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Oh man waaay too many to list for me but from the fans' side of the fence I would have to say "camping out" in the infield at Pocono with my friend Tim in a Nissan Sentra :-) - my first Winston Cup race and of course we were woefully unprepared for the "camping experience", but it was "interesting" for sure sleeping in the reclined front seats, especially with the relatively constant barrage of fireworks going off throughout the night.
Another similar experience was at Watkins Glen the following year - a solo mission, this time in a Buick Regal, so slightly more comfortable but not really... The biggest thing was the quest for ice Saturday night - I went alllllll around WG & the surrounding area trying to find ice and no stores had any. I even met up with the same people on the same quest at different stores :-D There were rumors of ice at various locations and I finally did find some after, oh, at least a couple hours of searching.
On the pit wall side of things, like I said way too many to mention but probably the most memorable, tho' not a "personal favorite" by any means, was being part of J.D.McDuffie's crew at Watkins Glen in 1991 :'-(
Hey there buckeyes,
Oh yeah.. I went to the Cup event at Kansas this year. I was sitting in the upper tier of turn four just about where the pit road entrance line is located when Carl pulled that balls out move on Jimmie..
I gotta say it made a believer out of me that Carl is a championship type of driver! It was so awesome, the sound of impact echoed off the pits and through the stands.. It was a huge moment in NASCAR! Some people cheered and some of us groaned in unison.. It definitely brought us all to our feet!
The ticket packages are really messed up in the "Land of Oz.." I've been to the truck races also where the shared event tickets are prevalent. I guess they had to come up with some way to sell tickets on IRL day, and what better way? Sell combo package tickets with the truck series.. Hell everybody knows the trucks will fill the stands. The little skateboards on steroids? Not so much.. Sitting through the IRL practice was enough for me to know I didn't want to sit through 3 hours of follow the leader by those guys and gals. They excellerate quick and are quite a bit faster, but hell it appears almost anyone can drive one. I mean dammit man! Even "One Problem", Carpantier, and Villinueve were dominant over there!! What does that say about the racing in that series? Must have something to do with ease of control.. IRL drivers rarely spin in the turns, however the IRL transplants are always sideways or shoving a fender into someone in NASCAR. I'd say the little cars must be easier to drive judging by the proformance of all the IRL greats who have tried thier hand in NASCAR!! (I bet that pisses some people off this morning!! LMAO!!!)
WOW Cliff: Great Moments, Sounds like you need a tent! That w/an air mattress and you're set! add a canopy and your enven ready for the rain! I love the camping part of the weekend. The ice story sounds familiar, ours was beer when they don't sell beer till after noon on sundays:) lol Learned to take more beer then I could drink!
BUT your last memory gave me chill bumps! You were on his team? Was that the fateful day?:( I was watching the race that day. OMG soooo sad and how that car went up roof to roof (if I remember right) Can't remember who the guy in the top car was but I also remember that being the same place Tommy Kendalls wheel flew off his intrepid and he broke his leg. Thats when they put in the chicane! Thank you so much for your memory and obviously my broken leg was nothing to what you lost that day!
- 1 Reply to Nascarbuckeyes
Haha yeah I'm a little bit better prepared nowadays :-D
And yeah I was a part time volunteer on J.D.'s team. I actually got the opportunity by responding to his Fan Club newsletter saying they needed pit help, especially for the Northern races (I'm from NJ). This was back in 1988 and since then I've had the honor of working on various teams including Dave Marcis, Jeff Gordon in the #1 Carolina Ford Dealers car, Jason Keller, Terry Cook and many other handful-of-race deals amongst the "Big 3 Series". Usually it was basic stuff like hauling the empty gas cans back-n-forth to the fuel pumps in the infield, but I've been able to "work my way up" to handing second can to carrying tires (done it a couple times and I feel it's the toughest and most underappreciated job on pit road) to catch can to gasman with various teams in what's now the Camping World Series East. Currently I'm with John Salemi, who's got a ton of talent but is woefully short on funding and had a tough season having to skip several races. He did have a couple Top 10's in a car that, honestly, didn't have any business being up front.
With the J.D. Watkins Glen deal, I was actually working with Marcis at the time (once again just doing the gas hauling), but he wrecked in practice and his backup was a short track non-road course car, so he was just going to run a couple laps and park it (and this was before that became common practice :-p ). I went over to see J.D.'s guys and they had another "young buck" who they wanted to get some over-the-wall experience, so I agreed to haul the gas so he could stay on pit road.
The strangest thing, looking back on it, is that the whole time after the accident the thought he had died never even entered my mind until they called us back to the garage over an hour afterwards and told us. I didn't see the video until I got home; if I had seen it there I probably would have realized right away that they weren't helping him out of the car at all. The only thing we had been told was that the car had gone upside down and they needed to be careful to get him out to avoid potential neck injury. Even then I was sure he would be OK; he had a deal to go to Michigan next week. But as we know, that didn't happen.
Thanks for asking! I'm always up for re-telling old memories, even not so good ones.
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