Friday, May 23, 2008

The green flag drops and they're off!

There was dust. And fencing was torn down. At times the cars were so loud you could barely hear yourself think. And by the end of the night, it was so cold you could see your breath.

Welcome to the beginning of race season at WIR.

Now, I admit, I'm not a huge race fan. Granted, I developed an appreciation for it during my stint as a sports reporter in Indiana, where if you would be tarred and feathered if NASCAR didn't appear on some page of each day's sports section.

But WIR. That's different. Maybe because I have a connection since my cousin races a limited late model car and my dad works on his pit crew. So Thursday nights at the race track? It's kind of a family affair. The boys down in the pits, the girls up in the stands. And after the last checkered flag is dropped on the Figure 8 race, we all head down to the pits for food, drink and socializing.

It's kind of fun actually.

And last night was the first race of the season. It turned out to be an exciting one too.

I think some of the drivers forgot how to drive during the off season, since the yellow caution flag was pulled out pretty often. My cousin's feature race? The cars didn't even complete an entire lap before a wreck sent one car flying down the track on its hood, resulting in a big pile up and a chunk of the safety fence being taken out. Luckily, no drivers were injured. Just cars. Including my cousin's, who ended up hitting the Styrofoam soft wall with the rear end of his car. Looks like the boys will be busy at the garage this week.

But at least the wreckage happened after my cousin left the rest of the field in the dust and won his semi feature.

The only downside to last night? It was chilly! Since I wasn't originally planning on going to the races (I was going to head out to Waterfest instead with friends), I wasn't properly dressed. I had on a short sleeved T-shirt, jeans and a pair of flip flops. The shirt was an easy problem to fix since I had a hooded sweatshirt sitting at my parents' house. It was the flip flops that caused a headache. I didn't want cold feet and with gas at $4 a gallon, I didn't want to drive home and then back to my parents' house. So I headed out to the store with the intent to get some cheap shoes to wear. Not so easy. But I eventually found some. And my feet stayed toasty warm.

The rest of me? Yeah, I got chilly. But what do you expect when you can see your breath?

It was a fun night thought. And I'll probably make it back up to the track for some more Thursday nights throughout the summer. Because even though I'm not a huge race fan, it's a fun way to spend the evening.

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