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Camping World 300 September 4, 2007

Posted by daveinoc in NASCAR, Sports.
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Ahhh, my first NASCAR race. Went out to Fontana and the California Speedway to watch the Camping World 300 Busch Series race. It was BLAZING hot outside when I got there around 1:30 with a friend who’s a big racing fan. He actually went to the Nextel Cup race the next day as well. Anyway, we watched some motorcycle stunts by the Metal Mulissha team which was cool. Lots of flips and tricks going off a ramp. They had to be ROASTING in all their gear. Totally cool stuff. Than we just kinda cruised around and checked out all the merchandise, got the radio scanner programmed so we could listen to the drivers during the race, had a couple of beers and tried to stay out of the sun. Watching the practice runs was brutal because it was so hot and there is not a sliver of shade in the grandstand. The cars are super loud and it’s amazing to see cars going 160-170+ mph.

The race itself was cool but the thing that stood out the most was the pre-race stuff. They actually prayed before the race and I guess they pray before each race. How cool is that!? How many major sporting events do that? This is the only one I know of. It was great.

Onto the race itself. Some of the cars had trouble keeping traction and didn’t cut down to the lower half of the track on the turns. They just rode it out at the top. They had to wait for someone to make a mistake (or lose traction a bit and slow down) in order to move up. One car that was up at the top pretty much the whole time was Brian Vickers. He’d try to go down low on the turns but obviously could get it to stick because he’d lose time. He didn’t actually finish the race as he was in a crash during the 133rd lap. He led for 37 laps. Goes to show that racing is more than just turning left. There are lines to take going around the track, positioning against other cars and of course the pit stops have to got to happen flawlessly. Amazing how fast 4 tires can be changed and the tank filled up. Forget getting a VISA check card, I want a pit crew to fill up my car and rotate my tires. That’ll save me some time.

The major crash was the number 88 car that was sponsored by the Squi…I mean…Navy. 🙂 Brad Keselowski got clipped on the corner of his car, skidded up to the wall and rode the front left corner of his car along the track while the rest his car rode the rail. An oil line apparently broke and there was a big ball of fire. Luckily he was fine although he had to be air-lifted to the hospital to get his leg checked out. It was an amazing crash and I was happily shocked that he wasn’t more seriously injured. It’s a testament to all of the safety gear they equip the cars and drivers with.

One thing that I noticed is how passionate some of the fans are of the drivers (and I’m not talking about the chicks going gaga over Kenny Kahne). One guy didn’t sit down the entire race and just watched Carl Edwards the whole time. When Edwards was knocked out in the same crash as Vickers, albeit temporarily, the guy was devastated. He stood up and flipped off a driver who I think was also involved in the crash. It was pretty funny. When Edwards returned to racing a little bit later, the guy was ecstatic, jumping around and yelling. Funny but very cool that someone is that passionate about their sport.

Anyway, the whole thing was cool and I’ll definitely have to check out some more races. I wouldn’t mind hitting some drag races as well. Good times and I can see why NASCAR is so popular.

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