We dropped the kids off at Austin's parents' house in Waukee and headed to the track Saturday afternoon after a huge line of thunderstorms moved through. With the exceptionally hot, dry summer we've had, who would've thought we'd have perfect weather--mostly cloudy until race time with comfortable temps and a nice breeze away from the stands (no fumes). And that we'd have to dodge mud puddles!
Our ticket package included entrance to the Pizza Ranch hospitality tent and a Casey's Fan Walk pass to the infield. We met my sister and BIL (who were working the hospitality tent check-in table) and snagged a ride to the infield to play promotional games and watch pre-race inspections. We also did a race simulator and rented headsets with a race scanner before heading back to Hospitality Village to enjoy Pizza Ranch buffet. We also got to hear from Michael McDowell, the driver of the #18 Pizza Ranch car.
The race itself wasn't terribly exciting with only three cautions, one small single spin-out on the grass and no green flag pit stops for the entire field. Plus, the radio scanner channel for the #18 car wasn't working right. But it was a great experience, and we're looking forward to doing it again! Here are some snapshots of our day...
|Victory Lane sponsored by Pizza Ranch|
|Michael McDowell--driver of the #18 Pizza Ranch car|
|Let's go racing!|
|The #18 started 8th and finished 7th. Elliot Sadler won the race.|
|A beautiful night for racing!|
The kids also enjoyed the Pizza Ranch Racing "Eat My Crust" flags and die-cast model cars we got for free at the race.