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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Six
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Bentley Arnage
Issue Six
March 22, 2003
Daytona 500
Cayenne Driving Experience
Bentley Arnage R
Bentley Arnage R
Photo Gallery
Bose Headphones
Coming Next Issue
G. Gordon Liddy
Jaguar XJ8
Credit Card Rewards
Porter Cable Buffer
Frozen Rotors

Daytona 500, 2003, continued.

Daytona 500

Daytona Florida Raceway

Daytona 500 winners circle

Nascar and Budweiser

OK, OK, so how crummy was my day at Daytona? Here's a timeline to give you an idea:

6:00AM- Kissimmee,FL. Alarm clock goes off. Temperature is 68 degrees and humidity is 150% and rising. On race day, the sooner you hit the road, the better, if only to avoid the traffic mess caused by 250,000 people all going to the same place you are.

7:30AM- Interstate 4 inOrlando. The first "big one" of the day completely shuts down I-4 East, which is the main route to Daytona Beach. I guess some NASCAR fans love wrecks so much they've got to start their own. We waste over an hour in this jam up.

9:10AM- 18 miles from the track. Traffic is dead stopped. We crawl along for over an hour - I could have walked to Daytona quicker. While we sit there, a short phone call confirms it - no "Hot Passes" for us today.

10:30AM- Somewhere near the track. All the parking areas that are somewhat close to the track want $20 and more for parking. I'm sorry but for $20 I'd better get a free car wash or half-off pizza and beer along with a parking spot. I decide to park in the city's Park & Ride lot and get bussed to the track. It was free and the smartest thing I did all day.

11:15AM- Roaming around the Fan Fair. After seeing the traveling circus that is the mass of corporate displays, sound stages, demonstrations, and souvenir sales we decide to head into the pits. We had been hearing about hard-core security checks due to the fact the nation was on Level Orange terror alert. I've learned over the years that if you make the security staff's job easier, you get past them quicker. I expect they will search me and my backpack thoroughly. Instead, the six security guards at the Turn 4 tunnel entrance look at my ID and my pit pass and let me go. I could have had 20 lbs of plastic explosives in that backpack for all they knew. So much for our national terror alert system.
As we walk in, a very attractive blonde girl is walking in with her friend. She's tall, tan, and wearing a black halter top with very low cut black pants. In years past, she would have been accosted by the drunk and crazed infield inhabitants. But in 2003, the only thing she gets pestered with is an offer of a ride by a couple of dorky rednecks in a beat up Ford truck with Lynard Skynard playing on the stereo. To me this scene is the perfect juxtaposition of the modern world of NASCAR: Beautiful women attracted to the same scene that was once the sole domain of stereotypical American beer-drinking redneck. Social anthropologists would have a field day here.

11:30AM- In the garage area. The hour or so before the start of a race is social time for NASCAR people. All the teams have cooks who create gourmet meals for their crews, team members, sponsors, and whoever else is hanging out with them. I don't see too many hot dogs and chips being eaten. The fans in the stands might be chowing on $6.00 hamburgers, but the teams eat very well. I have a BBQ chicken sandwich ($6.50) and a sports drink ($3.00). I need a better hook up with a team if only to get a decent meal.

12:15PM- Sitting on the pit lane wall during driver introduction. In many ways this is the best part of pit access at a NASCAR race. You are totally immersed in the scene. Everyone who is anyone in the world of NASCAR is milling around near you. Drivers, crew chiefs, celebrities, team owners, live TV cameras- it's all here. The guys from the country band Brooks & Dunn are a few feet away. John Travolta, the Grand Marshal of the race, is nearby, as are all your favorite and not-so-favorite drivers. We miss seeing Mariah Carey, though. Must have been getting coiffed prior to her singing of the national anthem.

12:30PM- Getting the boot from pit lane. It's 30 minutes to race time and we get kicked out of the pit lane. Time to find someplace to watch the race.

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