This past weekend my sister-in-law brought my nieces and nephew up to Chicago to spend some time with family and go to the Nascar races at the Chicagoland Speedway. My dad had tickets for the Nationwide race on Friday and the Sprint Cup race on Saturday. Because of schedule issues, he ended up with an extra ticket to each race, and I was invited to go along!
Now, I confess to having harbored some Nascar prejudices: I thought it was pretty much loud, beer-drinking, tattooed redneck guys and their equally loud, beer-drinking, tattooed, bikini-wearing wives/girlfriends. I was really not looking forward to going. But I don't get to spend a lot of time with my nieces, and I'd never seen my 9 month old nephew. So I thought I would go, and it would be a way to bond with them, and I'd hate the race, and that would be the end of my Nascar experiences.
Well, I was wrong. It's NOT all loud, beer-drinking, tattooed, bikini-wearing people (although believe me, they're there!). It's pretty family oriented, really. And I really had a fun time. So much fun that I would like to do it again. Soon! With more money. The racetrack is pretty much set up to perform a "cashectomy" on you every time you turn a corner.
The first thing I did was buy a Matt Kenseth hat. He's the favorite of most of the family, and I needed a hat because it was really sunny and I'd forgotten mine. And it's pretty. And purple :)
Merchandise is sold from "haulers", which are trailers with sides that open. When the race is over, they get closed up, hooked to semi tractors and hauled (hence the name...) to the next race! When my nieces first asked where the haulers were I asked them what that meant. They looked at me like I had 12 heads and 15 eyes. I reminded them that I'd never been to a race before. And then they began educating me about Nascar :)
Dad got us some pretty amazing seats! We could see the whole track, and the flag tower and all of the pits.
For the Nationwide race (the Dollar General 300) on Friday we pulled for #7 Danica Patrick. Because she's a girl race car driver. And 5 of the seven of us at the race were girls :)
The only boys were PopPop and my nephew. They enjoyed the race too :)
On Saturday night we went to the Sprint Cup race (the Lifelock 400), which is otherwise known as the "race that has drivers I've actually heard of". We were a bit more varied in who we were pulling for. My dad, sister and I were pulling for Matt Kenseth. My niece Fiona was pulling for Kasey Kahne (because "he's dreamy"!) and Zoë was pulling for Carl Edwards (he finished 2nd. Zoë was VERY happy!).
Some nice people sitting behind us took this great picture of us with the track in the background!
My sister got some great pictures of all of our favorite cars.
#17 Matt Kenseth
#99 Carl Edwards
#9 Kasey Kahne
And all of our drivers finished in the top 15!
It really was a great weekend, and I enjoyed myself SO much more than I thought I would. And I was able to spend some time getting to know my nieces. Which was the most important thing (to me, anyway)!
PS- I forgot to show you my Matt Kenseth toes!! I had a mani/pedi the night before the first race, so I had Terry paint my finger and toe nails purple (Matt's car is black and purple)!