Sunday, October 14, 2007

Days 11-15:

We arrived at Lowe’s Motor Speedway around 1 PM and were guided to our camping spot right away. The campers were in a field that encircled the speedway. It was estimated that about 30,000 campers would be there for the week leading up to the race on Saturday night (13th). All the camping areas are “dry” meaning there are not any hookups. Generators were allowed, but they must be shut off between 11 PM and 7 AM.

We were very impressed with the organization of the Speedway with regards to the camping. Each area had great security and medical oversight. Even though we were “dry”, the Speedway had contractors coming around to fill up fresh water tanks and to empty the waste tanks. All for a cost, of course, however, it was not excessive. Everyone had their divers flags flying and most were doing the “tailgating” thing. Grills were going all the time and beer was flowing at high volumes. One continuous party.

Even though the entire time was a party/circus atmosphere, almost everybody conducted themselves in the most appropriate manner. We did not see a single display of drunkenness or arrogance. Everyone was greatly considerate of his or her neighbors. It was a tribute to the sport as well as the fans attending.

The vendors at this event were out in full force. Hundreds of stalls, tents, and trailers hawked their NASCAR items to the tens of thousands of fans each day from 10AM to 8 PM. No wonder this is the biggest money sport in the country. If one could not find a particular NASCAR item here, it did not exist.

Joyce’s favorite driver, Mark Martin, semi-retired last year so she wanted to find a driver to root for. After careful consideration, she chose Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Since visiting his race shop earlier in our trip, she was impressed with his efforts in this sport. Also, she believes he will have a better opportunity to show his racing skills with Rick Hendricks Racing in his new #88 car. He will now be a teammate of my favorite driver, Jeff Gordon (#24).

The race Saturday evening was filled with lots of excitement to include the pre-race pomp and circumstance. Jeff Gordon in the #24 car won the race even though he ran out of gas in the last lap. The whole experience was awesome and we look forward to doing it again at another racetrack. Our goal is to visit all of the tracks for a least one race. So far we have been to Dover Speedway in Dover, Delaware and now Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Next posting will be from Savannah where we are headed for now.


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