Gentleman, start your engines!

According to one of the most well respected online resources, Urban Dictionary (jk, mostly), a guilty pleasure is defined as something you shouldn’t like but do anyway OR as something that you love to do, but cannot admit to.

I’m not completely in the closet over the joy I receive from following the NASCAR circuit or watching a race on TV from time to time, but this personal interest may come to a surprise to many of my California friends. 🙂 I adventured down to Los Angeles many years ago for my first NASCAR race and have been known to drool over some of the drivers. Every time I’ve driven to Sonoma for a wine trip, my intrigue over the nearby course that hosts an annual NASCAR race has grown.

This weekend, my friend Sean and I had the pleasure of indulging in a day of stock car racing at Sonoma Raceway for the 2013 Toyota SaveMart 350. As thankful and gracious guests of Sprint, we enjoyed pre-race festivities and access to pit road, and a premium perch for watching the 220 mile race, among other generous benefits provided by the lead sponsors for NASCAR’s top racing series.

RV village

I didn’t realize how many people bring RVs to Sonoma Raceway to camp out and make a weekend of the racing festivities. Oddly enough, the expansive field of RVs kind of reminded me of Burning Man….

THE PITS

Before the race, we were able to explore pit road and check out all the different racing team’s pit stations, including rows and rows of tools, tires and communication equipment. We even had a chance to stand on the iconic finish line. I stood proud in front of my favorite team’s pit area, #48 Jimmie Johnson!

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Rows and rows of tires filled the pit road area. It’s estimated that race teams cumulatively go through 1,000 tires in a single race.  Sean was impressed by all the rubber.

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Set amidst the rolling hills of the northern California and Sonoma Valley, the Raceway is a surprisingly beautiful landscape.

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The Sonoma Raceway did a great job with the pre-show entertainment including a national anthem performance by a local American Idol finalist and an impressive airshow by the Patriots Jet Team, featuring former Thunderbird and Blue Angel pilots. The view from the Sprint hospitality tent was perfect for watching all the corners of the twisting, turning course.

Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr. who won the race by fending off Jeff Gordon, who surged his way to the front during the last dozen laps, and Juan Pablo Montoya, who ran out of gas during the final loop. Thanks again to Megan and Kimberly for making this awesome weekend possible.

2 responses to “Gentleman, start your engines!

  1. Please call me Mrs. Kahne from now on. I’d have you call me Mrs. Gordon but that just seems dull. Plus Jeff is married with babes.

  2. Sounds like so much fun!

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