Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NASCAR Rant....not just for sports fans.

I mentioned that we went to West Virginia (again) this past weekend. Jake's parents live in the same town as the Ona Speedway and I had heard on the local radio that some NASCAR racers were going to be there Father's Day weekend. I thought Jake and Jude would both enjoy it so we made plans. I will admit I was a little excited because one of the racers who was going to be there is Dale Earnhart Jr. The NASCAR guys were supposed to be signing autographs so I planned to take me Dale Jr. figurine that Jake bought me for a Christmas gift one year, and have him sign it. I also thought since it is such a small track there wouldn't be too many people there. Ha ha ha ha. Well, as I mentioned yesterday we ended up leaving for WV early so I forgot my figurine at home. The Ona Speedway website wasn't really clear about what was going on for the day. We knew the doors opened at Noon, there would be activities, the NASCAR guys would be showing up at 4:30 and they would do a little race at some point during the evening. The local racers would be racing throughout the evening. We decided to go around 2 or 3. It was sooooo HOT. I immediately starting thinking it was a dumb idea for a very pregnant woman to be at this event! Funny...the whole day I only saw one other pregnant crazy! After hiking it from the parking field we made it inside. You can't believe how long the line to meet Dale Jr. was already! The Miller's neighbor said they left their house at 11 A.M. and they were towards the end of the line. There was NO WAY I was going to stand in a line for hours just to meet a NASCAR driver or any other famous person for that matter. We walked around and spent some money. There were some very interesting people there. I haven't quite figured out if it was because we were in West Virginia or because we were at a NASCAR event....probably a combination of the two. But - all the stereotypes were there!

Okay, so the NASCAR guys get there at like 4:45 (late) and they arrive via airplane. Everyone was waiting and it was cool to see it fly in and land right there. But, as soon as the plane lands this Motor home drives over and picks the guys up and takes them to the signing area. That is where they sat for the next couple of hours. Now you would think if you waited in line for 5 hours you would get to chat it up with ole Dale, get you photo with him, etc.... But no, the line was hearded through. Seriously. All of the racers were just signing while sitting behind a table so there were no pics with the famous guys. We walked around to try to get a glimpse and noticed there was one no name type guy who didn't have a line at all. So we walked up to get an autograph. I expected the guy would appreciate having a fan and might even talk to Jude but NO....he didn't even look up at us. He signed a few cards and off we went. No chit chat or thanking the fans. Can you believe that?

Afterwards, the racers were going to ride around the track in convertible Corvets. They were parked right behind where the racers were signing. I thought, cool - while they are riding to the track I will grab a few good pics. Well, after the signing the guys got back into the motor home and drove onto the track to get into the vets. God forbid if a fan get a picture of them. I know I am not explaining this very well but seriously it would not have been a big deal at all. So the guys ride around the track once on the cars, waving like they are special (are you detecting my bitterness yet?). Then they do this little race thing (not Dale - he did the flags) and they leave. Oh, also, because they were late and now tight on time they had to cut one of the local races short so the NASCAR guys could do there thing. If I was those guys I would have been so mad...I am sure they paid an entry fee to get into that race and because some snooty NASCAR racers are there they get short changed!

I was just really annoyed that they event cost a lot of money (3 x's as much as a normal race at the track) and unless you wanted to subject yourself to a 5 hour line you didn't really get a glimpse of Dale Jr. It was no different than watching it on TV. Those guys thought they were better than their loyal fans. Seriously.

Well, here are some of the pics I took.

Jake buying me a drink. Notice the sign....
Jude flying his flag.
People waiting for the plane to show up.
Dale Jr. signing autographs. No I didn't get that close...I have a good zoom.

Clint would have been nice if he had looked up and at least smiled! Kenny Wallace & Sterling Marlin.....they seemed to be having fun. Their line was too long but I saw them talking to fans and getting photos with them.
Jude thought the cars were LOUD!
Okay, so Dale Jr. rides around the track and I can finally get a picture....Nice one, eh?
Awww....heck. I guess it wasn't meant for me to have a picture of this man.

This guy sat in front of us and provided A LOT of free entertainment. He was either drunk or high and was passing out while sitting there.
This is the Dale Jr. line....look at all the trash.


Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

you forgot to mention that it was $35 a person. even kids....

delilah said...

Some people paid $46!

Mandy said...

A lady I work with goes to the Nascar races all the time. She said that most of the drivers act that way, ecspecially Dale Jr. I think everything has gone to his head.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

the trash things bugs me down here. It is everywhere.

Anonymous said...

There was a lot of trash left in the autograph area but it was all cleaned up by the time the races were over. That really surprised me.