All posts in Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma (08/06)

5 Posts

this is the ‘fabulous’ part

I love clothes. I love looking at them in magazines, I love rummaging through racks in stores, I love trying them on… I think you get the picture.

When I was at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway this weekend I stopped by Betty’s Garage. Betty’s Garage is company that designs race apparel for women. Kristi Chatham, a resident of Bethel Island, Calif., started the company and used her love for hot rods and classic cars as inspiration for her fun, retro designs.

Having seen the clothes up-close and in-person, I absolutely adore them. They’re beyond cute and I think wearing them would only serve to enhance your days out at the track. They’ll definitely get you some attention from the male population. Plus, it’s just nice to have some options, instead of having to don some hideously colorful graphic racing t-shirt.

At left, Kristi Chatham, owner of Betty’s Garage, is wearing the Drag Racing Jacket in pink and blue. This is my favorite piece. It also comes in black and white and black and pink. Below are more photos of designs from Betty’s Garage. To find out where you can get these fabulous threads check out

this is the good stuff

I’ve been wanting to write this entry since Sunday but my grand plans about doing it once I left the track slowly eroded as I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours. That’s the only incredibly irritating thing about going to a race at Infineon, the drive home! It never fails. There’s literally only one lane out in each direction. I forgot to grab a cold drink and a snack before I got in my car so I was parched and starving; trying to sing along with my CDs in the hopes that it would help me to forget my hunger. It didn’t.

Anyway, I’m back at work and there’s so much that I haven’t talked about yet. So let’s get to it.

First off, this past weekend there were about a million times it seemed that I had to stop, look around and say to myself, “Look at where you are, remember this.” The first such moment was with Gene Simmons. Yes, he’s kinda weird but it was pretty surreal to have him just sitting in front of me, blabbering on about how great IndyCar racing is.

The second moment was when Tony Kanaan walked past me after the race. He went into the winners circle to congratulate Marco Andretti and then pushed past me and others to get to the garage area. He came up my chest. He’s short. :)

The third and final memorable moment of the day was after the race when Marco and Michael Andretti (Marco’s dad) were in the media center answering questions. This was Marco’s first IndyCar win, ever and he’s only 19 (although to me he looks like he’s twelve). He’s the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event to date. So this race, this win, was a huge deal and I was there to witness it. I’ll never forget it.

I’m a NASCAR fan and I’ll watch IRL stuff for a little bit if it’s on, or if it’s the Indy 500. Going to this race really didn’t change that for me. During the national anthem there wasn’t a fly-over! What kind of race is it without a fly-over? The crew members were hot I must admit, especially one particular guy on Dan Wheldon’s team. Hello!

But I digress. :)

I did get to see Ashley Judd, Dario Franchitti’s wife, and she looked great. I have a great photo of the back of her head, in case you’re interested. I also saw Danica Patrick a lot. There really isn’t anything that great to tell about her.

Infineon wasn’t as packed as it was for the NASCAR race in June, but there were still a ton of race fans on hand for the event. Overall I though, I thought the race was fun, cool and very memorable.

i think he sprays it on

So Gene Simmons and his hair are here today. He stopped by the media center to answer questions and look cool. He wore sunglasses the whole time even though he was indoors and the room was somewhat dimly lit. I know he’s a rock star and all but c’mon. Apparently he’s a huge IndyCar fan and even has some marketing company that came up with the IRL tagline “I am Indy.” Oh and there’s a song too.

Some of the other members of the media commented that he seems pretty full of himself. At least I’m not the only one. He seems scripted, but the fact that he does it so effortlessly is kinda impressive.

He had the nerve to say “NASCAR, shmascar.” After that I had to write him off. He’s here with his entire family. It’s incredibly odd to see them all in person after watching them on their reality tv show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which airs on A&E.

The character himself Mr. Gene Simmons

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2006 Photo Gallery

the nuge

The Nuge is here! Yes folks Ted Nugent is at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma today. It looks like he got to take a hot lap around the track with IndyCar driver Sam Hornish Jr. I snapped a quick picture through the window of the media center. It’s not the greatest photo but still. :) Danica Patrick was also driving a Honda Safety Car around the track. I have no idea why the Nugent is here, although he did play a show at the Fillmore earlier this week, but he’s not the Grand Marshall. Whatever the circumstances it’s very cool to see a rock legend enjoying the races.

Ted Nugent (left), Sam Hornish Jr. (center) and some dude (right)

Danica Patrick behind the wheel of a Honda Safety Car (the official pace car)

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2006 Photo Gallery

an international affair

When I arrived at Infineon this morning for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend things didn’t seem that different from when I was there in June for the NASCAR race. The same messy traffic issues with go-karts and pedestrians making it incredibly nerve racking to navigate the parking lots. There were the same big tents promoting everything from cars to clothes to video games and a super special cleanser for your sunglasses. But it wasn’t until I took a seat in the media center that I realized this was definitely not the same as a NASCAR race. The guy two seats down from me was speaking a language I couldn’t quite figure out, I’m thinking it’s Italian? Or maybe Portuguese? Anyway, he was speaking fast and broadcasting live, reporting on the IndyCar warm-ups going on before us. The other thing that tipped me off was that the whole front row was full of Japanese media.

Since the day was about practicing and qualifying I went off to check out the vendor tents. Qualifying is obviously important but I will admit that it’s the only boring thing about racing. I saw Tony Kanaan as I left the media center, he was walking with two other guys that I’m assuming were drivers but I couldn’t tell who from where I was standing. Tony kinda stands out in that bright green suit.

Behind the grandstands Honda had what looked to me like a regular showroom, complete with carpeting throughout, and every single car in their production out for display. I bumped into the Playboy tent, which was full of men, and young boys on the outside looking in. Sierra Nevada had a great outdoor lounge area featuring a stage where a band called the Spazmatics were to play today and tomorrow.

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2006 Photo Gallery