Garage Passes

As you can imagine, the beginning of the racing season doesn’t go unnoticed around our house. While we don’t watch every single lap of every race, if we’re at home, and a race is being televised, our tv is usually on that channel.

I’d never attended a “big” race until Motor Man and I got together. During those first few years, we attended several Nascar races. We’ve been to Texas Motor Speedway twice, Daytona three times, Charlotte and Richmond several times each and (the now closed) Rockingham once.  If you’re a race fan, nothing can compare to the smells, the sounds and the excitement of being at a big track. (Except, as we’ve discovered as we’ve aged matured, watching it from the comfort of home.)

Through Motor Man’s connections, we usually had garage passes, which meant we had access to the area where all the cars, teams and drivers were.  So I thought I’d share a few photos from some of the races we attended. (If you’re not a race fan, you may want to leave now. I’ll understand.)

This picture of Jeff Gordon was taken at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I’m not sure of the year, probably 1998 or 1999.  If I’d been pushy, I could possibly have gotten an autograph. But, although I took pictures, I never bothered any of the drivers for autographs.

gordon

I took this picture of  Tony Stewart (center) in Daytona, probably in 1999 or 2000.

tony stewart

When you’re in the infield, the only real view of the track is from the top of one of the car haulers. This was also taken in Daytona, but I’m not sure what year.  The garage area is a busy, exciting place, but I always worried about being in the way. (There’s, obviously, less danger of that on top of the car hauler.)

from the car hauler

Seating up there is limited, but I managed to find a spot.

db.bmp-001

And…on the car hauler beside us (looking very much like one of those cardboard stand-ups) was… Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

earnhardt

 Motor Man and I were never big Earnhardt fans, but we witnessed something in Daytona, just four days before his death, that caused us to rethink our opinion of him.

I’ll share that in tomorrow’s post.

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14 responses to “Garage Passes

  1. Amazing photos of several greats, not to mention Dale Earnhardt Sr! So curious about your post tomorrow. I remember enjoying a movie called Grand Prix a long time ago. It put you in the driver’s seat to follow the race. Scary and exhilarating at the same time.

  2. Great photos Dianna! As you know, David and I are pretty darn rabid race fans too although have never been to a race “in person”…..can’t wait to hear your DE story……..

    Pam

  3. I don’t watch racing (cars) but I find it interesting. When I was younger I loved to watch dragster racing on TV. I don’t think I missed a one of them on the weekends. I think it skeered my Mom a bit that I was so obsessed by them. If it was still on, I’d be watching it. Shirley Muldowney!! Nice score on the photos of the drivers Dianna, I see you were polite and shy too.. 😀 I enjoyed seeing this side of your life Dianna! Looking forward to tomorrow!

  4. You know I’m not particularly a race fan but since I know you’ve been since your teens, I’m glad to see the pictures from the big races you and JR attended! You’re such a fan of speed, I can’t believe you never got a speeding ticket!! LOL!!

  5. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Thanks for sharing Dianna, Chuck and I are not fans but we did like Earnhardt Sr.. What can we say we live on Earnhardt Street!

  6. How fun! I have never been to an “actual” Nascar race, however, we have sent several lucky customers on “all expense paid” trips…lucky ducks!
    It’s been awhile, but I LOVE going to the drag races at Bandimere

  7. Is this the Earnhardt picture that you couldn’t locate? Glad you found it ! Looking forward to hearing what you witnessed… can’t remember if you’ve told me or not …

  8. not a race fan, but i know it is major business!

  9. I have never been to a race but it looks fun, especially if you have a pass to see the drivers and what goes on at the back. My Hubby would love that 🙂 xx00xx
    Mollie and Alfie

  10. Even though I’m not a racing fan, I thought this was so interesting…and can’t wait to read your post tomorrow.

  11. My father has watched the Cup races for years. About 14 years ago I dated someone who also watched, and was a Mark Martin fan. I began watching then and still do. Back then I rooted for MM and Dale Earnhardt, as he was my Dad’s favorite. Now I root for Mark Martin, Dale Jr., and Tony Stewart. Odd mix, yes, I know. But Cup races give me and my Dad another something to talk about, and when I worked on construction sites it gave me something in common with a lot of the workers. They loved that a girl knew who and what they were talking about. I have yet to go to a race, though, as I just cannot picture being at Pocono (the nearest track to us) in the middle of the summer. I am looking forward to your story about DE tomorrow. And I am very excited about Danica Patrick having the pole for Sunday. Dad is up, so we’ll watch the race together.

  12. I’ve never been to a race. But boy they do look exciting. It looks like you had a peach of a view. I bet it was fun. 🙂

  13. I know what you mean about watching from the comfort of home! We’ve been to Richmond and Charlotte. Would love to see the Daytona track, race or not. Great pictures!

  14. Fun! I think of you so much as a horse person…interesting to see another side! BTW, nothing beat the comfort of home! May not be as exciting, but definitely more cozy! ~ Sheila

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