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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…)

I don’t have to tell you it’s been some time since I blogged about a race. You may be left wondering what is going on. Have I stopped watching racing? How goes my quest to find a new favorite NASCAR driver? Just what the heck is going on with Amy and Badgroove.

Well, let’s play catch up on the overly exciting (yes I am being facetious) life of Amy of BadGroove. (more…)

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…)

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)


Car Week on the Monterey Pennisula has a little bit for everyone. It ran August 15-21st. There are the historics racing at Laguna Seca (Mazda Raceway now), there were car shows and auctions everywhere.  If you like cars…chances are there was SOMETHING here for you.  I decided to take in what I could for free one Saturday- just to see what I could see.

(Lots of photos after the jump) (more…)

When Ferrari North America invited me to attend the Ferrari Racing Days Challenge at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, I jumped on the invitation but with more than a little trepidation.   I am a NASCAR blogger after all and what the heck do I know about Ferraris or about racing Ferraris? Not a thing.  But still it sounded like something fun to do and I can appreciate fast cars- so I loaded up on Saturday drove out to Laguna Seca. (more…)

So my weekend last weekend started on Friday since it was another furlough day. I spent Furlough Friday sitting in a too small chair at a too big table with my macbook working with two school librarians, a retired school librarian, two high school volunteers and a parent to try to get a school library back up and running. Why was it not running in the first place? Well the school was closed a couple of years ago because the district opened two brand new schools.  That school was dismantled and the library was split amongst the two new schools. Now there is a need to reopen it as a k-2 school and needed a library.  I worked for 7 hours straight trying to get that library set up and while me made a dent in it- it wasn’t nearly enough.  I hope they are able to get it going soon- but since school starts tomorrow I seriously doubt it will be ready by then. Close- but not ready.

On Saturday I went to the fair to check out my pictures and see how I placed. I got my highest placing yet- a Third in the Agricultural Photo competition. I got an honorable mention for my crash picture in Photojournalism. And my pelican picture didn’t place but animals is a hard category to place in and I knew that going in.   I always study the pictures that win- and I think the problem with my pelican picture was that it wasn’t colorful enough for the judges. My dad thinks so too because technically it was extremely sharp but it was taken of a gray bird sitting on a gray rock with just a piece of ocean behind it. I ended up Saturday evening turning down an invitation for Pizza at my brother and sister-in-law’s house because I had the worst headache that just wouldn’t go away. Finally it did…but it cost me free pizza- damn it.  I did get to see my nephew for a couple minutes though- he was wearing a Tony Stewart outfit I bought him before he was born that he now fits in.  Unfortunately it reminded me that I really need to get that kid some 14 clothes. Maybe for Christmas.That just gave me a GREAT idea for a toddler shirt for Old Spice. You guys who make up Tony’s shirts and stuff- should really tap my brain for ideas because I have some great ones!!!

Sunday I was actually up before 7! Can you believe that? Me neither- but Roxy needed to go out early for some reason and I may have grumbled at her but I would rather get up then clean up if you know what I mean. Then my dad invited me to go the HIstoric Car Races at Laguna Seca- which I turned down because I honestly didn’t want to spend the fifty bucks to go.  It was a good thing I was up that early though because there was a knock on the door and who was visiting? My brother and my nephew….still in his pjs (I was still in mine so I didn’t feel so bad). We had some breakfast…and then my nephew played while my mom tried to figure out her new camera. Mostly she has it down but we still occasionally end up with pictures like this:

My nephew had been ignoring the pre-race until Tony came on. Then he dashed over to the TV and turned him off. I may have said "NO NOT DURING TONY!!!" at which point he giggled.

My nephew had been ignoring the pre-race until Tony came on. Then he dashed over to the TV and turned him off and giggled - like he KNEW it would get a rise out of his Auntie. And it did."NO NO NOT DURING TONY!!!!" causing everyone to laugh!

My nephew looking up at Grandma who is trying to show him a flashlight. See how he is ignoring the prerace?

My nephew looking up at Grandma who is trying to show him a flashlight. See how he is ignoring the prerace?

Roxy gets a big hug from my nephew

Roxy gets a big hug from my nephew. Awww!

My dad sent me this picture from his adventures at the Historic Car Races at Laguna Seca

My dad sent me this picture from his adventures at the Historic Car Races at Laguna Seca.