And now my final, FINAL, post about the Pepsi 500 weekend at Auto Club Speedway!
Before driver introductions got started I met Heather, who is a friend of David Gilliland and his family, she’s also a Kasey Kahne fan. She reads my blog and we tweeted our locations and met up in the garage. We had a grrreat time hanging around, waiting to see which garage exit Kasey would use to go out to the driver intros stage. Because, really, you can never have enough Kasey Kahne photos.
There was no way I was going out to driver intros; it was a packed madhouse out there. I waited and then went out to pit road for the National Anthem. And I just so happened to stand near Kasey Kahne’s car ’cause it was near the exit I like.
So I watched the race from the press box where I got my very own No. 88 Sprinkles Cupcake! I was so glad I got one, but I didn’t want to eat it right then and so I decided I would save it for later. When there were almost 10 laps left I went down to pit road to be in position to get into Victory Lane once the race was over. Well that red flag came out and I was stuck down there longer than I’d wanted to be with the sun beating down on my cupcake! I didn’t want it to melt, and it was bad enough I was getting odd looks from people like “what is she doing with that cupcake?” Although, one guy took a picture of it.
So I happened to be standing near Elliott Sadler’s pits when he had his trouble and brought his car down to his stall. He got out of his car, took off all of his helmet stuff, and looked really irritated. Then some jackass random fan guy decided he should go over to Elliott, all smiles and grins, and try to shake his hand. Elliott was having none of it, and I got this awesome photo of him right after to prove it (see below!). He looked like he coulda used a cupcake, poor guy.
We all know that Jimmie Johnson went on to win the race. I guess it was nice since he’s a Southern California native and he did all that charity stuff earlier in the week. It was a nice cherry on his sundae. After he won last weekend’s race at Charlotte I’d like to take that friggin’ sundae away. Everybody, and I mean the drivers, need to rally and do what ever it takes to stop Jimmie from winning a 4th Championship. That sounds mean, but it’s actually their job. You’re not supposed to let someone else run away with something that you want.
So anyway, back to the Pepsi 500. After the official post-race stuff was over I went to my car and tried to leave. It was not to be. The security dudes working the exit wouldn’t let people through and told them to use the other exit. I go to the other exit and they’re not letting people out either. I go back to the first exit to complain and they say they’re not letting anyone out until the haulers leave.
This of course is crap. Since when do they have to let the haulers go before everybody else? Oh, but it wasn’t everybody they kept back, the crew members who complained were let through. Ugh. So I was pissed. I parked my car and walked back to the media center and had dinner. At that point the whole being stripped of my free will wasn’t such a bad thing.
After awhile I walked back through the 80% empty garage to find the No. 48 team was still there preparing their hauler to leave. I totally regret not taking a picture ’cause it was interesting to see them packing it up.
I got back to my car and the gates were open. I left right behind the No. 39’s hauler. hehe. Amazingly they were able to drive even with little ol’ me driving behind them.
The No. 16 3M crew get ready for the start of the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Kasey Kahne relaxes on pit road before the start of the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Eva Busch chats with her hubby, Kurt Busch on pit road before the start of the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Note the grinning idiot in the second photo just behind a highly pissed Elliott.
Elliott Sadler leaves his wrecked car behind on pit road during the final laps of the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)