Thursday, October 05, 2006

Petersburg...or was it?

I know, I know, been too long since I've written something up. It's been a pretty hectic week at work, juggling multiple projects - all, of course, are time sensitive, to a degree - so I'm not much for writing more when I get home.

One of those projects involved a road trip today to Petersburg and the NHRA event at Virginia Motorsports Park. Well, the track's address is in Petersburg anyway.

I was expecting more of a town-like setting. Instead, this place is waaaayyyy out there. Like 20 minutes past Petersburg, which itself is 20 minutes past Richmond. So far away that I had to use an interstate - I-85 - that I've only used once in my life, when my wife and I went to Charlotte a few years ago.

(Referencing this post: I was reminded that I saw a destination city I've never been to, as the link in the previous graf points out. Check out this photo. That sign, I'm certain, is the only possible link between those two places.)

Once I exited the interstate, I found myself driving past a community gas station - that really IS what the sign said - that sold Daytona brand fuel. Another sign really DID say that, too.

I made my way down Rt. 1 and eventually found the track. Though all the teams were set up and working, it was a pretty laid-back atmosphere. If you've ever watched Driving Force or one of the NHRA broadcasts on ESPN, you see folks riding in golf carts or scooters. And it's easy to see why: the 'garage area' is massive. Like triple the garage and hauler space for Nextel Cup teams at Richmond - probably even more than that.

There are some folks from our county who run in one of NHRA's touring series, so I was there talking to them. And they couldn't have been nicer. I'd heard stories about the general availability of principals in NASCAR vs. NHRA, and those stories are on the mark. I had a good 30-minute chat with the driver and another 15 minutes with his wife, who is the team manager.

Imagine getting 45 minutes with a driver and a crew chief, even in the Craftsman Truck Series. Can't see it happening except in special circumstances. Can't see it ever happening with a Cup driver.

While it made for a long day, it was an interesting one. There wasn't any on-track activity, unfortunately, so I didn't get to experience that aspect of it. But there's always next year, I suppose.

And I still have the press parking sticker on my car if I wind up changing my mind.

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