Back at the track. Got here early. Herb is crippled so we have to give him time to get there and adjust. Did I ever tell you that I hate the weather everywhere South? It gets wicked hot and its only in the 80s. Its the damn humidity. Now, this was not as bad as Talladega last year but geez…can’t we turn on the air conditioning?
One of the most entertaining moments of any race is the driver parade lap. As the drivers come by, the fans offer cheers to their favorite driver and more words of wisdom to their not-so-favorite drivers. I think you can see the guy at the bottom here giving Jeff some type of sign that means number 1, I guess. The swing of the night came when Kurt Busch came by and he got a reception that is normally reserved for Jeff Gordon by Earnhardt fans. People aren’t happy with Mr. Busch this week.
Then things got started. The beginning of every Winston cup race is like the Super Bowl with lots of stuff going on. This week we had the dude with the big flag tied to his leg drop in. He landed the flag right on the finish line. He was proud.
The cars are off. Jeff is on the pole and he leads them off as we go green!
It was a good race. Lots of cautions — tied a record actually — but that gives you time to get a drink. Otherwise, the action is non-stop and fast paced. They zip right around the track. Its so nice because you have a clear view of your driver the entire time. No huge crashes but a few that provided some excitement. Night racing is defintely the way to go. No heat from the sun beating down on you.
Now, I have to mention the size of this crowd. Bristol has been under a lot of reconstruction of the last decade. They keep adding more seats and they keep selling them out. Its the toughest ticket in NASCAR and they have 164,001 seats! People wait years for tickets — if they ever get them. In this shot, concentrate on one individual and then focus back and you get an idea of the sheer number — in techincal terms, its a shitload of people. The city I grew up in, Fort Wayne, could all sit in the stands here and watch the race. Imagine, everyone in Fort Wayne going to the mall on the exact same day at the same time. Where would everyone park? Insane.
Gordon ended up having a bad night and I don’t want to talk about it right now. Gordon has not finished 2 of the 3 NASCAR races I have ever been to. I hope I am not bad luck.
As we left Bristol with all the other 160,000 people, a drunk dude walked past our car and was yelling “Tickets! Who needs tickets?”. Although he was mocking all the scalpers pre-race, you had to wonder — does he have seats for next year and if so how much would he sell them for?
I always planned on visiting 2 new tracks per year until I saw all the tracks on the circuit. I may have to change that plan because I now have an old track that will bring the excitement everytime and will never disappoint. See you again, Bristol.