Tag Archives: Daytona International Speedway

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.