While Rob was out in California this weekend watching the most exciting version of sailboat racing, Aaron and I were watching the most exciting form of racing off the water, NASCAR. We were given two passes from our Fed-Ex representative, Rich Veverka, that included all the Fed-Ex hospitality and perks. We left early Sunday morning in the rain and dreary conditions, hoping, and expecting the weather to perk up, and mother nature did not disappoint. We arrived at Dover International Speedway shortly after 10am, given about an hour to travel the final mile in traffic. The sun was shining and the concrete was already drying off as we arrived. For those of you that don’t follow NASCAR, Dover is one of only 3 concrete tracks in NASCAR and with its reputation is known as “The Monster Mile.”
We had excellent parking, courtesy of our Fed-Ex race pack, and got set up to tour the area with our cameras as well as APS stickers in tow. We were glad to see that the staff at DIS had received our banner and gotten it hung appropriately by our parking spot. First stop was by the Fed-Ex car to make sure that they received our new sponsorship and had it displayed prominently upon the car. Check! Next stop was the Fed-Ex hospitality chalet. We arrived and were warmly received by all the staff there. Included in our promotional pack were two #11 Denny Hamlin hats and a Fed-Ex racing flag. While we hung out we were able to get a picture with the team, while waiting for Denny Hamlin, the driver to show up. When Denny arrived it was all eyes and ears as he was very friendly and personable for autographs and pictures. JD Gibbs (Son of Joe Gibbs, racing owner and former Redskins coach) the owner of the team came to introduce Denny and answer all our questions about racing. He was very open about the team with their successes as well as their trials and tribulations.
After being pumped up to watch the race, we headed to the walk around the track/midway and experience the atmosphere. There were all sorts of vendors with fantastic types of items for sale, and Aaron and I each picked up hats for our favorite drivers. After taking some pictures with some cars, banners, and “the Monster” it was back to the hospitality chalet for lunch. There was a fantastic lunch buffet the Fed-Ex team prepared and made sure that we were well taken care of and about ready to race. Now we were provided with our personal race viewers that are wirelessly enabled and allow you to watch any of the TV feeds or listen to any of the Radio feeds from your seat in the grandstands. This was highly beneficial as we weren’t able to see Pit Road but our viewers let us see it like we were right there on the front stretch. We get to our seats and what do we find but the APS team Hauler, the race car trailer for those of you who don’t follow NASCAR, parked right in front of our seats. Fantastic!
Boogity Boogity Boogity and lets go Racing. The race commenced and Aaron and I were thoroughly enjoying our seats. Our driver, Denny Hamlin in the #11 Fed-Ex car was doing well after starting in 16th and in short order had moved up to the top 10. After spending a great deal of time in the top ten during the first part of the race, Denny Eventually moved up to 2nd and was running there for quite some time. There were several NASCAR mandated cautions for debris on the track and one to allow for a pit stop. Unfortunately, or I guess fortunately for the drivers, there were very few crashes and the race only saw 7 cautions total. This was great because it led to lots of green flag racing, but low on the crash excitement. Denny was unfortunately the victim of debris or a worn out tire and as he was running in 2nd, cut down a tire and lightly tagged the wall. Apparently that was it for Denny for the day and while dejected, we watched the rest of the race with the same excitement. In the final laps Jimmy Johnson was running very well and with 4 fresh tires was driving his car on rails to pass Tony Stewart with 3 laps to go. Jimmy held on for the win and congratulations to him and his team.
So for those of you that have left a sporting event at the end, you will know that traffic is usually at a gridlock for quite some time, and Dover Speedway was no exception. With over 100,000 people in attendance traffic was actually slower than molasses moving uphill in wintertime. So with that in mind Aaron and I made a bit of a detour to burn some time while we waited for traffic to dissipate. In doing so we were able to wait for traffic to totally clear, and have a traffic free drive home.
During that drive, somewhere in the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a State Trooper was nice enough to direct me to the side of the road while only doing 52 in a 50 zone. Fortunately he was nice enough to notify us that our taillight on Aaron’s jetta was out. In addition he ran some tests to make sure that I was not driving under the influence, and as the Designated Driver I was most certainly not. He let us go with a warning and we were on our way to arrive back home in Annapolis. Editor’s note: I would like to commend Aaron for staying in the car and quiet during the whole police episode. Apparently their stop off included a lot of time at a black jack table and a waitress named Erin who was streaming free drinks to Aaron.
Aaron and I would especially like to say thank you to our Fed-Ex rep, Rich Veverka as well as the whole Fed-Ex team. We were treated like family from start to finish and greatly appreciate their hospitality as well as the tickets to come to the race. Thanks for a great race as well as our fantastic shipping service from Fed-Ex.