Saturday, August 15, 2009
NASCAR AT THE GLEN
Someone's missing a T-shirt niche for when you leave the Glen. "I survived The Glen '09." I'd have worn one all week.
Per tradition, upon arrival at the beautiful Watkins Glen International raceway, we walked around to check for changes. More fencing, mostly additional grandstands, and the new vendors. We sat at turn 10 grandstand, by the gravel pit that Boris Said sunk into in qualifying and DJ skid across in the Cup race. Not a good year for another one of my alltime favorite drivers Dale. (The license plate holder for my mustang is #88). Another tradition is to walk across the pedestrian bridge during a race. I crossed during the Nationwide race. Imagine these nearly deafening sounds when you're about 50 feet about the track: 'errrrr-wham,' pause 'errr-whamwham' pause 'errwhamwhamwham' pause 'errwhamwhamwhamwhamwham.' Each 'wham' is one car racing under the bridge. The noise reverberates through your body. A cool experience, but not for the faint hearted.
You battle mother nature gambit of weather conditions when you're at the Glen, and parking lot jungles (grass, not blacktop), and stampeding fans (many bruises), that I don't have my normal quantity of pictures. I met a lot of first timer this year, people from Iowa, Connecticut, Tennessee. People with families and friends. NASCAR fans at their finest.
I saw plenty of drivers. Carl Edwards only from a distance, though. He always had someone talking to him. But I followed him on my Sprint device for both the Nationwide and Cup race. A thrill to hear him talking to spotters and his crew chief, getting encouragement that he could pass Kyle Bush. With a team like that I'm confident he'll win the Cup this year. I saw Jeff Gordon as he drove by in a golf cart. He used to smile more. That wreck was nasty. I hope he'll be okay. I spied Kevin Harvick walking by before the Nationwide race, and when his Copart Crew Chief, the handsome Ernie Clue stopped for ice cream, I wished him good luck and I got his picture (check my Facebook). At the McDonald's Funzone I got about 5 feet from Kasey Kahne. Of the four driver Q&A's I saw that day: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Dave Reutimann,(all Toyota drivers) Kasey looked the most relaxed. The kids asked the silliest questions, and I can't remember one of them now, but they were the kind that only kids can think of. You could see the thought process in Kasey's eyes along with the smile. Again, the guy is just TOO cute. And he drives a two ton race car about 180 mph and has driven as fast as 200mph. I admit to a couple of joy rides with old boyfriends, at speed of around 120mph, and the landscape was a blur. A BLUR! I'm in awe of these NASCAR drivers. So congrats to Brian Vickers for winning the pole at Michigan with a qualifying speed of 187.242mph, and Kasey qualified #10 185.782. Carl and DJ are probably unhappy they aren't in the top ten, but they're in my top ten for coolest guys on the planet.
Who's your favorite NASCAR DRIVER? Who do you think will win the CUP?