All posts tagged California Speedway

4 Posts

no country for rain delays

wet pit roadOk. So here’s the deal. I went down to La La Land (aka Los Angeles) Saturday morning. I would have left earlier like on Thursday but I had long standing plans with friends that I wasn’t willing to break. Luckily because of the rain I really hadn’t missed anything by the time I arrived at the Auto Club Speedway on Sunday morning. Qualifying had been cancelled and practice was minimal. So the story was the rain. When would it stop? Would it stop? When would they start the race? Could they get both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races done the same day?

I have to say that watching a rain delay on TV is a lot less painful than it is to witness first hand. When you’re at home you get to watch all of the pit reporters go around interviewing the drivers. When you’re there in person it’s a totally different story. Watching those jet engine dryers go around and around the track was as boring as you’d expect watching dryers go around a track would be. I went through the garage a couple times but because of the rain and the wind and the cold it wasn’t very much fun. Trying to hold on to my umbrella and keep my camera dry was kind of annoying.

Anyway, besides all of that I had a good time at the track for the short time I was there. I left at around 4 to get back to my sister’s house to watch the Oscars with the family. Although if I had known the Oscars were going to be that lame I wouldn’t have left. When I was driving out of the track I heard about the Casey Mears crash, and watched on the big Sprint Vision screen as Casey was pulled out of his mashed up car.

I’m getting ahead of myself. When it was still raining earlier in the day, before the jet dryers were out on the track, I walked down pit road. Some of the crew for David Gilliland’s team were in their pit area cleaning nuts. I stopped and talked to them and it was really cool. I’ll post more about that later.

At driver introductions I got a close-up look at the Auto Club Speedway Umbrella Girls, basically a bunch of models that carry umbrellas. Anyway, I felt bad for them because they had to wear tiny little shorts with no leggings or stockings or anything. You could see the goose bumps on their legs. Crazy. Speaking of crazy, ok, ok, not really crazy, just weird, ZZ Top performed before introductions out on the grass in front of the start/finish line. When they were done they were scuttled off stage like they were the President surrounded by cops and security.

Anyway, back to the drivers. There was a girl and some dude, he might have been her boyfriend but couldn’t tell for sure, standing next to me who was seriously freaking out when Dale Earnhardt Jr. came into view. He was hard to spot at first. He had on a black hoodie over his race suit with the hood up and sunglasses on. He stopped to do some interviews before running up the stairs and under the tent of the stage — hidden again. The girl yelled, pleaded with him to come out again so she could take a picture but he didn’t budge.

On the other hand there was Carl Edwards. He has to be one of the most charismatic guys in NASCAR right now. Maybe he was just having a good day (or he knew he was going to eventually win the race the next day) but he’s the one that interacted with fans the most, at least from my vantage point that is. He walked up on to the platform, and then walked to the end of the stage closest to where I was standing and proceeded to wink and smile at anyone that made eye contact with him. So yea, I have like a smallish crush on him now.

In other news…

– Check out my photos from Sunday at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (slideshow)


Actor Tom Cruise, with his son Connor, enjoys the Auto Club 500 on Monday, February 25th, 2008 from the pit box of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Actor Tom Cruise, with his son Connor, enjoys the Auto Club 500 on Monday, February 25th, 2008 from the pit box of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

tuesday is the new monday

I don’t have much to say in regards to the race at California this past weekend. It didn’t seem to be that interesting, either that or my lack of excitement about the race could be the result of being back at work, after having 4 luxurious days off.

I have thoughts about the third episode of NASCAR in Primetime which I finally watched (thanks to Tivo) on Friday. The fan commentary that they feature on the show is just ok. It’s more relevant to me when they talk about fan things, like the camping area at Talladega. I know that I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked that women are showing their boobs to random strangers for plastic beads. It looked like a weird mash-up of Mardi Gras and Woodstock.

Previously I wrote about California Speedway’s marketing attempts to get more butts in the seat for the race this weekend. Their party at Hollywood club Avalon did get attention, but I don’t know if it was the kind they wanted? There were a couple mentions in some celebrity gossip blogs. The mentions were about the pop/r&b singer Rihanna. You know her, or at the least her song “Shut up & Drive” that ESPN loved to play all the freaking time. Anyway, she was the only celeb of note because she was the only one that the Associated Press took the time to photograph coming down the red carpet and she was the only one that garnered these small mentions in the blogs IDon’tLikeUThatWay and PerezHilton.com.

I’ve heard that NASCAR drivers besides Jeff Gordon attended this party but I have yet to see any photographic evidence suggesting proving that to be true. Next year California Speedway should step up their celebrity quotient for the party, because from what I can see they managed only D-list celebs, if you can even call them that.

In other news…

– I know this will surprise you, but Kurt Busch, and his wife Eva, got a new dog. A black & tan Norwich terrier named Lola. The only reason I’m posting this is because the dog is adorable.


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Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives the best quotes:

What do people expect me to say when they keep asking me about the point standings? I check the standings right after each race and then I forget about it. I know we’re a long way back (from 12th-place Kevin Harvick), and even though we have a mathematical chance to get into the Chase, we’re going to worry about things within our own control.

– For all you soap opera fans get your Tivos ready — Jamie McMurray will be on an episode of “Passions” airing September 26th on NBC. Jamie filmed his scene last week in L.A.

When the lights were up and the cameras were rolling, it only took McMurray one shot to nail his lines.

We only had to take the shot one time, which is typically how they shoot those soap operas. They practice once and take once. I guess when your show is on five days a week you really have to be quick in learning the lines and making sure you don’t mess up. Overall I had a great time and really enjoyed meeting the entire cast and crew of “Passions.”

And now for photo fun time…

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Robby Gordon prepares for practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Martin Truex Jr. waits for practice to start at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Kyle Busch takes a break during practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

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Jimmie Johnson receives a hug from wife Chandra in victory lane at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

for who? for what?

Do you miss Miss Winston? I don’t — I was satisfied when her position was eliminated. Which is why I’m irked at the fact that California Speedway feels the need to recruit Umbrella Girls for this weekend’s race in Fontana. Check out the video of the girls over at the AOL NASCAR Fanhouse, if you’re first reaction isn’t to gag then I just don’t know you anymore.
:)

The problem that I have with this is that we don’t need them. They bring nothing to the event except T&A, and while I’m sure men will find that appealing in general, overall it doesn’t add any excitement to the races. I seriously doubt that knowing that these “models” will be at the race would make someone buy a ticket for the first time. Especially in a place like southern California where it’s not hard to find a lot of people that are either models or aspiring actresses or women that are just trying to look like one of the two.

California Speedway’s other marketing ploy is a celeb-filled party they’re throwing at a club called Avalon in Hollywood tonight. While I don’t know that this will automatically translate into more butts in the seats for the race weekend, it could help with buzz — maybe, possibly, sorta.

All I know is that the last time I was in L.A. for my youngest nephew’s birthday party, one of the parents in attendance told my mom (after my mom told her about my blog) that she’d never met a NASCAR fan before. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. I mean I know NASCAR isn’t the most popular or talked about sport in our country but I’d put it on the same level as hockey. I know the major players, the general lay of the land, but I don’t follow it. But there’s no way I could ever say that I’d never met a hockey fan.

In other news…

– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves has been added to the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The new season starts September 24th.

– You can still get free tickets to this weekend’s race at the California Speedway, check out the details from Kodak:

As part of a promotion for its KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One printers, Kodak is giving race fans something to “thINK” about.

To celebrate the winning entry in the company’s “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest, Kodak will unveil a never-before-seen, custom-designed paint scheme for Ryan Newman’s No. 12 KODAK Dodge. The winning design was selected from over 3,000 contest entries, which were judged by driver Ryan Newman, NBA alum and TV co-host John Salley from “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” and online votes. After its unveiling, Newman will drive the newly inked car in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharp AQUOS® 500 race on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007, at the California Speedway.

As further promotion of KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One Printers, the first 75 fans to bring an old printer to the unveiling will receive two free tickets to the Sharp AQUOS 500 race, complements of Kodak, along with a coupon for dollars off a new KODAK Printer. All old printers will be sent to an electronics recycling center.

All attendees will receive a picture of the newly designed No. 12 KODAK DODGE, printed on the new KODAK Printer.

The Kodak Theatre
Hollywood and Highland Center Awards Walk
6801 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA. 90028

Saturday, September 1, 2007
11:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.

Carl Edwards is always up to something, good that is, and tomorrow he’ll be at the Rancho Cucamonga Office Depot store for a backpack donation event:

Edwards will participate in his second Office Depot Foundation backpack donation event of 2007. He will be at the Office Depot store at 8160 Day Creek Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. on Thursday, August 30 from 5:00-7:00 PM. An autograph session will immediately follow the backpack donation. Fans wishing to participate may pick up a wristband starting at 7:00 AM at the store. Only the first 200 people will receive wristbands.

– Ok, I’m officially sad that I’m not going to be at the race this weekend. The band 30 Seconds to Mars will be performing in the California FanZone on Sunday (at 1:45pm, the show is free with admission to the race) and I have to miss it! Gah. They’re a great band you should definitely make a point to check them out if you’re going to be there. Tell the lead singer, Jared Leto, I said “Hi” and feel free to give him my phone number.

california dreamin’

Yes folks, I will be blogging from the California Speedway next weekend for the Nextel Cup Series Sony HD 500. I will be there with bells on. There are about fifty great things about going to this race in particular, but the two biggest pieces are that it’s the second to last race before the Chase begins and it’s a night race.

Hopefully the drivers will be extra motivated to fight for a place in the top ten, which will lead to a way more exciting race. The added bonus is the night, which is awesome because you can literally see the sparks fly and the red glow from the brake rotors as they drive into turns.

In other news… NASCAR has released the 2007 Nextel Cup Series schedule. There aren’t any changes as far as the tracks go, but there are some changes to the order of things.

2007 NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Site

Feb 10 — Budweiser Shootout at Daytona � Daytona International Speedway*
Feb 18 — Daytona International Speedway
Feb 25 — California Speedway
Mar 11 — Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Mar 18 — Atlanta Motor Speedway
Mar 25 — Bristol Motor Speedway
Apr 1 — Martinsville Speedway
Apr 15 — Texas Motor Speedway
Apr 21 — Phoenix International Raceway
Apr 29 — Talladega Superspeedway
May 5 — Richmond International Raceway
May 12 — Darlington Raceway
May 19 — NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge � Lowe’s Motor Speedway*
May 27 — Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Jun 3 — Dover International Speedway
Jun 10 — Pocono Raceway
Jun 17 — Michigan International Speedway
Jun 24 — Infineon Raceway
Jul 1 — New Hampshire International Speedway
Jul 7 — Daytona International Speedway
Jul 15 — Chicagoland Speedway
Jul 29 — Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug 5 — Pocono Raceway
Aug 12 — Watkins Glen International
Aug 19 — Michigan International Speedway
Aug 25 — Bristol Motor Speedway
Sep 2 — California Speedway
Sep 8 — Richmond International Raceway
Sep 16 — New Hampshire International Speedway
Sep 23 — Dover International Speedway
Sep 30 — Kansas Speedway
Oct 7 — Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 13 — Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Oct 21 — Martinsville Speedway
Oct 28 — Atlanta Motor Speedway
Nov 4 — Texas Motor Speedway
Nov 11 — Phoenix International Raceway
Nov 18 — Homestead-Miami Speedway

*Non-championship points events Tentative-Subject to Change

Looking ahead to this weekend I will be at Infineon checking out my first ever IndyCar race. I’m excited and curious about the race and its fans. Make sure to check back for photos and updates throughout the weekend. :)