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Cars on track at Laguna Seca

This picture has nothing to do with the post other than it’s a favorite of cars on track at Laguna Seca that I have taken. This was taken during the 2012 ALMS race in what I believe is turn 7 but I could be wrong about the turn number. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So several weeks ago I promised you all a story at the end of this post about the first Chase race. Really it’s the story of my first ever race…and I am not talking my first NASCAR race.

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away- back when the IRL series was known as the CART series, my dad decided that my fandom of motorsports was not a flash in the pan and I think secretly he was thrilled.  The Indy cars were coming to Laguna Seca- which is very close to where we lived.  At the time I was into that series (I lost interest in it when CART split into IRL and CHAMP and half of my favorite drivers went one way and half went the other way). Since I had always shown a love of racing and specifically CART at the time- my dad laid down what I know was big bucks for him at the time for weekend grandstand tickets in Turn 11 as well as weekend paddock passes for the two of us for the race in Monterey.  I was a teenager at the time- so it was probably somewhere around 1990-1991 I think.  My parents even excused my absence from school so that we could take full advantage of our weekend tickets. (more…)

Tea and a good book…Braking Points by Tammy Kaehler (Photo credit: Amy K Marbach)

“I smelled race day: fuel mixed with hot metal, rubber and concrete, plus a dash of sweat, sunscreen and cigarette smoke. There was nothing like it.” -Braking Points by Tammy Kaehler (page 211).

I haven’t been in the mood to read recently. That isn’t odd for me- I am usually feast or famine when it comes to reading. Even though I love to get lost in a good book and often just want to read read read it’s not uncommon that I then go through a stretch where I don’t want to read or nothing seems to hold my interest.  That is exactly where I have been lately (oddly enough my writing is the same way- I either have a lot of ideas and struggle write them all down fast enough before they leave my brain or conversely I sit there with a blank page and a pen and just blink at it).   I still wasn’t in the mood when I was offered a complimentary copy of the book Braking Points by Tammy Kaelher to read and possibly review for my BadGroove readers.  I took the offer however because I was somewhat intrigued by the brief synopsis of the storyline that was in the email- it sounded like something I would like and it sounded right up the alley of this website.  Little did I know that I was accepting to read a book that I would not only end up loving but would ignite again in me the read read read feast part of my personality.

As I mentioned I thought Braking Points would not only be a book that I would possibly like but that you my readers would like and I still stand by that after reading it.  You will probably be surprised to find out that Braking Points is actually not set in the NASCAR world – the heroine Kate Reilly is a race car driver in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).  We enter Kate’s world at Road America in Wisconsin- where during the race she sends a popular NASCAR driver pulling double duty in ALMS to the hospital in an on track incident.  Then during her post race interview Kate ends up going off on camera, provoked by an extremely upset fan of said NASCAR driver.  The end of her day finds Kate reconnecting with two friends from back in her Skip Barber Formula series days at a local tavern, only to finder her boy friend in the parking lot of the tavern a couple hours later with one of those friends, only that friend is dead. (more…)

Mazda Raceway (know to us locals as Laguna Seca) is the closest race track to my house- it’s only 10 miles from where I live and if I stand in a certain place in my backyard I can hear it when there are cars (or motorcycles) on track. I attended my very first race at that track (a CART race in the early 1990′s).  You might remember me mentioning it about a year ago when Ferrari North America brought me to my first Ferrari Racing Days hosted at the track. I had a great time with Ferrari (those are some beautiful cars).  It should be no surprise then that when I was offered free tickets to the American Le Mans Series race out at Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca) that I snapped them up. I was extremely pleased that the there were 2 tickets because I could take my dad with me and that our tickets included access to the Paddock/Garage area.

When we first got to the track (it was right about 8:00 am) the Mazda Raceway was extremely foggy (as Misty would call it- serial killer fog). Let’s just say we were driving into the parking on North/South Boundary road and we nearly missed the turn out for the ticket check because it was just marked off with cones and hard to see.

Picture of the scoring pylon ensconced in fog at Mazda Raceway. See it was REALLY foggy. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

It was so foggy that they had postponed the first race (there were three different races that day).  That was actually okay by me because we felt like perusing the Paddock/Garage area anyway.  While waiting for the marine layer to lift we spent time taking pictures:

Pretty Pink Porsche- which I later found out was driven by Melanie Snow! I took a picture because I thought the car was pretty. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

I felt a kinship to the sponsors on this Corvette- afterall Mobil 1 sponsors Tony Stewart and I just happen to be sporting my Mobil 1 /Tony Stewart bucket hat this day. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)