Before I get into Saturday at Fontana, I want to thank you for your well wishes. I’m totally fine and have removed a lot of stuff from my plate. It’s a lot easier to breathe now.
On Saturday I got up early again, somewhere around 6am to get to the track when the Sprint Cup Series garage opened. I was alone for the day and got things started by hanging out in the garage for the first practice session of the day. Nothing that eventful happened. Lately my favorite thing is when some of the cars have to coast in and the crew guys have to push the car back to their stall.
This time Carl Edwards got out and helped his guys guide his car. I tried to take a picture but was too late fumbling between my cell phone and my camera. And since I’m already on the topic of Carl Edwards I HAVE to talk about the Sporting News’ article that came out today detailing what Amanda Beard, a U.S. Olympian who dated Carl a long time ago, wrote about Carl & their relationship in her new book. I don’t have thoughts about what she wrote, although it’s interesting stuff, but about what commenters have said in response to the article. Everyone is jumping to the conclusion that she’s a liar and made it all up to help sell her book. My question is: Why can’t what she said be true? Why can’t people believe that Carl might be a little bit of a douchebag? I’m not saying that he is, I’m just wondering why NASCAR fans automatically disbelieve the non-NASCAR person and jump up to defend the NASCAR driver? That makes no sense, especially since most of those people commenting on what Amanda Beard wrote have never even met Carl or spent any time with him in a real way or, better yet, have DATED HIM to know what he’s actually like.
Anyway, moving on to Nationwide Series qualifying. This is where I give you some tips on hanging out in the garage during qualifying. This works for either the Nationwide or Sprint Cup series. Stay out of the way and listen to the people that are yelling at you to stay out of the way. Pretty simple, right? Now I know that the people who really need to hear this advice aren’t reading this blog, but it should still be said.
People inevitably gather around the media bullpen where the top-3 cars are held and inevitably they try to get as close as possible to take pictures. This issue gets even nuttier when Danica Patrick is around because people ignore the multiple people screaming at them to get back. It boggles my mind because I NEVER want to be in the way, and so I can’t imagine ignoring direct orders to not be in the way. In general, when you’re in the garage you have the be alert at all times to make sure you’re not going to get hit by a car or have some crew guy pissed off at you because you’re standing in the exact spot where he needs to deposit his tires.
Anyway, there were bunch of people around and weirdness of the Danica mania was never clearer than when she briefly took the pole and then was promptly knocked off by Mike Wallace once she rolled her car into the garage. She got out to do interviews, but they hadn’t done them when Wallace took the pole. So Mike Wallace shows up, gets out of his car and has no one to talk to as the current pole guy because they’re all huddled up with Danica.
So he stood there staring over at her and the mob around her, while he waited for someone to talk to him. He was visibly annoyed by this. He even made some jokey comment to ESPN’s Mike Massaro about when they were going to get around to talking to him.
The rest of the day went off without a hitch. While I was walking through the garage, I think I was on my way to driver intros, I heard a woman yell “I love your website!” I looked around and saw two women standing behind the garage’s fence. I was all “MY website??” and she said yes. The woman was Shannon and her friend Melissa (If I got your names wrong I AM SO SORRY, seriously!). Shannon said that she reads my blog and I was super shocked. It’s always great to meet someone in person that’s read this site, so I was really thankful that she said something.
When Joey Logano won the day’s Royal Purple 300 Nationwide Series race I made sure I was down on pit road early enough to get into Victory Lane. It was a smart move because Joey did a burnout INTO the winner’s circle that made my entire body — and that of those around me — vibrate. It was a crazy feeling, but really cool.
And that was basically it. Up next, Sunday!
(all photos credit The Fast and the Fabulous)