Impressions of the Coca-Cola 600
The people, over 150,000 of them. Picture that! You know…you see this stuff on TV but when you are there in the thick of it, it just blows you away.
We had parked as close to the speedway as you could get because quite frankly, I didn’t want to walk any further than I had to. We parked in a field with grass so long that I thought for sure I’d find a tick somewhere on my body before, during, or after the race. BUT…I didn’t care. I was heading to my first ever NASCAR race and I intended to enjoy every single minute of it…ticks and all!
We entered the Lowe’s Motor Speedway complex from just across our field at Gate 12. I felt like I was following a pack. Not quite a pack of dogs per se but some kind of “pack”.
We made our way winding around the outside of the stadium with our coolers over our shoulders and I took an extra backpack full of warm clothes too. After feeling the cool air of the night before, I thought for sure I would need at least a sweatshirt as the night wore on (I ended up changing into pants too). I didn’t mind carrying all the baggage cuz I knew we’d eat, drink, (and I’d strip later), and so it would all be lighter anyway.
When we got to “Souvenir Alley”, I don’t know if I was impressed or just floored over all the excitement, the STUFF, the specticle it creates. As we walked through, my eyes were darting from side to side in complete wonder, wanting to take it all in and wanting to partake in everything they had going on. From simulators to margarita stands, where could I start first?!
After trapsing through the rush of people, it was time to head into the speedway, find our seats, and camp for the 6 hours or so that we’d be there. Here was our view -
Some people would argue that we were too close to the track but I have to say, I was just so excited to be there, I didn’t even care if flying rubber messed up what little makeup I had on!
Before the race even begins there is two hours of pure celebration. This particular weekend was the traditional start of summer with the Memorial Day weekend and as such, all of the pomp and circumstance related to celebrating our country’s miltary and the freedoms they provide for each of us. Brought tears to my eyes every time I saw the soldiers line up, heard them sing a symbolic tune (Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, for instance), or watched the fly over of the military copters and the LADY Blue Angles stunt team drop from the sky.
Two hours of this. Two hours of pure wholesome entertainment. Two hours of anticipation until the race begins.
And I’ll stop there for now. I’ll let you soak this first part in a little bit. Hopefully, I left you with the anticipation of wanting more.
Translation – I have to go to work but I will be back.