Monday, August 10, 2009

At The Races - NASCAR

I had an opportunity today to play hooky in Watkins Glen. I attended the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. My SIL had an extra ticket so I spent the day watching race cars go by me at 160 mph. The last time I was at Watkins Glen for a race was thirty years ago - the 24 Hour Endurance Run. My brother was a member of the pit crew for his boss and they needed me also - well, they needed another pickup truck and I came with the Ford F100 or no F100. It was very cool having access to the pits and watching second hand IROC Camaros trying to stay running for the entire race.

That was then. This is now. I forgot how noisy these cars are. There were several spectacular crashes and luckily no one was injured. Some 43 cars participated. There are only two road races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Watkins Glen is the roughest on brakes due to the number of turns. One turn requires that a driver slow down from 180 to 85 mph. The picture below is just before turn five.

The stands were still filling up when we got there at about 11:30 am. The race was rained out yesterday and my dauh=ghter and her family got soaked. We were hit with rather violent thunderstorms yesterday all through central NY and I was afraid that today was going to be a repeat. As it turned out, it was 92 degrees and partly sunny; thankfully there was a nice breeze and the rain held off until the race was over amd we were well on our way home.

Some of the pictures I took were during the red flag portion of the race when it took them over twenty monutes sto clear the wreakage off the track. They pulled over and parked just down from the turns (between 6 and 7) where we were sitting.

Those are NASCAR officials in white coveralls behind the safety cage on turn six.

This is for my daughter, go Army!

The race was red flagged on lap 63 after a real bad accident that eliminated about seven cars. They parked 'em and shut 'em down about 75 yards before turn five until they got the track cleared.

This is a picture from the last lap. The top ten finishers were:
1. Tony Stewart
2. Marcos Ambrose
3. Carl Edwards
4. Kyle Busch
5. Greg Biffle
6. Juan Pablo Montoya
7. Kurt Busch
8. Max Papis
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Denny Hamlin

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