I went to Daytona International Speedway this weekend.
I did not go to the Daytona 500 which was run Sunday. I'm glad, because it rained and the race was called after 152 laps. Nothing worse than a race that ends with no checkered flag. Just me.
I did my radio show (Salisbury and Scruggs www.1053thefan.com) from Daytona on Friday and watched the Nationwide Camping World 300 on Saturday in the stands. My man Kenton Nelson of Texas Motor Speedway hook us up and took care of us the entire time.
Here are 5 Things I Like And 5 Things I Hated About Daytona
1. Smoking In The Stands
Man, talk about nasty. NASCAR lets fans smoke in the grandstands. Come on. How country is that? Can you imagine some lady smoking a cigarette behind you at a baseball game? Well, I had to deal with 5 people smoking around me during the Nationwide race, including the lady behind me. They even let fans smoke at Texas Motor Speedway. It's time to ban the smoking in the stands.
2. Daytona International Speedway
Folks, this place is a straight up dump. It's famous because it's "Daytona". They really need to improve this track. It's got nothing on Texas or California's tracks. You walk through the stands and stuff is falling on your head. This place is in need of a major renovation and some of the seats are just plain bad to watch a race. The bathrooms have to be 30 years old.
3. Dale Jr. Can Do No Wrong
Earnhardt can run a guy off the track and NASCAR won't do a darn thing. Dale Jr. ran Brian Vickers off the track and caused a major accident during the race on Sunday. Nothing happened. He wasn't hit with a lap penalty...nothing. It's Junior's world and everyone has to drive in it.
BTW, his Nationwide car is sponsored by a mayonnaise company.
4. Tent Land
People pay big bucks to stay in the infield at Daytona. They have it split. The low end is to the left as you come into the Speedway. Man, it is kinda scary. Some folks are staying in straight up tents. Some folks have these little mini things you would expect to sleep in if you stayed in the woods. It was straight country with a capital K. No way you'd catch me there at night. No way.
5. Closed Dog Track
As you walk to the Speedway they have a closed dog track in front of it. I hate it's shut down. If I could bet dogs after watching the races, it would make for one heck of an entertaining day. It's closed and the bulit a new one a few miles away.
1. Attending the Camping World 300
The Nationwide race is like the Triple A race. The great thing about this one was it had a lot of Sprint Cup drivers in it and they went balls to the wall to win. It was a great race and the finish was outstanding. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch were 1 and 2 on the final lap. Stewart won it.
2. Interviewing Matt Kenseth On Friday
Kenseth has gone forever and a day without a Cup win. We talked to him and I asked him if he won the Daytona 500 could he name all his sponsors. He tried. And doggone it...Kenseth won the race. I'm calling it, I am a good luck charm.
3. Kenton Nelson's Hospitality
Nelson is the number two man at Texas Motor Speedway. He took care of us the entire time. He was better than a Boy Scout leader in making sure we knew where to go, what to look for and how to enjoy NASCAR. He took care of everything and really educated us on the inside of racing. I wish all fans could have that type of experience we had.
4. The Parking
NASCAR is all about parking. You need a good pass to get in. On Friday we parked in the infield of the track to do the radio show. Our producer Eric had a lot of equipment so we were lucky to park inside. For the Saturday race, Nelson was smart, we parked outside the track at a Cracker Barrell store and walked to the track. We saved 2 hours buy doing that because after the race ended we were able to leave in 15 minutes. Unheard of in the race world.
5. Winning the Side Bet
We made a bet before the Nationwide race. The four us of (Nelson, Salisbury, Eric and myself) all picked two drivers and put ten bucks each in a pot. The winner got the pot. I took Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Of course I won since Stewart beat Busch at the end. NASCAR is more to watch if you have money riding on it in my humble opinion.