Not having to actually login is a good thing when it comes to keeping up with the blog. Not that it has helped me one bit! Yet! I just get busy with life and forget to document the fun moments during the racing season!
Let's recap a very wet and cold weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. I had the pleasure of the company of my son joining me this weekend. Awwwwww! Just like the old times! Now he's a full grown adult and he has his own driver and doesn't feel the need to cheer on for Mom's driver: the greatest driver who has ever joined two generations...and continues to make the media types eat their words theses last couple of races! JEFF GORDON. Mr. #24 himself. My son likes the other greatest driver, Tony Stewart. Remember, Tony McChubbas hates me. Oh well. Onto the race weekend.
We delayed our trip by a couple of hours because of some nasty thunderstorms in the planned route up to TMS. Once we hit the interstate, the standing water on some of the roadways was indicative of what woul befall us in the very near future. After a quick stop for some breakfast tacquitos and a short lunch stop, we rolled into Cow Town, Fort Worth, Texas, home of Billy Bob's, Joe T. Garcia's and Eddie Gossage's....I mean Texas Motor Speedway!
After having spent several years crashing over at my ex-husband's house (and his lovely wife too) and saving hotel money, the last couple of races I have been staying at the Radisson near the track. This year I wanted to stay close to the track but also be fairly close to food & shopping areas. As it turned out, I used Expedia to book a hotel and got what turned out to be a fantabulous deal for a rain postponed race weekend. The hotel I booked was an extended stay facility. Unbeknownst to me the cheapo rate I paid was for the whole week! What?! I paid twice that amount for a two night stay at the Radission. So when the race was delayed and no one was sure if we were gonna race Sunday night or Monday, I didn't panic. I knew I had enough vacation time to stay another day and I wouldn't have to drive all night to get home or spend more money on another hotel night. Let me tell you, this by chance discovery of a small, clean, well secured hotel made me feel safe. I will be back in June and with Jim in tow in November.
We dropped off our luggage and headed over to the track to pick up my season tickets at the main ticketing office and other creds at the the red roof modular office before getting comfortable in our PSL seats to watch Cup practice and qualifying for the Nationwide series. It was a nice day. A little cooler than I expected so I had to put on an extra shirt and windbreaker.
The biggest change this year has been the knock out qualifying method of determining who starts where and who wins the pole award. I must say in all honesty that it doesn't look anything like it does on television when you actually see it in person at the track. Being able to watch the scoring pylon as it changes when each driver crosses the start/finish gives you a whole different perspective from what the network lets you see.
I get it. Now I get it. Now I see the strategy each team has to employ to produce the best effort. And if ever there was an example of your best effort always being your initial effort, knock out qualifying is it. The second runs rarely are better than the first. Why screw up your car or tires if you are safely in the threshold of advancement? I really don't care for where you start, because as we all know, it's where you finish that ultimately counts.
Before we even start to discuss starts, I want to address finishes. When you get beat by your own motor/engine technology week after week, it's time to do something.... Mr. H. I'm talking to you. I love you to pieces and admire you with the greatest admiration since that which I bestowed upon my dear Bush 41. (Not Kurt BusCh, driver of the # 41 Stewart Haas car.) Really, it's just something that just pisses me off almost every weekend. I really like the use of the special remote that has the special button that makes the other teams Hendrick Motors go BOOM! No confetti! Only white smoke that signals it's time to go home. LOL! All kidding aside, please make it stop.
During the break between events we do a little shopping! I always like coming up early enough to hit the midway of merch trailers before the throngs of fans gather in front. Of course, you can always tell who the most popular drivers are by the size of the crowd in front. If you see a mass of bodies all scrunched in front of one trailer in particular, I'll bet you $100 that it's Dale, Jr's merchandise they are all clamoring to get ahold of. I could also say the same for any of the Hendrick boys' trailers and Tony Stewart's too.
Jim and I have been comparing notes for almost five years now and if there's one thing he knows I can do darn well, it is picking, forecasting and actually predicting winners of races and who becomes a series champion. I picked Brad Kezlowski as series Champ and yes, I even picked Smoke to edge Carl. I also have a knack for pointing out the up and coming talent: Brad, Kyle Larson, Stenhouse (uncommonly lackluster lately) but I wasn't on the Danica and Austin Dillon bandwagon. (WHAT'S WITH THE HAT?? Stop it already!!)
Chase Elliott, darling son of NASCAR darling Bill. What can I say? The boy is a phenom with Sunoco fuel coursing through his veins.
To be continued in the next The Road to Nowhere entry.