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Inside Ed's Head

Observations From PIR
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By Eddie Laub | 11/07/2014
Category: Inside Ed's Head
 

Observations from the day:

I got up early this morning, and for the first time since I started coming to the track for RJO, I had to get my wife and son up to go with me.  After some bribery, they didnít grumble too much about leaving at 5am.  The promise of giant breakfast burritos and Starbucks on the way out of town can calm a lot of tension.  But now I canít help but wonder how well a mixture of giant burritos and Starbucks will be later in my day. Guess I will find outÖ

After a slight issue with the car not starting first thing this morning, we got to Phoenix in record time: not much traffic; no blinding haboobs; and no Weather Channel professionals headed this way because of impending flood-storms.  And no mother, I was not speeding.

Since we were delayed a bit by the car issue, I wasnít sure I would make it to the mandatory photo meeting- mandatory, because this is where I get the necessary vest to take pictures around the track.  Last time I was here, the photo meeting was at 8am, so I even had an extra hour this morning, and I still wasnít sure I was going to make it. Slight interjection here: Iím not sure exactly how she did it, but major props to Carol for getting the racetrack to move the photo meeting back an hour for me.  I cannot express my thanks enough.  She has even promised me a limo service for next time Iím here, so I donít have to worry about 5am car issues!

Rest assured folks, I did indeed make it to the track, and was only two minutes late to the photo meeting.  After a short orientation, I had my treasured photo vest!  I am off to take pictures!

I watched some of Nationwide Series practice from the garage area, and noticed quite a few teams scuffing tires.  Could there be a tire issue this weekend?  Iím very interested to see what the Cup teams do.  I also noticed incredibly low left front tire pressures.

Back in the media center, and the only diet drinks they have in here are variations of Diet Coke: Diet Cherry Coke, Diet Coke, and Caffeine Free Diet Coke.  Oh, and they have waterÖ  Whereís the love for Coke Zero??

Observed in the garage area:  When it comes to pre-practice ďpit stops,Ē alleged domestic-abuser Kurt Busch has to wait in line just like everyone else.

There are two ĎDumb and Dumber Toí cars ready to go for Sunday- Alex Bowman and JJ Yeley.  Seems like they are just asking for the negative commentary if they do something dumb during the race.  Or perhaps that is the idea- people expect dumb, so if they deliver, it canít be said that it was a surprise.  Very crafty BK Racing, very crafty.   However, if these two drivers donít deliver dumb, will that hurt movie ticket sales? 

Early this week, I watched a video online of the #24 crew painting, yes, I said painting, the racecar in preparation for this weekendís race.  I guess when your sponsor is an automotive paint company, using a wrap to decorate your racecar just isnít acceptable.  Seeing the car in person, and in the sun and all I can say is: WOW.  This color (Radiant Red) is gorgeous!  It sparkles more than the Cullen family on a day trip to the nude beach!

FYI: the hood of Jamie Macís #1 car has the name of the 19 ĎHotShotí Firefighters that were lost in June 2013 from nearby Prescott, AZ.  Thatís just cool.

Finally get to lunch, and wouldnít you know it- PIR has its own pretzel service!  And I invented a new delicacy:  pretzel salad!

During truck qualifying, I went and did some shopping.  Now, I may have mentioned this in the past, but Phoenix race fans get hosed in the regards to the souvenir market.  The spring race is too early in the year- so no new stuff has been produced yet. And then the fall race is too late in the year, so everything is sold out.  Whatís a guy to do?  Order online.  Up your nose with a rubber hose,  Chase Elliott souvenir rig man that didnít have any 1/64th scale cars. 

Post Cup qualifying, Denny Hamlinís daughter jumped up in his lap during the press conference.  It was adorable!

Just before the truck pre-race was to start, the power went out.  But us photographers jumped to the ready: flashes out, and ready to light the track if need be, one bright flash of light at a time!

I think Iím going to go watch the truck race.  I havenít seen as many truck races as I would have liked this year, and frankly, I donít know who many of these drivers are.   I plan to enjoy myself, if they can get the lights back on.

Tomorrow, Chase Elliott will likely lock up the Nationwide Championship, and I wonít be here.  As you may or may not know, Iíve been a Bill Elliott fan since 1985, and this year in the NNS series, his son has really impressed me.  Now, tomorrow, he will likely wrap up the Championship and will go on to win Rookie of the year at the same time.  Thatís a big deal.  I kinda wish I was going to be here at the track. 

But what I will be doing is also important.  I work with an amazing group of teenagers, and tomorrow morning we are gathering to work on two houses that have been donated to a church here in Phoenix.  This church will use these houses to help some folks get back on their feet.   And we get to help, while also helping spread Godís love to Phoenix. As much as I want to be at the track tomorrow, I wouldnít trade what I get to do for anything in the world. 
 
And the giant burrito and Starbucks?  Not a bad combination.  

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Comments:
FlounderFerg
11/08/2014 6:28 am (1)
Eddie: Excellent article! It is always good reading to see what happens behind the scenes at a Nascar race. And compliments to you for your work on those houses. Please keep your articles coming while at the track, it is really interesting reading!

Flounder Ferg
Dataman
11/09/2014 10:10 am (2)
Looking forward to more "man on the scene" insights. Good stuff!
premud
11/10/2014 2:09 pm (3)
Good reading, hope the house rehab went well!

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