Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Good Mail and a Race

Again, last night, I opened the mailbox and what was inside??? Another piece of REAL mail! It was an envelope from my cousin Robin containing a photo of her little guy Caleb. Now, that's good mail - and two days in a row with the good mail -what's up with that! Thanks Robin!

I had to share that with you. And, it sort of segues into what the rest of the post is about...

The rest of the post is about our trip to the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. How does it segue? Well, cousin Robin is quite a race fan, that's how. So, her little boy's sweet face at the top of a post about the race makes total sense to me. The fact that her envelope arrived on the very day I was starting to work on a post about our trip to the races seems completely fitting.

I'll just let the suspense die now and tell you Helio won. He did. He won. In case you didn't already know that four days later. We actually didn't stay until the end, because we were too darn tired - we had gotten up for the bike race that morning, so we faded fast and left before it was all over. Helio led the whole race, though, pretty much. He was the man last Saturday night.

We met up with some people from S's work, where he got the tickets. It was nice to see some of them, as I don't see them every day. But, I can't say we visited. The activity on the track does not make the stands, once the race begins at least, conducive to visiting. It's loud, people. So loud most people wear earplugs.

So, we arrived before dark, (it was a night race) about an hour before the race because S had never been to a race before and he wanted to take in the ambiance. Me, well, I've been to the Indy 500 more times than I can remember. Several times. As a child and a teenager. Before I left Indiana. So, I've been to a race or two. So, getting there that early was not really that interesting to me, but this was S's gig. And he was driving, so I went along with it. When we arrived, we walked through the vendors on the outside of the track. To take in the ambiance.

They had a few flags flying...
This girl has a following...wait until later when I tell you more.

My parents used to work for Lilly. Look, guys, a Lilly wellness tour!

Check out that girl's shirt.

It says "Camo is the new black." OK. Fine. But, then, why is the shirt pink? I mean, I guess the letters that spell out CAMO are in pink camo. But that's it. I don't get it.

It took us about 15 minutes to take in all the ambiance to be had. So we headed inside.

We went in Gate 4. Then we ate. Then we sat there in the relative heat for a while until some action occurred. Two older couples who had traveled into town for the race sat behind us. One of the ladies sounded just like Dolly Parton. Sounded. She did not look like Ms. Parton. But, her voice - that voice sounded just like Dolly.

This guy - this guy right here? This guy is the Texas Motor Speedway's mascot, Sparky. This guy - this guy - he's a real pain in the you know where. He makes TONS of noise - louder than the cars - and he just keeps doing it! Over and over! And people clapped for him? I guess you can tell I was not a fan of Sparky's.

Also on the pre-race entertainment bill - motocross!

Eventually they started bringing out the cars.

And some dignitaries of varying varieties took the stage from time to time.

Then, they brought in the drivers.
In Texas, the drivers walk down to the track from the stands.
They seemed really thrilled to be doing that. Or not.

Then, they got in the back of a pick-up truck and drove around the track once and then to their cars. Now, I want to point out most drivers didn't have a single camera in the truck with them. Even Helio - HELIO - who recently won the Indy 500 for a third time - only had one camera in his truck. Ms. Patrick - Danica (lower right, above photo collage) - she was holding a whole freakin' press conference in the back of her truck. It was obscene how the media followed her.

Then, after much revelry - sky divers, flyovers, anthems - finally the race began.
Shaquille O'Neill told them to start their engines.

It is an exciting moment.

The moon kept catching my attention. But, I'll save those photos for another post.

S bought a scanner for the event.
Because his work homies told him it was the only way to really enjoy the race -
- to listen to a scanner while you're there. So he did.

There was a caution right off the bat. Took out three cars.

But after that, there was only one other caution, I think. At least before we left. Ahem.

I took a couple of short videos for you with the purse camera. First up, just a general video of the noise and action. You can't really experience the noise...but there was the car track noise and then this constant din of some guy talking over the loudspeaker. I'm pretty sure you couldn't understand him even if you didn't have earplugs in. But, most certainly with earplugs, he was unintelligible.

The General Action Video

The second video shows a pit stop for one of the less experienced drivers. You'll see it only takes 11-12 seconds for him to pit - Helio's guys do it in 7 these guys are "slow." The video gets a little grainy when I zoom in. Just go with it. It's not very long.

The Pit Stop

Speaking of pit stops...
This represents probably the best stop action shot I got...
I didn't do too great in that department.

So, as I mentioned, we left before it was over. We came, we saw, we needed to sleep. On the way out, we were already in a good bit of traffic. We followed their signs and got in the Dallas lane. But, somehow, we were diverted to the Ft. Worth lane right at the last minute by the police directing traffic. No option. We had to get on 35W south to Ft. Worth. If you've ever been in this predicament, there are not a whole lot of options for you at that moment. We decided to drive on down to 183 and go across there. But, S missed the exit. So, the tired two of us drove all the way south to I30 and then across. Just as we got on I30 we remembered the new Cowboys Stadium had their opening night concert that night and we could be fixing to get in a mess of traffic. Luckily, we passed the stadium about 15 minutes before the end of the concert. So, we drove on home. And we both slept. Hard.

So, that's a our little trip to the races. It was an experience, but not, like my cousin, my favorite thing to do. (look how I brought that all the way around for ya, huh) It was fun, nonetheless. I'm always up for fun! See you tomorrow.


  1. Haha...I like the girl's face in the pink shirt. She seems to be confused about you are taking her picture. Or maybe she, too, is confused about why her shirt is pink.

  2. I, too, got special mail yesterday, with yet a different picture of that sweet Caleb. Robin blessed us both!

  3. Glad you liked the picture! If you think Indy Cars are should hear NASCAR. I have to have ear muffs when we go to the's so loud you feel the roar of the cars in your chest! It's great. Anyway I really enjoyed reading and seeing picture of the race! Thanks!


Please leave your name (first name only is fine) with your comment!