Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday - Practice Day - Morning Sessions

It was noticed that we never saw another race car being towed during the entire trip from Louisiana or even this morning on the way to the track. We got through the gates with the check-in of the drivers and buying a 3-day pit pass for me. As we rolled through the pit area between the garages, we were beginning to think that our "Crapsman" truck was looking too nice compared to the ultimate crapcans we were looking at.

When found our pit and prepared to unload. Mark & Angela Summers and Phil & Susie LaHaye each had their motor homes parked with space for the race truck and the golf cart in the middle. The team unloaded the vehicles and we finished getting things set up before getting back to looking around at some of the competition.

There was a very old, rusted BMW that was parked across the road behind us. I was afraid to get too close without having a tetanus shot! There was one car with a fake parachute behind it that looked like it had been rolled off of a mountain and beat back into the shape of a motor vehicle with a maul. Then there were the fun-looking cars. The car with a huge mop that hung the length of the rear bumper and had a screen pop-up when they hit the brakes showing a poster of the guys from Pulp Fiction movie pointing guns. There was a Mus-Tank, a Lemonade Stand, one had a Chuck Norris poster on the hood. One had a big, giant joint mounted on the roof, while another had martini glasses mounted on the rear. There was also a land shark and a cow (complete with tail). I took lots of pictures of those throughout the day.

But this is the practice day. Its put on by the track and not really part of the event , so you have to be nice and play by track rules and do what the nice man says. Nothing special, just normal flagging rules like you would have on a track day.

The guys decided that they would draw for the order in which they would drive today. A deck of cards was produced and Chris peeled off six cards with the ace as number 1 for the first driver and the six being for the last. I shuffled and mixed and shuffled them up and laid them out in a row on the rear deck of the truck. Everyone stepped forward to pick a card and then gathered for a group photo with the truck while it still looked good. This is the "before" photo:

The line-up would be Chris, Mike, Phil, Mark, Dennis, and Robbie. Now they just hoped that everyone would get a turn to practice without an incident. They shuffled through driving about a half dozen or so laps each before switching out to the next driver. I took some photos of the truck on the track, but the comments in the pit during the driver changes were priceless. Here they are in the order that they drove:

Chris: "It was icy out there." "I think there's too much air pressure."

Mike: "It's like racing a pogo stick!" "No Problem Raceway is like Barber Motorsports Park in comparison to this track." "Yah, there's more out there."

Phil: "It's the nicest race car I've ever driven."

Mark: "What's the deal with the flag? I got scolded!" "It's gonna be fun!"

Dennis: "It's like driving a 5 h.p. go kart!" "Whaddaya mean I've got the new fastest lap for the team? I couldn't find 4th gear half the time!"

Robbie: "It's cool." "The dip back there was wild!" (Robbie also swipped the fastest lap time from Dennis with a 1:24.8)

During the team meeting after the morning sessions, Chris expressed that his #1 goal had been met - everyone got to drive the truck. And the bonus was no one spun and no one went off in the grass.

Although everyone is having a great time and enjoying the fun and games and wild ridiculousness of this event, we do miss our friends who worked on the truck and/or planned to be here with us as a driver or part of the crew. To Johnny Walter, Marshall St. Amant, and Richard Martin - we miss you and you will NOT miss this next time!


No comments: