Thursday, March 16, 2006

NASCAR in Atlanta

NASCAR is coming to Atlanta this weekend!

Five years ago, in 2001, it was the Cracker Barrel 500 and we were there! Buddy was building Cracker Barrel restaurants at the time and he was sent to the Atlanta Motor Speedway to build the Cracker Barrel storefront stage. This is where the drivers were introduced to the crowd, coming out of the "restaurant" door when their names were called. It was built on a tractor-trailer and pulled out front and center for the pre-race stage, then pulled off the track for the race.

We spent about 5 days camping out at the Speedway that year, with passes to all the weekend events provided by the construction company he worked for. There were several races and qualifying runs. We ate breakfast in the infield and toured the pits. A lot of his coworkers were camping there also, along with hundreds of die-hard NASCAR fans. It was just a gravel parking lot used for camping, but the atmosphere was electric. There were huge banners displayed on campers of their favorite drivers. There were satellite dishes, grills, lots of food and fun.

This was our first NASCAR experience, and if not for the free tickets, we probably would never have gone to a race. (And after fighting the traffic, may never go to another one!) But it was worth it, the noise, the bright colored cars, the Air Force jet flyby, the speed, the roar of the engines! The weather was perfect, cool and sunny. It was a very exciting few days.

We still cheer for Bill Elliott when he races, as he is kinda a neighbor, being from Dawsonville. Carl Edwards won the Atlanta race last year, doing his trademark backflip off of the car. I hope the weather cooperates this year, we will probably watch it from our vantage point on the couch!


Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Very nice post and very interesting pictures. I think it would be fun to attend just one time too and then watch it from the vantage point of the couch.

Basketball is the same way for my husband. I have been to many UK Wildcats BB games, but my husband perfers to watch it on TV.

Motherkitty said...

As always, Susan, you put us right in the picture with your descriptions. At least you can say that in your lifetime you went, experienced, and enjoyed NASCAR. My husband would give his eyeteeth to go just one time. Alas, he must enjoy his NASCAR in high def with surround sound from the couch with me in the other room blogging. Such is life.

Motherkitty said...

Did I ever tell you that I thought you were some classy lady (for a downhome girl)?

susan said...

Thanks, MK, but I guess between posting about Jeff Foxworthy and NASCAR, I have blown my 'classy lady' image!

Clance' McClannahan said...

Posting about NASCAR as a woman gives you class. You spoke your mind and shared your expeirience from your heart. That is classy. The pictures on your blog are beautiful. I have to admit, I wish I were in Atlanta this weekend instead of in Idaho.
Nice blog.

jellyhead said...

What an adventurous person you are, Susan!

I could just about smell the exhaust as I read your story.

Hope you have fun watching NASCAR this year, even if it has to be from your couch!

jellyhead said...

One more thing...THANK YOU for what you said on my blog - it was very funny and complimentary at the same time! You are such a lovely blogpal!

doubleknot said...

How lucky you were to experience NASCAR in person. A once in a life time event.
We watch NASCAR also though my room mate does flip the channel if there is poker on and lets a few laps go by before going back to it.
Very nice pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

Seeing Anew said...

Had a chuckle over the Cracker Barrel front on a trailer, and the racers exiting as if they had just been dining! The world of advertising is a strange place! Nice story.

Finn said...

What an exciting undertsking! And camping right! I'm not a Nascar fan, altho I admit to knowing what it is...*VBG* Like you, I probably never would go with the complimentry tickets, but as long as one is there, why not enjoy it to the max? Thanks for a good read!!