Monday, April 12, 2010

Yall start these engines!

Saturday and Sunday afternoons Lantis and I had the honor of attending the inaugural INDY races at Barber...with half of America. No really. It was packed. Not so much Saturday. It was actually the perfect sized crowd on Saturday. I think I heard there were over 100,000 people there.

Lantis is a huge race fan--he loves INDY, Formula One, NASCAR, motorcycles, you name it. If it has a big engine, is loud and goes super fast, and there's a finish line involved he loves it. He's even gone to some of the driving experiences at Barber and was able to ride in some race cars on the track. Needless to say, when it was announced that an INDY race was going to take place literally in our back yard, he was ecstatic. There was no doubt that we were attending but then several free tickets apeared and its official.

I am a very girly girl, but I got chills when George Barber--who's dream of hosting INDY racing has come to fruition--announced "Yall start these engines!" and they fired up and starting rolling out of the pits. It was so exciting and we were officially a part of INDY history.

Check out a few photos I got...

Dario Franchitti. Or in girly terms--Ashley Judd's husband.

I dont remember who this is...

Random racers. The first one is Helio.

Little Miss Danica in her Go Daddy car.

The winner-Helio Castroneves (sp?) making his victory lap. In girly terms: also winner of Dancing with the Stars a few seasons ago!

Lantis and lily white thunder arms. Seriously my arm looks gigantic, white and flabby in this pic, but its the only one I got of us the entire weekend. Salads the rest of the week!

The Howard's. Andrea and Brandon left Gavin with the grandparents and joined us on Sunday! We don't get to hang out with them nearly enough so its a pleasure when we do.

We've been to Barber several times for other events and we love it out there. Its a fabulous facility. If you've never been, you should take a ride out there to the museum or something. The scenery is beautiful and the track is like none other. They spared absolutely no expense in building it...except maybe the parking lot. So after all this fun its time to leave...

We were lucky enough to score some free tickets but not parking passes which means there's no where for us to park on site. Keep in mind, we live a rocks' throw from this place, but we had to drive to the Birmingham Race Course to park, and then be shuttled back to the track on a Hoover School cheddar. The B'ham race course is only 10 miles from Barber, but on the big cheese 10 miles is like 25 minutes. We hung around a few minutes after the race end and watched the end of The Masters tournament on the jumbo-trons thinking that would allow some of the traffic to die down. When we finally made it to the holding area where people were being staged to get on the shuttles our mouths dropped open. We were astounded by the sea of angry people waiting to get on the school buses. Some of these people had been in line since before race-end and this was an hour after the final lap. The line was at least 8 people wide and went on for miles. I've never seen anything like it. I tried to take pics, but I dont think the pics do it justice. I wish I had an aerial view of what that line must have looked like. We ended up calling my in-laws to meet us at the park entrance and give us a ride out of there. If we would have stayed in that line I have no doubts it would have taken us two-three hours to get to our car. Check out this mass of big camera was already packed away so these are from my phone. Sorry for the poor quality.

Everytime I've been to an event at Barber I've had a great time. Regardless of what was happening its been fun! This weekend was no different. I had a blast. I love the roar of those engines and the smell of burnt rubber. What I love most about a Barber event is that you can take your blanket or lawn chair, a picnic and a cooler and enjoy yourself. We did just that! It is an event that we wont miss next year. I do hope they have a better solution for getting this herd of people back to their cars. I'm sure thats a big complaint from all who attended which will force them to figure out a new exit strategy if they want to keep everyone coming back. This is the first year and I think it was an overall amazing event taking that into consideration. Moving that many people is not a simple task so I don't envy the person in charge of it. I have no doubts Mr. Barber was in a meeting this morning with event coordinators talking about exactly that. Maybe they'll even use some of the vast amounts of lands around the track to create parking. I'm all about tree hugging too, but it looks like its a necessity for this event.

I give the INDY race at Barber Motorsports a big thumbs up and I look foward to next year! Go if you can!

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