Friday, August 5, 2011

Pocono: Day 1

Today was Day 1 of the NASCAR Race weekend at Pocono Raceway!  I was excited because this was the first time that I could be here for all the festivities and not just the Sprint Cup race.  We got to the track around 9:30, just as Truck Practice was starting.  My mom and I first walked around the Fan Area, just to scout out the locations of some key stuff.  I also had to get a Pocono Raceway hat for autographs, but more about that later. 

We finally made it to the grandstands as the trucks were whizzing by.  Since I had no idea what Mark's car looked like, I had to look as the trucks sped by for the one with the 32 on the side.  I finally found it, and I waited for him to pull into the pits so we could sit in front of it.  Well, he came down.  All the way at the other end of pit road.  So we grab our stuff and move down there to watch them work on the car.  Thankfully, Austin Dillon's truck was right in front of Mark's, so that was perfect.

Mark Martin's 32 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet sits on Pit Road during Truck Series Happy Hour.

After watching practice for a little while, we decided to head down to the pits for the first time.  We walked around a little bit, and we found ourselves outside the media center.  There was a group of about 10-15 people just standing around.  I thought that was a little weird.  I mean, why would they do that?  I figured it out when Dale Jr. drove up in a golf cart and went inside.  Then Jimmie Johnson came in.  Then Clint Bowyer!  It was a good thing I got that hat, as I got both Jimmie's and Dale Jr.'s autograph.  That $15 hat just got surprisingly high-priced surprisingly fast.  Before we left the media center, I caught Dave Blaney as he was walking into the garage.

Then we realized that we could go onto Pit Road WHILE PRACTICE WAS GOING ON!  Well that was pretty awesome, although Mark was already out of the truck, but that was okay.  I was able to get Timothy Peters and Max Papis to sign the hat.  Max was even nice enough to take a picture with me!  As we were walking back to the pit exit, Ron Hornaday walked by in street clothes.  He was the next person on the ever-growing list of drivers to sign the hat. 

After eating, we headed out to the souvenir haulers to do some shopping.  I only picked up the Carquest and Quaker State pit caps, and a Mark Martin seat cushion, can coolie, another hat and ticket lanyard.  Then when Cup practice was over, we went back into the pits and stood outside the media center again.  Jack Roush walked by, but he didn't sign anything.  Then about 5 minutes later, Carl Edwards briskly walked into the media center.  "Sorry guys, I'm running late!" said Edwards. 

Then Jack came back out.  He walked down one side of the line of fans.  Then he walked back up and signed everything on the other side.  He stayed for 10 minutes signing everything the fans put in front of him.  He didn't have to, but he did.  He was so good to the fans, and a definite class act, and this is one fan who appreciated it.  And as he was doing that, Greg Biffle starts heading toward the media center.  He also go his name on this prestigious hat!

Then we had to head out to the fan area to get wristbands for the Truck Series autograph signing.  Well, they say its a small world, after all.  The people in front of and behind us in line were Mark Martin fans too!  In fact, the guy behind also plays Tuesday Trivia with Kendra Jacobs (@KendraTeam5).  It seems I've won some of the things he wanted.  Well, we got some great autographs there; Parker Kligerman, Max Papis, James Buescher, Joey Coulter, Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan and Austin Dillon.  They all signed the hat, and they each gave me a signed hero card.  I also brought a card for Austin Dillon to sign, which he did.  Brendan Gaughan was actually the best one out of all of them.  He asked us how we were doing, and then signed each card to the person.  I told him mine was Bryan with a "y."  "Its a good thing you told me, I wouldn't have even asked!"  Yeah, not a lot of people do.

After all that, we decided to leave before Sprint Cup Happy Hour and ARCA Qualifying.  On our way out, we stopped at the RCR Hauler and I got an Austin Dillon hat for tomorrow's race.  If you're coming to the race tomorrow, I'll be the one in the Markaholic shirt and the Austin Dillon hat.  I will be rooting for both drivers.  I'm also going to have to get a new hat for drivers to sign.  It seems this one is quite full.  I really hope to meet Mark Martin tomorrow.  Maybe I can get some help from Kendra on this.  If I do, I'm going to have him sign my "Numbers Change, Class Doesn't" shirt that I made in Graphics Class this year.  There are only 2 of them in existence.  And 1 of them will hopefully be signed by the man himself.  Follow along tomorrow on twitter for updates from the track, and if I have enough energy, I'll probably post a blog again tomorrow.


On Twitter? Add me @mmar0260185.  On PSN?  Add me as a friend, mmar0260185 on there as well.  Maybe we can race sometime.

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