Monday, March 03, 2008

Miscellanea from the Marbles!

Notes from Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Neon Garage is the best of experiences. It is also the worst of experiences.

  • LVMS needs to work on the escalator in the tunnel, as it kept overheating, forcing folks to walk up the escalator. That was the equivalent of around 6 flights of stairs, or more.
  • The line for folks trying to get into their seats from the Neon Garage on Cup day was insane. We planned on it taking two hours, and even with that focus, we almost did not make the start of the race. The problems? The track oversold the Neon Garage, and the line was not controlled. There were three separate, extremely long lines that merged, with folks cutting in at any point, with again…no control.
  • Seeing the drivers and the crew working so hard is wonderful. I realize the drivers are feeling like they are the main entertainment at the zoo, but this is such a wonderful way for fans to connect with their favorite drivers. However, there are a few fans of Junior that typified the worst of fans. Banging on the glass with their beer cans, screaming at the top of their lungs, ”Junior!!! Look At Me You ***Hole” is sure to make Junior want to run and get away from the idiots. I sure ran from them!
  • Some drivers react well to the increased exposure from the Neon Garage. One driver, David Gilliland, would be in the midst of a serious discussion about his car, with one of his crew …and would look up suddenly and see fans with cameras snapping away. Instead of getting angry, he smiled, waved, and kept talking.

    Other drivers were downright spooked, they would run and hide if any fans called their names. It was also interesting to see how drivers handled themselves with the fans who had the ‘hot passes.’

    I saw Kyle Petty take the time to sign autographs after being involved in a crash during practice.

    Kasey Kahne, very ill from the flu, took the time to wave at fans, and sign.

    I saw one ‘Affable Virginian’ come unglued at one fan, or should I say…former fan, who had the unmitigated gall to wait patiently nearby with pen in hand, only to have him shriek ‘NOT NOW’! using a voice loud enough to be heard over the sound of an nearby engine being revved.
Racing Notes
  • I was fully prepared to have some drivers complain about this track. I was right! Thank you Tony, you started the trend! After Tony and David Reutimann tangled during the Nationwide race, Tony complained about David being an ass. Then, after he obviously had time to review what REALLY happened, he revised his hate list to gripe about the track! One wonders about the length of the Hate List, as opposed to the Like List. I am thinking the former is getting longer, and the latter much shorter! I will say, though, that I am thankful he was not seriously injured this weekend. I am hoping he gets his back checked by his own doc, as the 'leg tingling' is not a good sign, and my personal experience of this wants me to yell over the ethernet....GET IT CHECKED OUT NOW! Please, much as I think you are forty kinds of an idiot, I want you to stay racing.
  • Then on Sunday, Jeff Gordon had a rant about the gaps in the inner wall, and the lack of SAFER barriers on the inner walls. Jeffy, Jeffy, Jeffy….how many other tracks have you raced at that do not have SAFER barriers on the inner walls? It only becomes an issue with you when YOU are involved? My suggestion, Jeff, is to use your influence to work with NASCAR on fixing these things when they affect other drivers, and to not wait until you are affected before complaining. I too am thankful that Hendrick built a wonderfully safe car, but I am equally thankful that the NASCAR's new car is doing its job of protecting the driver, by design.
  • The Man on a Mission? Kyle Busch is on a roll, trying to prove to the world and Mr. Hendrick that he is a better driver than Dale, Jr. M&M’s has already recieved their money’s worth with Kyle. However, the M&M’s transporter was a no-show for the Transporter Parade on the Las Vegas Strip. What a shame! There was a fabulous photo opportunity to have the Candy Hauler driving in front of the flagship store, M&M’s World! Especially when the CandyBoy earned the Pole Award the next day.

  • Speaking of the Candy Boy, I was surprised at the number and strength of Boo’s from the stands. Kyle appears to have more of a Boo-Bird contingent than Jeff Gordon! Grandstand Experts sitting near me were calling him Candy Brat, and talking about how the ‘home town crowd’ even seems to dislike him! Some of the locals had some very interesting stories about Kyle and some of his altercations at the Bullring.
  • Listening to the Sirius programming for a few hours this morning, I was fully prepared to hear callers repeating the lament of previous years “What a Boring Race!’ I am not hearing that this year. The track is now two grooves wide. During the race, I saw a lot of three-wide racing, with a few scary moments of four- wide! By this time next year, the track will have aged enough to be a full-tilt extravaganza!
  • Kudoes to the Yates Racing #28 driven by Travis Kvapil, with a top ten finish. And, the finish by David Gilliland in spite of a tranny repair is noteworthy.
  • LVMS deserves a second race! They were filled to capacity on Sunday. Even the Nationwide race had over 100,000 seats sold! The City of Las Vegas caters to the NASCAR fans, and provides off-track entertainment unparalleled to any other venue. However, LVMS dodged a bullet this weekend, with having fairly favorable weather! This time of year is always chancy, and I well remember at least two race weekends in the last 5 years that experience snow or sleet.
More on Vegas experience
  • Vegas still needs to work on its Traffic Exit Strategy. However, I know that this is a problem with all tracks.
  • Speaking of traffic jams, I was stunned at the lack of thinking in placing a Dale, Sr souvie hauler, plus that of the Junior trailer , and the Second Chance hauler all on the same corner in Souvie Row. Trying to plow through that mass of humanity was plain scary!
  • The Transporter Parade rocked! The last time I saw that many folks on the Strip, there was a casino implosion imminent. It was great fun for all!
  • More pedestrian woes....LVMS was trying to funnel the pedestrians past their special Lucky Seven parking. This year, they fenced off the premium lot, so that pedestrians could not cut through there to get to their general parking lots. Unfortunately, forcing all pedestrians into a small egress, and then adding 40 porta-johns was a huge mistake! Talk about the feeling of 'swimming upstream!'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The track was showing much better racing this year. Next year, I would expect the racing to be even better.

I too wondered at the placement of the fencing and the portable bathrooms. I saw a kid trip and nearly get trampled as the crowd filed into the narrow passageway.