Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vroom Vroom!

So my 30th birthday was mostly not great on the day itself. But as a total event, it has to be the best birthday EVER! Why? Because way back in February, this redneck, NASCAR junkie bought herself a pair of tickets to the Labor Day NASCAR race in Atlanta. Seven months of anticipation reached a glittering, star-struck peak one week ago.

On Friday we picked up Snapper at school at lunch and drove to stay with out friends Brian and Carol in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They moved there in January, and we haven't had any time with them since then. It was so great to see them! Snapper was elated to see S and V. Baby A has grown like a weed. We ate good food, played at 2 different parks, and spent quality time catching up.

Then came Sunday. How do I begin to describe Sunday? While we sat in traffic, I very carefully painted a big 48 on my cheek.

For those of you who don't already know, I am a fan of Jimmie Johnson, who drives the 48 Lowes car. Matt says I put the fan in fanatic...I wouldn't say I'm quite that bad, but I do love my Jimmie Johnson. I showed some restraint at the race. Even though I did my nails blue with a gold 48 on each thumb, even though I put blue, yellow, and white ribbons in my hair, even though I wore my Jimmie shirt and painted my face, I left the Jimmie Johnson lounge pants in my suitcase and wore jeans instead. Ha ha! When the race track came into sight after 3 hours in traffic, I was more than ready for the race!

We walked around checking out the driver merchandise trailers and the Sprint Fan Zone. I even won a cool hat, which I later saw for sale at the whopping price of $20!

As soon as we were able, we headed into the speedway and found our seats. Because I paid top dollar for the best seats I could get, we ended up sitting up high with a perfect view of the whole track. It also seemed that the expensive seats filter out a lot of the fans who use the race as an excuse to get drunk. We saw very little of that, and were surrounded by nice people.

I soaked up every minute of the pre-race festivities, watching the pit road action through my zoom lens on my camera.

Driver introductions were awesome, and I got a good close-up view of Jimmie! Dr. Dobson gave the invocation, and a country group sang the national anthem. I got all goosebumpy when the Air Force jets did their fly-over.

Then came the famous command: Gentlemen, start your engines! The cars roared to life. They circled the track following the pace car for a few laps, and then the green flag waved and my ear drums flapped all over the place in my head as all 43 cars hit the throttle at once and came screaming by. I swear, every hair on my body stood on end! The stands vibrated so hard that I almost lost my balance just standing there! That moment ranks in the top 5 most exhillerating moments of my life!

The rest of the race was fantastic. We rented scanners and headsets, and got to listen to the communications between the drivers and their crew chiefs. Much to Matt's disappointment, there were no big wrecks. To my almost devastation, Jimmie Johnson broke an axel and spent several laps in the garage getting it fixed. However, it was still a good race with a great finish. Kasey Kahne won. I can live with that, because he is a good driver and a great guy.

Did I enjoy every minute? Absolutely! Was it worth the $270 I spent on 2 tickets? Heck yes it was! Will I go again? Just as soon as I can save up enough money to buy more tickets!

Yesterday I watched this week's race on tv. No matter how loud I turned up my surround sound, I could not feel the vibration of those incredible cars. Nor could I soak up the intense energy and excitement of the other fans. I still love watching the race on tv, but I can hardly wait to go to the next race. Happy birthday to me! It was the best birthday present ever!


Lori said...

It's fun to hear about your experience! What a way to celebrate your birthday!

RachelRuelas said...

oh my goodness... that sounds like fun! I've never seen a nascar race, but from what you say, it sounds like a blast! I'm SO glad your birthday remdeemed itself :)

Kristin said...

What a fun memory! Splurging for things you love every once in a while is so totally worth it!

Southern Belle said...

What an exciting day you had! So glad your special day at the racetrack was all you hoped it would be. = )