t let up at all. Still, it was a fun day, and I can’t wait until September.

Here are some of the sights from the day: (more…)