Number 99 Car Carl Edwards Wins PIR NASCAR Race

Trip Start Jan 18, 2013
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Where I stayed
In our Winter Home in Arizona City
What I did
NASCAR at Phoenix International Raceway

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, March 3, 2013

Number 99 car, Carl Edwards wins NASCAR race at Phoenix

Sunday 3MAR2013

Sunday started with a wake-up call at 5am… for us retired old fogies that's an early call… but I’d gone to bed early and was up through the shower, shaved and had some breakfast for my scheduled time to leave the house… 6:45 a.m.

I had decided to take the Goldwing for the ride from Arizona City to Phoenix… about 72 miles from my home to Larry G’s home…  he’s one of my coffee buddies (Old Fart’s Suncrest men’s coffee group) from Nine Mile Falls WA..

Larry had called about 4 or 5 weeks ago and asked if I wanted to join him and some of his other AZ guys in the NASCAR Race on Sunday the 3rd…  I said sure... why not?…

The weather was predicted to be low 80’s and the night before was warm so a trip up on the Goldwing seemed like the right way to travel…  so I rolled the wing out of the garage and geared up…   for those of you out of the know, a rider who has lots of miles under his belt understands weather and how to layer up or an early ride, and then shed clothing as it warms…  I was leaving the house at 58* (54* is the lower limit of the comfort zone) so that meant tee shirt, down vest and coat with gloves…  

The freeways were quiet for the ride to Larry’s home…  nice ride, at or above the posted 75 MPH speed for most of the trip….  Just got in with traffic and followed them….   More trucks than cars… and really light especially as we added lanes closer to Phoenix…  Once we were at Phoenix I joined Larry and we collected one of his buddies…. Larry had bought the tickets and did a great job at getting us seats at the end of pit row… in one of the turns were to our benefit most of the hazards occurred for this race… Larry had decided to park and ride so we took his car, and drove to the park and ride location… there was a line of school busses ready for us as we parked and strolled over to them… We hit the port-a-potties, got on the bus for the ride to the raceway… PIR (Phoenix International Raceway) is a 90,000 seat raceway with an out of shape oval… 300 and some odd laps for 500 miles… 

We entered the park and roamed through the Semi-trailers that represented each car and watched lots of people buying shirts, coats, hats, and all kinds of race stuff…..   since we live in the RV 4 months a year and in one of the houses the rest of the year I passed on any of those items….

We wandered around and looked at the Government Motors display (GM) and then on to the Toyota display and around the grounds and finally worked our way to the grandstands… Found a Subway Stand and got lunch… Subway was the sponsor of the race… and the 99 car driven by Carl Edwards (WINNER) was a Subway sponsored car… 

Had lunch and found our seats just for the start of the introduction on the field… 

We had just enough rain to wet the track and so the start was rain delayed while the track is dried off…  Service Master sponsors (3) 1 ton pickups with a unit mounted on the back… the unit is a small jet engine and on the bed has a 400 gal tank full of jet fuel… these 3 trucks came out onto the field and fired up… the roar of the engine and the large amount of 1000* exhaust spread over a 10-12 wide path quickly dried off the track… 3 trucks wide and the track was dry in 2 trips around the track…

The number 55 car, Aaron’s had the pole, Danika Patrick, the only lady driver in the pack has the 24th position in the Go Daddy car… 3 laps to warm the tires and engines up and the flag dropped and we were racing… BTW – I was form fitted for ear plugs years ago for motorcycle and engine noise when I play so they came in handy to shield the noise of these engines… In reality the race was uneventful… we had maybe 6 yellow flags…  Danika had a blow out and crashed the side of her car on the wall and was side swiped so she was out of the race… we had the M&M car with suspension problems and they really never got it right…. Never moved up in the pack, and was in the pit for suspension changes 6-8 times and finally finished last of those cars that finished the race… We had 8-10 that were damaged along the wall, or with another car and were out… but all in all it was a good safe race… no engine failures… 

I learned several things… 1 – these cars have the air dam on the front if the car maybe 1 " off the ground… Really, really close… 2 – as the pit crew needs more tires or fuel they have to walk a cart from the pit to where the tires and fuel are stored and then walk them back to the pits so each crew has at least one person walking back and forth with a hand truck or cart… no golf carts… UTVs etc can be used… And when they walk with a cart with fuel, the cart has a fire extinguisher on it… 3 – when anyone of the crew gets over the wall into the pit raceway… a NASCAR official assigned to each crew is there watching… If they go into the pit area to do nothing more than sweep off the pavement the official is there watching… 

All these cars have restrictor plates on the engines so they make about the same amount of HP so the skill of the driver and the mechanical team to set up the suspension is what wins the race…

All in all, the race was GREAT… Lots of stuff to see… OH YEA BTW – there were 7,000 race fans on sight with their RV’s in a huge field set aside for them…  some people follow NASCAR from Race to Race… We met some people who were at Daytona last week… Phoenix for yesterday’s race and are moving on to Vegas for next week’s race….   Don’t think I’m anywhere in that category but might want to see another race in the future….

We made it out of the stands and to the bus in no time… They loaded 5 buses at a time… 60 x 5 = 300 people leaving every 15-20 min by bus out their own route with no traffic delays… back to the car, back to Larry’s and finally on the Wing for the 70 minute ride home after dark… Great day… Almost 13 hours but a great day…

Happy Trails!
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