Carter was significantly less bothered by the noise because he was transfixed by the gourmet fare served at the track. The race started at 8:00pm, so we had eaten a light dinner prior to heading out. That didn't stop him from consuming a hot dog, a Sprite, nachos, a Coke, popcorn, and a slurpy. He basically ate his way through the evening. I'm not even sure he knew there was a race going on or that we were there for any other purpose than to sample the various and sundry delicacies of the track. All this to say, Carter's compliments to the chef. Manna itself could not have made a better impression.
I am regretful that I did not capture Carter's gastronomical excursion on film, but I was focusing on the actual race.
This is the first lap with everyone following the pace car - which is not entirely unlike what we did in our minivan last year, but without the screaming fans. You'll note the blue Citi car in the bottom left hand corner. Feel free to BOO each time he passes. We don't like Citibank. They made our lives miserable last week.
And this is the same group of cars flying off of the turn we were sitting on. Sorry it's not as sharp as the above picture. Somewhere between 70 mph and 200 mph, my trusty Nikon exhibits some limitations. As luck would have it, my children cannot yet run 70 mph so this does not often prove to be a problem.
This is where the cars pit during a rain break, or to get tires, or to get gas, or to get other bits and pieces I know nothing about.
On a sunny day, it's also a great place to feed your month-old infant. What can I say? I'm a big proponent of feeding on demand and if that means I have to shamelessly expose myself at a gas pump at the local speed track, so be it. There's really no explanation for the camoflauge pants. Perhaps I was planning on going hunting immediately after. Or maybe, just maybe, they were the only thing in my closet that fit. Let's assume the latter to be true since I do remember those pants to be supremely comfortable.
While I was shocking the overwhelmingly male population at the track that day two short years ago, 3-year old Carter and 2-year old Griffin were checking out the Cars exhibit.
(Who has kids this close together? Something about it just doesn't seem right, though I'm sure it will make perfect sense when they are all in college at the same time.)
The whole evening really was spectacularly fantastic. Jeff, the good parent, started making moves to leave around 10:30pm, but I insisted we stay until 11:00pm because I was so into it. There is just something about seeing the rush of cars flying at you around the turn, the acrid smell of the exhaust, the screeching of tires, and the promise of wrecks that kept me mesmerized. I'm actually contemplating a trip to the Wal-marts (grrr) to get some real ear muffs for future races. Yes, a little bit of red has finally invaded my Yankee self. I'm not proud, I'd just like to get on NASCAR's mailing list.
This last picture is for the Gisberts. In case you guys ever get tired of the "magnificent ocean" at Bolsa Chica, you might want to consider inside the track of Lowes Motor Speedway for a family vacation. I can promise plenty of RV hookups, Carolina BBQ, deafening noise for hours upon end, and no sleep whatsoever. Also, I can guarantee that the track as well, as your neighbors, will be well lit. Come on, it will be fun. We might even be convinced to rent a trailer and park next to you.