I wasn't supposed to be in Charlotte on Saturday. I was supposed to be at a benefit for our local Historical Association (a benefit which I came up with and for which I was largely in charge) but it got postponed and as soon as October 17th opened up on my calendar I called Lilsaej to try to talk her into a repeat of our Bristol antics. Unfortunately, she had a wedding to go to that day (who the Hell schedules a wedding on Race Day??) and for a brief moment I felt the glimmer of hope at the prospect of another race start to flicker out and then I realized that Lilsaej was not my only race loving friend (although she is my FAVORITE race loving friend) and so one night while out with The Kaiser and Sumo (clearly 2 of my more favorite companions these days) I suggested that we all go to the Race and it took them less than 1 second to say Yes. They also told me to factor in our friend Billy Ray Valentine as he had expressed an interest too. No problem.
So I'd like to pause and thank my dear friend The Racing Rock Star who works for NASCAR and got us SELs aka Single Event Licenses which gave us access to the garages, Pit Road and the infield. I'd also like to thank The Kaiser's friends at Big Head Racing whose converted school bus parked in the infield right at Turn 3 served as our racing headquarters.
We left Smalltown USA at around 12:45 on Saturday. Since we did have the SELs I wanted to get to the track as early as possible to take advantage of our good fortune. Also - I have a thing with traffic. You know what else I have a thing with? AVOIDING traffic on Race Day. Seriously. It wasn't quite as smooth as Bristol but The Kaiser drove and we took a back way into the track and wound up right on the very street we needed to be on in order to pick up our credentials from the NASCAR trailer. And with the exception of 1 or 2 instances of cops holding traffic in 1 direction to let it flow in another, we basically cruised right into Lowe's Motor Speedway. We got our credentials and then wound up in free(!) parking on the back side of the track (which is where we wanted to be) and then we headed to the infield. And since The Kaiser had already dropped off our cooler full of beer (and other things) the day before, we did not have to pack mule a thing.
Photos come tomorrow but all I can say is this: there really is no better way to watch a race than from a converted school bus. And while you might be scratching your head going how awesome can a converted school bus be, the answer is: AWESOME. So we stopped off at the BHR bus, grabbed a beer and then headed straight for the garages and Pit Road. And OMG y'all - it is fucking cool as shit to be out there while they are working on the actual cars. And then to stroll down Pit Road? To stand in the #48's pit stall? I died. I died right there on the spot and went to heaven.
And after our fill of AWESOMENESS we stopped by The Racing Rock Star's hospitality tent for even more AWESOMENESS (and food and drinks) and I have to say - the fellas were impressed with what Country Girl delivered and to tell you the truth - so was I. Although - really, I didn't do much. It was all about The Racing Rock Star and she gets a HUGE GIANT GINORMOUS thank you!
I swear by the time we got back to the BHR bus I felt like it had been hours and I guess technically it had been hours but there were still hours to go until the race and so yeah...sometimes when you start at 2pm, 7:40pm can seem like an eternity. And there's really nothing to do but drink and eat and hang out and watch football because Oh Yeah - just because you're hanging out at a converted school bus in the infield parked right at Turn 3, doesn't mean you don't have TV. These cats are civilized! Seriously.
And the race finally started and I managed to make it up and down the ladder to the top of the bus (where the seats were) without breaking my neck and Holy Hell y'all it was flipping cold. At one point I was wearing a tee shirt, a flannel shirt, a wool sweater, a fleece, a second fleece, a hat, a scarf, gloves AND I was wrapped in a fleece blanket AND I was huddling up against whoever was closest and I still froze my tootsies off. But it was a glorious night and the view from the top of the bus was magnificent and what was even more magnificent was that MY DRIVER WON (Go #48) which was so much better than Bristol because really...who likes Kyle Busch? No one.
And we left with about 25 laps to go in order to avoid traffic and avoid traffic we did...or if we hit any I have no clue since I promptly fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. But I woke up in time to suggest a post-race breakfast at Waffle House (I am beginning to be a regular there and this thought scares me) and then we were all revived and refreshed and so we hit Zippers for an hour because nothing says I am a rougeneck like watching the Race from a converted school bus in the infield followed by Waffle House followed by a nightcap at a biker bar.
And seriously y'all? I might just chuck it all and become a pit bunny.
And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...