Adventure #6 … (April 25-26)

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. is responsible for adventure #6. Well, NASCAR and my personal docent (and friend) Stephanie, a huge fan. Once Steph’s invitation was out there, I couldn’t resist checking out America’s premier spectator sport and the number two rated regular-season sport on U.S. television Who knew that more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR, family owned and operated, than any other sport because of the rabid brand loyalty of NASCAR fans?

Destination: Richmond International Raceway
Race time: Saturday, 7 pm
Weather forecast: 90% chance of rain
Who are we rooting for: #88, Dale Earnhardt Jr., or as Steph calls him, Dale Jr.

Steph picked me up just after noon for the 100 mile drive south to Richmond. Half way there it started to sprinkle and by the time we got there until the race was called around 6:30 it rained nonstop. We came prepared with ponchos (umbrellas are not allowed) and I had on my trusty waterproof boots and winter coat, so we took advantage of our passes to the Military Appreciation Hospitality Tent for lunch and each got a Toyota Racing ball cap. I had an extra ticket (Dan’s … he went to Kuwait at the last minute) to the tent and shared it with a National Guardsman from South Dakota who we met and chatted up on the ride from where we parked to the track. After lunch we used our pit passes and Steph toured me around inside the track. She explained how it all works. Three drivers, Dale Jr. for one, strolled by Right In Front of Us. I didn’t know it, of course, so the thrill was vicarious. We got up close and personal with the haulers, pit stations, and victory box. We checked out a tent that was closed on all sides but was clearly the venue for something. We got friendly with a security guy who explained that a church service was going one. He indicated that a service is held for the drivers, their families, and others of influence in the race community every race day.

Steph explained that races are only run on dry tracks and according to our new security friend, it would take at least two hours to dry the track IF the rain stopped. That news coupled with the fact that the pit stations were completely tented cemented the idea that the race was probably not going to happen. Sure enough, it was called around 6:30, so we made our way back to the car and drove home in pounding rain.

It was a great day in spite of the weather and the lack of an actual race. The crowds were really light, go figure, so we got to see so much more than we would have otherwise. Sad part is so many people had flown and driven in from all parts of the country for a Saturday race that didn’t take place. Plus all the vendors counting on revenue had a lackluster day.

By the time I got home an email was waiting for me saying the race would be run Sunday at 1:00, weather permitting. :-}


2 thoughts on “Adventure #6 … (April 25-26)

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