Getting to the racetrack on Saturday was pretty easy. Our tickets came with a parking pass and we were able to go in a back way instead of the main entrance. It took us about 20 minutes from the house to the Lot F parking. We got there at 8 a.m. Then the fun began...walking through a field of rough terrain, mostly uphill, against winds of approximately 20-25 mph. We had checked the weather forecast and knew it would be cold and windy, so we had layered our clothing appropriately, or so we thought. It took about 20 minutes to get to the entrance. I was already pretty cold by that time and jokingly remarked to Hubby, I'm ready to go back home. The sun was warm but the wind was brutal and it was only about 45 degrees by then. We learned later that with wind chill, it was 35 most of the day.
Walking into the wind with the sun behind us.
I was trying to be mellow about the fact that Hub thought we should get there so darned early. We went directly to the grandstand to locate our seat numbers,there were only a handful of people there that early. There were practices running on the track, the first race did not start till 10. We went walking around the area and located the two coffee vendors. LOTS of people in line there! The staff people that we spoke to were all freezing, and trying to stay in the sun as much as possible. Throughout the day I found the best place to be was leaning against the side of a couple of the buildings in the sun. That was the only way to be protected from the wind.
There were three races that day, they kind of all ran together in my mind and I couldn't keep the different classes of vehicles straight in my mind when they were running in the same race. We both took a lot of photos, and I tried to pick out a collection to represent the day. The main race started at 3:00 p.m. and we got to see the start and the first few laps from the skybox area of the main grandstand. Even with earplugs the sound was deafening, but exciting all the same. Then we made our way back to Turn 15 where we watched the rest of the race.
All of the car photos except one are of the main race, the Grand-Am. The red 51 car is from the first race. The driver is Reba McEntire's son. I picked that one to watch before I knew who was driving. He was in first place for several laps, then kept falling back, then moving back up a few slots, then fell out completely.
In the photo of me up at the top, that is what my hair did most of the time. From one side to the other, then straight back! I remarked that it looked like Donald Trump hair!
The little orange Corvette was my favorite car in the main race. Later in the race, it came into the pits and hit one of the mechanics. He wasn't badly hurt, just knocked down. The car driver received a penalty though.
It never warmed up the entire day and when the sun started going down it got even worse in the Grandstands. People started leaving because they were so uncomfortable. We stayed until ALMOST the end. I was willing to stay until the bitter end no matter what! Hub kept asking me if I was ready to leave, and I kept saying no. When it finally dawned on me that he wanted a different answer, I said okay and we got out of there. Came home and watched the rest on t.v. Right after we left, there was a spin-out in Turn 15, right where our seats were located.
It never seemed really crowded to me, except for the last race. I read in the paper Sunday that attendance was right at 27,000. So it was pretty light, considering the F-1 race had close to 120,000. It was a fun day, but I was tired on Sunday and spent most of the day relaxing.