Thursday, March 11, 2010

NASCAR in Vegas - Stuff I forgot

After posting blogs for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I realized a few things had fallen through the cracks. Hopefully this entry will catch the lion's share of the remaining memories.

On Friday after plenty of Schaefer and Miller Lite, we stumbled by the Coke Zero promotion booth. Two giggling PYTs offered us a free sample of Coke Zero. We were grateful, but I wondered out loud if the Jack Daniels' promotion booth might boost it a bit. One of them laughed, said they probably would, and pointed us to it "over there". We mis-read her finger-pointing directions and ended up at the regular JD concession kiosk vs. the larger-than-life, can't-miss-it (though we did) JD tent. We told the dude the Coke girls said we could have a free mix of Jack. He said we could for eight dollars a shot. What???? After a good bit of "aw, c'mon mannnn" and "help a brotha out won't cha?", he looked to the right and to the left and topped us off. Nice!

We spent much of Saturday and Sunday repeating the key line from this great scene of Oh Brother Where Art Thou. DO...NOT...SEEK...THE..TREASURE...

We must have said the line a thousand times, and it was as funny to us the last time as it was the first time we said it. It was an inside joke at the expense of another friend of ours. He didn't make the trip, but he lived vicariously through our phone calls, pictures, texts, and tweets.

And hey there oh friend of ours. I know you read this blog. We hate you had to learn you'd been punk'd this way. can explain. Ya see...

This advertisement in the underground passageway headed to the Neon Garage pretty accurately described our Saturday night / Sunday morning adventures.

When we got to the track Sunday, my bud said the first thing he wanted to do was get something to eat. Said he was starving. Truthfully, I didn't think I was that hungry - until he explained. "Man, I ain't had nothing to eat since yesterday afternoon." That comment didn't make a lot of sense to me since surely...I mean... didn't I? ...but...noooo, really?... wait.

Dang, he was right. I had a corn dog about 2 PM Saturday afternoon. From there until 11:30 AM Sunday, it was all liquid "nourishment". Once inside the track, I skeptically saw this sales pitch:

It served its purpose. But folks, let me tell ya. Vegas may know gambling, glitz, and purty gurls - but it doesn't know barbeque. It looked and tasted like Alpo slathered with Bulls Eye BBQ sauce on it. But it hit the spot in the moment, and it may have been the best $8 we spent all weekend. Once I got the taste washed down with a quickly warming Schaefer, it was go-time for the race!

We caught sight of this twosome in front of us at the Nationwide race. We weren't exactly sure what was going on here. Clearly they didn't listen to their mother while growing up because everyone's mom has that whiny voice guidance: "Don't put that plastic bag over your head. You'll suffocate to death."

We couldn't tell if they were:
  • afraid of a few drops of rain
  • "sealed for your protection" (can never be too careful in Vegas)
  • avid fans of Eric McClure and his sponsor
After Saturday's Nationwide race, we headed for the Stratosphere to have a drink with the spotter for the Tommy Baldwin Racing entry. You may recall TBR fielded a car driven by Mike Bliss and sponsored by Kardashian Fragrance. The spotter is a former neighbor of my friend. We challenged him to deliver Kim Kardashian as well. We'd buy her a drink too, right? After all, who wouldn't want to hang with her? I'm not so sure its funny for you to read about it, but it was funny for me sitting in the car as my friend barked at the guy: "we'll be there soon - but you better get that Kim chick there man." Kim Kardashian - Stratosphere - spotter for a start-and-parker. Um, yeah. Right. Sure.

In Saturday's Nationwide race, Tony Eury Jr. had to talk Danica through just about every single lap she ran. Where to go, when to pit, where to line-up, what fans to run, what switches to toggle, etc. While she didn't seem to have a clue what she was doing and was learning on the fly, Tony Jr. was a super coach to her. Also, I enjoyed listening to the scanner and learning as a fan.

Most Cup guys are not much fun to scan anymore. The drivers, crew chiefs, and spotters know what is going on. Plus, they know others are listening and tend to keep radio chatter to a minimum. As a result, most of what you get is stuff like:
  • Green, green, green
  • Inside, inside
  • 3 wide - you're in the middle
  • Clear
That's it. Rent the Racing Electronics scanner for a day, and that's about all you'll get for your money from most teams. So hearing open dialog between Danica, her crew chief, and the spotter was a pretty neat change.

Daytona 500 champ Jamie McMurray had a race sponsorship by McDonald's. Notice Jamie's name over the window.

By the way, is it just me or does it still sound odd to say "Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray"? Not near as weird as saying "Daytona 500 champ Derrike Cope" or "4x Cup champ Jimmie Johnson", but its still strange nonetheless.

Once in the Neon Garage, I wanted to seek out the garage bay of the #43 of A.J. Allmendinger. Once there, I was a bit stunned. As with the phrase "Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray", standing before a "Richard Petty Motorsports Ford" still doesn't quite compute.

The Vegas strip at night is something truly to behold. I've been to Vegas plenty of times before, but the scene at night still makes me shake my head in awe each time. The only things I've seen personally that compare is Times Square in New York and Picadilly Circus in London.

As we packed and left the Excalibur for the airport, we realized we committed a huge beer faux pas. We overbought on Schaefer. The plan was for more trackside fun and sharing of the Schaefer experience. As it turned out, that wasn't our destiny.

Pre shoe bomber, liquids could be brought aboard a plane. But thanks yet again to those fundamentalist ragheads for ruining a good thing because we can't do so anymore. So we had to leave the Schaef behind. However, we tried to leave a little memento for the room maid. We hope she got a good laugh and some free beer out of it. Sing it with me!

Oh Schaefer tree,
Oh Schaefer tree,
Drinking lots of Schaefer made us pee.

My friend and me.
Enjoyed Vegas with glee.
We will so terribly miss thee.


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