[2002 brickyard- my review]

Here's my weekend. In a nutshell. Fucking rocked my socks. :-)

Saturday:

We headed to the track about 8am and got there in good time. We parked in some dude’s front yard, only a couple of blocks from Turn 1 – per tradition, we drank our first beer of the day at 9am as we walked to the track. ;-). We got into the front straightaway grandstand about half an hour before qualifying, and we able to watch the cars being rolled out, and the people with pit passes walking everywhere. It was hothothot but we were in the shade, and had brought lots of beer and water to keep us cool. Qualifying was rad – I love watching the drivers come out and talk to each other, the crew members getting ready, and press people everywhere snapping photos. Junior’s qualifying run was awesome and he only ran his first (of two eligible) laps, then came in after setting a lap speed record. Which was broken by Bill Elliott about two minutes later. Which was then beaten by Tony Stewart a few minutes after that!


We bailed on qualifying a few minutes early (who cares about Marlin, anyhow?) to head to the infield to check out the merch haulers. Hiked to the infield, where I bought a cute Junior shirt, dad bought a Stewart hat and a Ward Burton can cozy for Mum, and we took various pictures and walked around. We headed back towards the grandstand so we could catch IROC (which was delayed, as Jack Sprague was late getting his helicopter ride). On the way, we passed within two feet of Jack Roush, and I said hi to him. ;-)


We hustled back to the grandstand, and after panting for about 30 minutes, cooled off and watched the IROC race, which was actually pretty boring, but still good. After that, we watched the first practice from our seats, then headed to the garages to watch Happy Hour. Indy is set up where there is a public balcony above the actual garages, and you can watch the crews, drivers and cars go running in and out. It was frickin’ rad, and we took much pictures. Don spotted “Freakin’ Bill Elliott!” and we about got into a rumble with an obnoxious Kurt Busch fan. We couldn’t get near Junior’s garage (it was blocked off), but we saw lots of other activity. About 10 minutes before Happy Hour closed, we bailed on the track, got me a RaceGirl shirt, and went home. Good, good day!


Sunday:


Sunday was hot. Hottest day of the year kind of hot. We hung out at Mom and Dad’s and opted to eat lunch early, at the house, then head for the track. We ate much food, then piled in the van and went to the Zoo. From the zoo, we caught the dedicated “track bus” and got dropped near Turn 1 about 15 minutes later. The walk up the stairs in the heat kinda killed us, but we were seated really quickly. Lots of water, lots of handheld fans, lots of cool towels on us and the people around us. Thank god we were in the shade! We sat right across from Tony Stewart’s pit, so we could see the front straightaway, the pits and Turn 1. I mean, talk about best seats in the house.


The race. What can I say? Mom and I cried on lap one when the cars came blaring by. The race was awesome. I went hoarse after screaming so much from Junior getting out of the pits first in and into the lead. Lots of good-natured ribbing between fans in our area. Lots of water. A good race. A good finish. A kickass day.


We stayed in our seats for about an hour after the race – watched the festivities, watched the cleanup, and waited for the crowds to clear. Walked right out of the track and headed for the bus back to the Zoo. From our seats to the van was less than an hour – I think that’s some sort of record. Went home to a crab/shrimp feast, then went to bed early to recover from the day.


Number one sign it’s hot at the Brickyard? When there are more empty water bottles than beer cans in the stands after the race. :-)


Awesome, awesome, awesome day. I can’t wait for next year.:-)