pre-race weekend pre-amble

This was written via blackberry while commuting. Bear w/me as far as sentence structure & spelling!
Finally starting to sense a wee buzz here in my fair city. After months of deafening silence, the city is actually talking about the race. Good thing as it’s this weekend. Of course I have to explain to people every day that there is a race happening (when & where) (More in the next one about that)

I am feeling rather behind the eight ball this week. Much to do, very little time to do it. Should have taken the week off. Ah well, hindsight.

Went down to the event Tues night. Paul was introducing the movie “Le Mans” and signing autographs and taking pics w/fans. Of course I had my camera, and people would ask if I would take their pic. I told them only if they donated to wounded warriors. Hehe… Every one has a price! (More on that later)

Many many people were still very unaware there is a race in our city.

Did a ninja stop and shoot at the autograph session Wed night.

Headed to the track to pick up my credentials this afternoon and catch up with some media friends. I was just gutted to see the lack of grandstands. The seats I used to sit in don’t even exist any more. How sad.

Caught up with Will Power and some others and ended up in the most bizzare conversation! It ended with will saying something hilarious (f-bomb included) and all of us laughing and walking off. It would be too strange to recount for y’all, but trust me, it was a moment.

As I was heading back to the office EJ asked if I was coming for a pace car ride. I told him I hadn’t been invited. He invited me. This lead to bizarro moment number two. Just as my pace car ride was about to start, it was discovered that two of the 3 pace cars were out of fuel. Next thing I know I am being driven thru the run off fence out into traffic to find a gas pump! LOL!

Being that it was a pace car ride, I left my bag including my camera & blackberry with EJ’s dad on the pit wall, so I didn’t have any means to snap picks of EJ pumping gas into the pace car! LOL! No exclusive pics this week!

The bonus of course was being able to chit chat with my little buddy about his season without being in the way of fans at an autograph session or him preparing to get in the car for a practice. So it was nice. Contrary to what I thought, EJ is happy with the state of his car & his team. He attributes his bad run of luck to circimstances beyond his or the teams control.

Of course then the actual ride started and I was thinking… WTF!? Am I nuts!? EJ doesn’t know this track yet!!!

These pace cars are pretty shitty compared to the awesome champ car pacers. (Sorry for an us vs them comparison, but this is no contest). First of all, there were never 4 people in the car. It was you and the driver. Secondly, they were race ready vehicles. With the 5 point harness belts. You were securely part of that car. Thirdly, the cars themselves were sweet rides. These cars felt like they were gonna either breakdown or flip at any moment. EJ likes to get very VERY close to the wall! Zoinks! It was very fun! Even the second time around when I was getting a tad nervous….

Ok that was the lead up.. More on Friday’s happenings tomorrow! (Must sleep! Alarm goes off at 5am!)

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8 responses to “pre-race weekend pre-amble

  1. okay, okay…
    :mumbles to self about being patient:

  2. And it all sounds like far too much fun! That’s good stuff there. I look forward to the rest of the reports and musings…

  3. It sounds like a great time!

    The pace cars don’t even have 5-point harnesses? That’s absurd. I’d expect that in a slower series like touring cars, surely a series with fast open wheelers – which race on ovals – should have a superfast safety car? This is the ideal opportunity for the manufacturers to show off the good stuff like they did in CCWS, and look at the Merc in F1.

    CART/CCWS had faults but it had many of these background things where lessons need to be learned and picked up by the IRL.

  4. Aw – that’s too bad you didn’t have your camera with you! That would have been a great picture!!!

  5. you seem bummed out by the race by your remarks on twitter. what is bad–the crowd, the interest in the race or just the whole deal?

  6. Nascar pace cars are worse, I’ve never been in one, but, sometimes they are trucks, Hybrid Priuses, or just a regular Fusion/Impalla/Camry. They don’t look fast at all, but then, neither do stock cars. Every now and then, a Camaro, mustang, or corvette makes it in as a pace car, but, rarely.

  7. Well, perhaps it’s a bit of reaping what they’ve sown for AGR with the results today. They put nothing substantial into the race, they get nothing in terms of results in qualifying. Hope I haven’t shot my mouth off too fast again! The alternate strategy worked very well for DP in Long Beach. We’ll see how their race goes.

    Bummed for Paul, happy for Alex, Will, Justin, and Graham…and Conway too. It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

  8. So wtf is race control’s problem?

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