Carl Edwards waits to be interviewed post-qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Saturday morning at Auto Club Speedway found me inside the Nationwide Series garage watching as drivers qualified for the CampingWorld.com 300. Driver after driver made their qualifying run and I stood by in the media bullpen area where they keep the top-3 cars. Cars shuffle in and out (and drive by) as the numbers on the pylon change order.

There weren’t a lot of fans milling around in the garage and only a handful actually stuck around to watch drivers get out of their cars and maybe ask them for an autograph. I noticed David Reutimann, in regular dude clothes, standing with the guys from Michael Waltrip Racing. He had on a hat and sunglasses but I still couldn’t get over the fact that people didn’t notice him. I guess it was good for him to not be bothered, seeing as how he’d just come off the weekend before and his infamous incident with Kyle Busch.

As qualifying progressed I watched as Carl Edwards got out of his car, spoke with various members of the media, signed autographs for fans, met with a large group of employees from his sponsor, Copart, took pictures with them, and then went off to the media center. All of that took place in the space of like 10 minutes. Now that’s multi-tasking.
:)

After the Nationwide qualifying session I hung out in the Sprint Cup Series garage for practice. I hung around in a shaded area, taking pictures and happened to see Tony Stewart’s dad, Nelson, helping out his son’s team. He walked by a couple times happily wheeling tires and other stuff around the garage.

Later on in the day it was time for driver introductions for the Nationwide Series race. When Carl Edwards walked across the stage to do the usual handshakes & hellos with the honorary officials of the race, and when he got to David Hasselhoff they shook hands but then had, like, this conversation. It went on for a least a minute, I didn’t think Carl was going to leave the stage. I think when David Hasselhoff meets a young guy like Carl that has, like, everything going for him he probably wants to drink his blood.

hehe. I kid, I kid. :)

Anyway, after driver intros I went down to pit road and proceeded to get in the way of the trucks that had been carrying the drivers around the race track. I heard some guy say, “Ma’am,” which is weird because I don’t think of myself as a “Ma’am,” and I turned around to see two drivers staring at me from the top of the truck, with another truck behind them. I was directly in their path, prohibiting them from driving down pit road. So embarrassing.

:)

But not as embarrassing as David Hasselhoff’s rendition of the National Anthem. OMG, that was horrible. I’m not one to “Hassel the Hoff” but, dude, that was terrible.

So the race was the race and after it was over I didn’t go to Victory Lane. Instead, I went to the driver’s meeting room for the post-race press conferences with the second and third place finishers. Kevin Harvick arrived at the same time I did and there wasn’t anyone around from NASCAR to oversee the press conference as they usually do. Harvick was extremely pissed that day due to his pit crew’s lackluster performance on pit road. It was so obvious that I didn’t even dare to take his picture in that moment. He was irritated and it just didn’t seem like the thing to do.

NASCAR finally arrived but things still weren’t good ‘cause nobody asked Kevin any questions. When he left he said something under his breath, something like “what’s the point?” Yeah, he wasn’t having a good day.

So then maybe like 2 minutes after Harvick left, Brad Keselowski came in and said, “Harvick’s already been here? Wow, he must be really mad.”

Seriously. :)


Colin Braun

Colin Braun post-qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Reed Sorenson

Reed Sorenson helps his team push their car back to the garage post-qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Reutimann

David Reutimann hangs out with the Michael Waltrip Racing team in the post-qualifying area for the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

No 99 Aflac team

The No. 99 Aflac Ford team push their car and driver, Carl Edwards, back to their car stall as Sprint Cup Series practice comes to an end at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

No 16 3M team

The No. 16 3M Ford team push their car and driver, Greg Biffle, back to their car stall as Sprint Cup Series practice comes to an end at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

James Buescher and David Gilliland

James Buescher and David Gilliland get a ride to their cars on pit road before the start of the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Carly Fiorina, David Hasselhoff, Michael Annett, Phil Keoghan

Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, actor David Hasselhoff and Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan meet Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett before the start of the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Brian Scott

Brian Scott signs an autograph for a young fan on his way to driver introductions before the start of the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Starting grid for the CampingWorld.com 300

The starting grid on pit road before the start of the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)