For the most part, the trip was at the right price: free.
- Three of us crashed in the hotel room of a King Racing / Quaker State team member.
- We were comp'd two hospitality passes. Through some creative logistics, we made two passes work for three of us - and even leveraged them into garage access.
- A couple of additional friends bought and comp'd us tickets and agreed to bring sandwiches.
Our friends were racing noobs. As we headed for the grandstands, we learned our friends bought seats on the fourth row of the frontstretch near the top of pit road. They believed preferred seating at a race would be similar to sitting near home plate at a baseball game or down low behind the bench at a football game.
For those unfamiliar with the original Atlanta configuration, the track was a true, tight oval. Long, high turns and short, fast straightaways. The stands were right up on the action.
Shortly after the race began, I got a shoulder tap followed by some amateur sign language asking if we were ready for sandwiches. We replied with thumbs up.
Rather than pass pre-made sandwiches, subs, or wraps down the line, our ignorant but well-meaning friends broke out a loaf of white bread, a pack of bologna, cheese slices and a squeeze bottle of mayo.
We tried to balance the fixins as best we could. Shortly after the mayo hit the bread, however, it was peppered - but not with the seasoning.
Sitting on a low row at old Atlanta resulted in several hours of being sandblasted with track grit and tiny rubber pellets from the tires. With fresh mayo exposed on a piece of Wonder bread, all that grit settled evenly and provided an awkward crunch to our freshly made sammiches.