First, let me apologize for my serious delay in writing about Sonoma. The Monday following the race I came down with a cold and subsequently felt like crap ever since and didn’t feel like doing anything at all except breathing.
But now I’m better and can tell you all about the weekend, if you’re still interested.
I’m not going to write it in my traditional manner as it has been a long time since the race happened and not a lot really went on so I’m going to run through the highlights.
In no particular order:
— Overall during the Friday press conferences most of the drivers seemed to be way more comfortable with the racetrack in Sonoma. In the past it was a tough pill for the non-road course specialists to swallow but now it seems like it’s exactly the opposite. The guys that are known for driving road courses, Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose, seemed particularly annoyed by the track and not that thrilled with their chances to come out with an awesome result. Interesting how things have changed and I really love it. It’s nice to know that the NASCAR guys don’t ALL dread coming to my “home” track.
— I interviewed Landon Cassill and Scott Speed using the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questions so I’ll be posting those at some point.
— During the pre-race ceremonies the Boy Scouts were on hand and one of them was tasked to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Well, the kid forgot to say “under God” and the crowd booed him. Adults booed a kid. And one guy even yelled “Under God!!!” like he was all pissed off or something. I seriously doubt that kid meant to do that on purpose, he was probably just nervous and forgot. I doubt he performs that thing in front of 90,000 people everyday.
— I rode the Ferris wheel that sits atop Turn 9 with my boyfriend. The $2 fee goes to Speedway Children’s Charities and I only did it because my boyfriend really wanted to and he thought it would be romantic. Well, it wasn’t. It was the most terrifying thing EVER. That thing doesn’t go around slowly, it goes around FAST and hearing those gears turning did not make me feel good. I had to focus on something not moving so that I wouldn’t lose it. It was horrible, but if you’re into that sort of thing you should try it out next year.
— The reason we went up to Turn 9 at all was to check out the new gourmet food truck feature. We had a super yummy fried chicken & cilantro coleslaw sandwich from Pollo Fritto. I hope the food trucks are back next year and at IndyCar too!
– As usual I hung out with my awesome friend Kristen who is the official toolbox girl for the No. 22 team. We gossip about this and that and this year we went to dinner at Bouchon, a super foo-foo-shi-shi restaurant in Yountville (about 30 minutes north of the track), with another friend, Melissa and a NASCAR official that told us some pretty awesome stories about the lengths teams will go to cheat or to tell on other teams that do. Oh, and the food at Bouchon was wonderful! You should go.
— Did you know that race teams use Pam to help their fuel cans slide better into the car’s fuel tank? I had no idea.
— AJ Allmendinger had a map of the Sonoma racetrack taped on his car’s dashboard. What was the point of that? It’s not like he’d have time to look at it while he’s racing.
— Kurt Busch’s emotional post-race press conference was STRANGE. I was sitting in the front row, right in front of him, and could see that he was on the verge of tears and if anyone had asked another question about his emotions he could have gone into a full-on meltdown. So I get that he was proud of finishing so well after being out of the race the previous week, but I dunno I didn’t get why he was that emotional. Or maybe I do but because of everything I know about him I don’t buy it, or maybe I buy it but I don’t think it was deserving of applause from the room.
— Clint Bowyer’s trophy broke in victory lane. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I know that the bottom of the goblet came off. I guess they were able to fix it because they brought it to him in the post-race press conference after he wanted to know why he wasn’t celebrating with wine at that very moment.
– At the driver’s meeting I stood near the main entrance to the room. I hugged the wall knowing that it would become very full but at the same time tried to not accidentally turn off the lights because the switches were right next to my arm. I really didn’t want to be that person. So at one point Brad Keselowski appeared in front of me with AP reporter Jenna Fryer. She was showing him photos from the IndyCar race where Will Power and EJ Viso exchanged rude gestures with each other.
— Kurt Busch’s girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, has been walking around with a giant rock on her left hand’s ring finger, but it’s not a diamond and there’s no word on whether it means anything or if it’s just her way of telling Kurt that she wants it to mean something. There’s a photo below.
— Sadly I didn’t take the Obligatory Ron Malec Photo of the weekend. I know, I know, it’s horrible and I feel really bad about it. I just couldn’t seem to be prepared when I finally had an opportunity to take a shot.
That’s all folks! Don’t forget to enter my Pepsi MAX giveaway. The prize package includes some really awesome stuff, including four $25 ($100 total) Walmart gift cards (totally useful!), and more!!