Still a little way out of Richmond....what's this???
We arrived at an Extended Stay America hotel for our Richmond stay. Not as nice as the hotel in Charlotte but it's okay. One nice thing is that they have a mini-kitchen so we can toast bagels etc.
Then came Richmond International Raceway......
This is what an empty stand looks like.
NASCAR emptied the stands due to lightning in the area.....
Then the rain came with the lightning. So we waited and waited.....
How about some boiled peanuts? Very big in the south areas.
Really good. Warm, softened peanuts....salt & vinegar.
It was raining so hard that I couldn't even get to the Fried Oreos!!!
Not the start we were thinking!!
.......was it Doug?
It rained for hours and hours. The lightning went on for nearly as long. Naturally, the NASCAR group would not allow people in the stands. They are all metal. Can you imagine one lightning strike on those stands - YIKES!!!!
When the rain finally broke, they went to work drying the track. This requires trucks with jet engine air-blowers and trucks with extremely high pressure air called Air Titans. The air pressure is delivered to the surface of the track at 568 mph and raises the air temperature 70 degrees over ambient temperature Super noisy. We got out and walked around a bit.
NASCAR fashionistas were out and about....
So, way up there, about 20 rows from the top were our seats!!
When they had almost completely got the track dry........the skies opened up again and it poured for another 45 minutes, completely undoing everything they had just accomplished. We went back to the van to wait it out. Just walking back to the van we were soaked - even with my snazzy yellow rain poncho. By now it was about 8:00 pm. The race was due to start at about 7 pm. They had to eliminate lots of activities at this point. Oh well, can't mess with Mother Nature!
However, by 8:30 pm, it had stopped raining, again and we could hear the tracks trucks out dry the surface so we went back to the track and up to our seats.
Here is one of the Air Titans, at work drying the track.
Yup, that big top stand, Commonwealth Tower is where we sit. We will
be in the middle of the section, about half way up. Probably about 10 storeys from
the ground. They do have 4 sets of escalators to get you
up there from the top of these metal stands......
Still pretty ominous skies....
Unlike the lower seats, we have individual seats, not the long metal benches.
It is not unusual in the feeder series, Nationwide, to have some empty seats for their race.
You can see them across the track. Tomorrow they will all mostly be full!
This is HIGH up!! But, you can see the whole track.
Then the fog rolled in!!!!
Our favourite driver for tonight - Elliot Sadler.
Still foggy and windy.....
Finally cleared up but was pretty cold.
Well, the race got going about 10 pm and was not finished until about 12:30 am. Pretty far behind schedule but at least they got it done. We really enjoyed it but we were pretty cold and wet by the time we got back to the hotel. It actually took us about 1 hour to get back to the hotel which is located about 5 miles from the track due to all the traffic trying to all leave at the same time!!
More to come for Saturday!
Thought for the Day: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalia Lama