Lady and gentlemen, please start your engines

Not to be deterred by yesterday’s rain delay, Steph and I headed south again this morning and were in our seats by show time at 1:00. Great seats that were high enough that we could see both sides of the track. A 13 year old sang God Bless America; the Army band from nearby Fort Lee played the national anthem; we all stood for the pledge of allegiance; a prayer was offered for the safety of the drivers and in gratitude of the service of our military and law enforcement; and then there was a three plane fly-over. It all made for a dramatic start. Once the opening formalities ended, the famous words came over the loudspeaker: Lady and gentlemen, please start your engines.

There were 43 cars and hearing them all start up at once added an exciting vibe. There were a couple of warm up laps and then the race began. To say NASCAR is the loudest sport ever is an understatement. Oh wow! I brought ear plugs and, thank goodness, Steph had an extra headset. Around and around they went for 400 laps. My favorite part was when there was a delay and they all had to line up again and zoom off together. It was an exciting combination of color and Roar!

Steph had a small receiver that connected to our headsets, so we could hear the commentary as well as dial into individual driver’s teams. It made it more interesting and focused our attention. I brought opera glasses, so I could get up close and personal when I wanted to. Because it was literally too loud to hear cheering, plus everyone was rooting for a different driver, there was no collective clapping, yelling, hooting, or hollering per other sports events. The crowd just listened and watched and had small gestures of support like waving hats or slapping a neighbor on the back. Soft coolers were allowed, so our seatmates snacked and sipped. We bought food at the kiosks. I chose a delicious BBQ sundae that was a plastic cup layered with barbecued pork, baked beans, and coleslaw. Ball caps with the names and numbers of favored drivers were the order of the day for this fan-friendly, family-friendly sport. There were also loads of jackets with names and numbers on them. The best I could do was my ‘I’m a Rookie’ pin and Toyota Racing hat.

Coincidence of the day: We took one break to get food and use the restroom and who did we run into in this crowd of tens of thousands? The National Guardsman we met yesterday and shared lunch with. What are those odds?

Winner: Kurt Busch, driving #41. He is apparently getting his bad boy reputation under control and was cheered at the end.

The race ended three and a half hours after it started and we headed home. The drive back was the only down side to the day…it took just under four hours. We had each other for company, so it actually passed pretty quickly.


2 thoughts on “Lady and gentlemen, please start your engines

  1. I love it, so fun

    Matt Mongeon | Senior Business Analyst
    PMP, ITIL Foundation, RCV, OSA, SOA
    Technology Team – Cox California
    5159 Federal Blvd., San Diego, CA 92105
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