Saturday in Fontana started out with Nationwide Series qualifying. Heather and I hung out in the media bull pen area and watched as the cars came through. It was pretty routine so this is a good time to talk about the children I saw in the garage that weekend. There were TONS of them. The new NASCAR rule allowing kids in the garage has made a big impact because I’ve never seen so many little boys and girls getting photos and autographs.
I guess the only drawback would be for the drivers because this just exponentially increases the amount of people speed walking with them through the garage to get them to sign something. But it is extremely cute to see the kids reactions to drivers. They’re all shy and nervous but then so happy when it’s all over. Adorable. Overall a great move by NASCAR.
At some point I spied actress Molly Ringwald and actor Jason Biggs. Not together but randomly around the garage and in the media center. As much as I loved Molly in “Sixteen Candles” it’s funny that I didn’t feel the need to go up and talk to her. Now, if it had been the guy that played Jake Ryan it would have been an entirely different story. What happened to him?
Anyway, after qualifying the Sprint Cup Series had a practice session and then it was time for the Nationwide Series race, the Royal Purple 300. Before the practice session we caught sight of Howie Mandel leaving the Nationwide Series driver/crew chief meeting. Being familiar with Mr. Mandel’s serious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues I was just waiting for someone to try and touch him just to see what he’d do. But nothing happened. When Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick drove out and parked in front of the entrance to the track for practice Howie went up to their windows to tell ’em “Good luck today.” Carl, of course, took his helmet off and chatted with him for a little bit.
Before I headed out to the track for driver introductions I saw the PR guy for Trevor Bayne. I had emailed him earlier in the week about interviewing Trevor but he said he hadn’t seen my message. He gets a lot of email as you would expect, but he said he could fit me into Trevor’s schedule for the next day. I was super stoked about that. Then we ran into the guys from the band The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus who were performing later that night in the infield at the new Crown Royal Oasis Lounge. I talked to one of them and told them how I was so glad they were there. I totally meant to go to their show but I didn’t ’cause it looked like it was going to rain and by the time the race ended I was so tired, all I wanted to do was lay down.
And then we ran into Samantha Busch, Kyle Busch’s wife, and we talked to her for a minute. I told her about my site and she said she’s read it before, which made me wonder what she’s read and if she liked it. I told her I’d love to interview her sometime (which I would) and she seemed open to it. It was neat, she’s a very nice person.
So then it was time to really go out to the track for driver introductions. Nothing much to report on that front or about the race itself. Kyle Busch ended up winning the Royal Purple 300 as we all know and that’s about it.
Next up, Sunday at Fontana.
(All photos credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)