Sunday, February 15, 2015

Speed Week in Daytona...

Phew, it has been a very busy weekend, as we ended up joining Tom and Cheryl, and made a trip over to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Tom and Cheryl are big time NASCAR Fans, and after our very wet and short visit to Daytona last year, they wanted a redo!
I took this picture of the famous walkway to Daytona which spans over Highway 92. We drove our car over, and you park off site for free, with a shuttle from the parking lot to the Speedway. This was a much better arrangement than last year, when we took a bus trip over.
Chery did a great job arranging seating for us this year. We did not want to attend the Daytona 500 as that day at the track is simply crazy, and the tickets are inflated in price. Instead, we opted for Saturday, the start of Speed Week, and 2 races on the Schedule. One of them was an ARCA Race, with is up and coming drivers,and the feature race last night was the Sprint Unlimited, which was a 75 lap (2 1/2 miles per lap) sprint around Daytona. The plan worked out great, as we were able to see all the big name drivers, and pay a lot less for tickets.
These are our seats, which are located in a section of the new Grandstand just being built. The view was great, check below!
We were sitting across from the end of pit road, on the front stretch of the track.
Above is the view of the track during the ARCA Race at 4:00 p.m. yesterday. We could see all around the whole track. A great day for racing, other than a little cool, but that is why you have a sweater and coat with you! OK, so do you want to see a 10 second flick of the cars running by our seats...just check below!
Just before the first race started we were walking around the various shops and displays on the grounds, and Judy came across a Daytona Promotion Tent. She filled out a quick survey form, received a ballot, and when they check it, she had won! OK, what did she win. Well, it turns out, that Judy received 2 passes, to attend the infield pre-race introductions for the feature race that night, on the Grand Stage. Hey, it all sounded good to me. There is only about 12 people that win this, out of thousands that attended yesterday.
Here we are, just beside the main stage, getting ready.
We no sooner got up there, and they set off all these fireworks to get the party started! They allowed us to take pictures, however we were not allowed to use a flash, so I took a bunch of blurry pictures I am going to show you anyways, as some are pretty cool. There were 25 top NASCAR Drivers in this feature race, and we got to fist pump and high five all of them!
Now, remember this, Judy and I are not big fans of auto racing, we have heard the names, but don't really know who they are. Thanks to Tom, for putting names to the faces you will see below...
First, I will start with a video I took at the start. I do not know who the first driver introduced is, but the second one is Dale Ernhardt Jr. probably the most popular of all the current drivers. Now, to warn you, there is no sound... just some funny noises on these videos. That is due to camera operator error. I had my finger over the mic hole on the camera and did not know it. I was using Judy's camera. But you do get the picture!
Here are some of the drivers I got pics of... not all of them... too many.





KYLE BUSCH (Cheryl's Favourite Driver)


Another of the big name Drivers attending, and Racing, was Danika Patrick!

That is a picture of Danika above, on her Merchandise Trailer. They all have these big trailers, and sell merchandise at the events... as you can see, hers was popular! I took a video of Danica, as I gave her the fist pump! She is certainly not very tall, and was pretty dynamic on the stage with all the other drivers being guys! Check out the video...

Again, sorry about the sound on those videos... rookie error! Heck just for the heck of it, here is another video showing the cars, with a lot of sound as they zip around the track!

While we were down on the track, we got to get up front and personal with the pace cars, supplied by Toyota. It was a blast to be right down on pit row where all the action takes place during the race.

Judy wanted to actually walk on the track, and we got that chance on the slight curve on the front stretch of the track right at the start/finish line.

Check out the angle on this slight turn in the track! You could not walk up the actual corners of the track due to the steep inclines...

Above is the famous "Daytona" sign on the grass infield. You could not walk on it as it looked so good, however during one of the four accidents during the race, one driver slid right through the sign sideways!

I had never seen cars wreck at speeds of over 200 miles. It is crazy to watch... hard to believe no one gets hurt most of the time. I am sure the wrecks are a big part of the draw of fans to this type of racing... also to see 25 cars to by you at over 200 mph just inches apart, is something to behold. I need a bigger engine in our Chevy Cruze!

While we waited for the opening ceremony, I took a pic above, of the FedEx pit stop. They all have these special units you see above, housing all the tools and supplies they need during the race. You have to be fast to change 4 tires, and fill a gas tank with gas at Daytona. These guys do it in about 12 seconds!

So, after 75 thrilling laps around Daytona, they handed the hardware to Matt Kenseth in the Dollar General car! It was a great race, and we all enjoyed it, even if it meant getting back to Frostproof at 1:30 in the morning!

Jeff Gordon won the pole position for this coming Sundays 500 race! I hear he is retiring this year... maybe a Daytona Win will change that!

Till tomorrow...



  1. Well now, that was an awesome day. Didn't know you could even get into pit road at Daytona. Looks like you had a great time.

  2. what a fantastic day you all had!! being married to a Nascar fan..we will have to make sure the satellite dish is up and running in time for next Sunday!!

  3. Have never been there for a race but attended 2 rv ralleys, and spent a week camped in the infield each time. lots to see there and I tried to climb the track on turn 4 could not do it.
    Nice that you had a great time.

  4. Vrrrooom! Vrrroom! That's all I can say!!