Monday, February 24, 2014

Mother Nature Wins Daytona!!!!!

What an experience that first Daytona 500, however it turned into about the Daytona 70 instead!

As we flew into Daytona in our private helicopter, I snapped this pic above...ya, right, dreaming again John... get real!

We were on our bus is more like it, around 8:45 am heading for Daytona, we knew we were in a bit of trouble when the Highway was clogged up about 20 miles outside of Daytona! Took us 3 1/2 hours for a 2 hour drive... however we made it to our seats about 15 minutes ahead of the start! The weather was a bit overcast but very warm!

Right after the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner, we were buzzed by the famous Blue Angels! What a performance as they did a low speed fly over timed to the last of the anthem, and then did a starburst type of manouver right over the field! Really impressive and the crowd went right nuts!

Hard to get a good picture of these guys with an iPhone... however this is my attempt! Judy and I were able to watch all 7 of them launch as we walked into the Stadium, as the Daytona Airport is right next to the Stadium.... it was simply awesome to watch them launch!

All 42 drivers were introduced and driven around the track before the start, including Danika Patrick above... who drives the Go Daddy Car #10. (She crashed out near the end, but was taken out by another car...)

The pace car had all the ducks lined up in a row behind it... check out the video of this below...

The race started on time, and WOW... loud and fast, just the way everyone wants it! We were sitting right in the middle of the backstretch...not bad seats with views of the corners at each end of the track. The racing was great for 38 laps and then..........

Mother Nature reared her ugly head!

It started to rain! Just a bit at first... they told us the race would soon start again, as you simply cannot race at 200 MPH in the rain!

Well, the rain got harder... and harder... and harder... and then got crazy hard and stayed that way for well over 1 1/2 hours!!! Every one had to take cover under the grand stands... we are talking well over 100,000 people! We had light rain coats on but they were soon deemed useless and we got wet, I am not talking just a bit wet, we were soaked! Right through... and then it happened....

I could feel my iPhone 5 vibrating like mad against my hip in it's case, so I pulled it out, and it was flashing, and screaming and vibrating like I have never saw before... I opened it up, and it said it great big letters, (DANGER, you are in an area where a possible TORNADO is heading... take cover immediately!!!" WHAT??? What is this???? Soon after we heard the track announcer warning people but you could not hear him very good due to the loud rain! We were currently under the biggest mechano set I have ever seen in my life... the grandstand. Judy and Cheryl took immediate cover in a cement block women's bathroom, while Tom and I went to look outside... it was bad weather, but we could not detect any sign of a tornado, and the warning was soon lifted, THANKFULLY!

The rain lasted over 4 hours! They do have equipment to deal with it... check this out...

The machine above creates compressed air and blows water off the track. They also have 1/2 ton trucks with jet engines on the back to dry the track... I took a video below...

After 4 hours of solid rain, out Tour and Bus Company apologized and with no complaints we all decided to take off for home... the bus was needed for a trip today and could not stay late.

They did end up starting the race again at about 8:30 last night. We were home and watched it on the TV with Dale Enhardt Jr. being the eventual winner! Great race!

Turned out to be quite the experience... certainly not the one I expected! You learn that you cannot mess with Mother Nature! I did enjoy what we saw, including the great fly over and the cars... they are something else! Maybe next year...

Till tomorrow...


  1. Yes, next year John. And I concur that one can't challenge mother nature.

  2. We were watching your weather from here in Ontario when we heard there was a tornado warning at the speedway. We thought you were there so were sure glad when we heard it had been lifted.

  3. They are talking possible rain here in Phoenix for the race on Sunday. We haven't had rain in over two months and now it may arrive on race day. Jim and my BIL are going to the race here. Go Dale, Jr.

  4. That sure was an experience, never know what mother nature will bring on.
    Last year we camped on the infield by turn 4 for an Rv show. No racing but sure was fun.

  5. I was thinking about you guys on Sunday especially when I heard about the tornado warning. My first thought was "what great blog fodder"!! I knew you'd be right in the middle of the action.

    Too bad you had to leave but is was a great experience just the same. Nice pics with your iPhone.