Sunday, August 5, 2012

NASCAR Nationwide race

In case you didn't know, Austin & I are NASCAR fans.  I have been a closet fan since 7th grade when I sat at a table in Mr. Landman's room with two boys in my class who were fans.  Austin & I started watching together a few years into our marriage.  It has been on our lifelong bucket list to go to a race some day.  Thanks to connections (my sister works in the marketing department of the Pizza Ranch corporate office), we got a great deal on tickets to the NASCAR Nationwide USCellular 250 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.  (For non-fans, the Nationwide series is like Triple A minor league behind the Sprint Cup series, but sometimes Sprint Cup drivers also drive in the Nationwide series and vice versa.)

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
Pre-race inspections
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!
Austin & I stayed in a hotel back in West Des Moines and enjoyed a morning of leisure before joining his parents and the kids for lunch.  It wasn't warm enough to go swimming (who knew?!?), but Emily & Lincoln had a fabulous time with Grandpa & Grandma Lorenzen doing a tour of parks.  They even both went to Sunday school AND a service at G&G's church.

The kids also enjoyed the Pizza Ranch Racing "Eat My Crust" flags and die-cast model cars we got for free at the race.

1 comment:

Heather's Henhouse said...

Racing, huh? Wouldn't have expected that! Looks like you had fun!