Broadening Our Horizons - May 2007 travel blog

the oval

the line up

the party's over

crowd watching

no conversation

large tire collection

muddy campground

why would I want this?

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 2.51 MB)

the big race begins


The 500 lap race was rained out last night and rescheduled for 1pm today. We awoke to the sound of engines, but they were not from the race cars. Some of our neighbors had to leave early this morning and we suddenly found ourselves in a spacious campsite. We toured the track environs by bicycle, scouting our route back to the highway. With all of last night's rain, the grassy field was only grassy beneath vehicles that had not moved. On the ride we found even more vendors selling stuff we couldn't imagine every wanting.

The race was forecast to last five hours and we had a reservation in Myrtle Beach tonight, so we decided to attend the beginning of the race and watch the end of it on TV in our next campsite. As we sat in the stands next to our new rally friends, it was hard to have a conversation with them. Everyone was wearing headphones, tuned in to the radio station and the conversations of the drivers. Mothers were a prominent presence on this Mother's Day. As the drivers were introduced, many of them crossed the state arm in arm with their moms. The mom also uttered those famous words, "Start your engines," and the race began.

The cars went by so quickly it was hard to read the numbers. We had drawn driver's names in a lottery at the campground and I knew that my draw #48 Jimmie Johnson was highly regarded and had a chance to win. He drives for Lowe's Hardware and once I spotted that logo, the race got interesting. Almost every turn he passed someone and soon he was driving second. About twenty laps went by and nothing changed. Unlike the last race, there were no collisions, spin-outs, or smoking tires and the cars continued to whir past. It was time for us to leave.

Even though we had researched the way out, the condition of the field had worsened, because many vehicles drove over it returning to watch the race. After we got stuck in a particularly boggy spot, four wheel drive came to the rescue and we were on our way to Myrtle.

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