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DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS
The Platypus
The Sharpie 500
NASCAR at Bristol Tennessee
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I talked to E.T. and Koz Wednesday about catching a
ride with them to Bristol Tennessee for the NASCAR
Nextel Cup race. They were driving from Detroit and I
had never been to the summer race there. It is on a
Saturday night and allows one to party good and then
have all day Sunday to drive home.

I later talked to BW and he said that he could go, so
I wouldn't need E.T. to drive a couple hours out of his
way. BW also said that Dave Gordon was going to go.

E.T. and Koz got to Bristol on Thursday, we Indy guys
would leave Friday afternoon.

I had a very stressful week with a job interview at 2pm
on Friday so we didn't leave my house till 4 pm.

I hadn't had time to get ready for the trip other than
picking up booze (Grolsch Red Amber, John Courage,
Rolling Rock, Evan Williams Single Barrel 10-year-old
whisky and a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon).

BW brought a 30 pack of beer and a jug of Evan
Williams.

Dave's girlfriend got sick and he decided not to go,
so it was just BW and I.

BW drove us in his minivan. We had an uneventful
trip and arrived in Bristol at 11 pm.

I slowly unwound from all my stress and started
feeling pretty good.

The Busch race had several rain delays and was
still going on when we got to Farmer Bob's
campground. E.T. and Koz met us at the gate and
got us in.
We had the same great camping spot as we've
had on previous visits, but this time we were sharing
it with a bunch of other people whom ET and Koz
had met at prior races. I met those guys as they
returned from the Busch race.

The temperature got below the 70's that evening so
it was comfortable and we had a campfire. I hadn't
brought any food and I regretted it. Koz was kind
enough to get me a snack.

One of the guys that had staked out the camp-
ground for us lived in the area. His name was
Jamie and he had to get up the next morning to
go to work. Koz, ET, BW and I stayed up real late.
We all got up the next morning except BW, who
slept into the afternoon.
The first thing I did Saturday morning was walk
over to the breakfast hut that is set up next to the
shower barn and grabbed some coffee and
biscuits and stewed apples. These camp-
grounds seem to contain a large proportion of
men and their shower line was pretty long. As I
sat there eating, a lovely girl came out of the
showers in a miniskirt and sat down across
from me and crossed her legs. I about fell over
backwards! Damn she was beautiful.
There were also some horses nearby that some
people were petting.
Back at camp, the guys had setup a
shooting range. They had a high power
pellet rifle and everyone was taking
turns shooting. Some of these guys
were from New Zealand, but are now
living in Florida.
Bryce taking aim.
E.T. loading a pellet.
E.T. is measuring the distance from the
targets to the gun.

Careful with that beer ET!
After some more drinking, we played some
horseshoes.
They set up a pool and everyone threw in
$20 to pull a few drivers out of a hat. My
picks sucked.
Finally, BW woke up and we drove through
the camp to find some food and tickets for
the race. We found one guy who was selling
his $96 tickets for $150 each. We passed on
those. It started raining while we were driving.
There were some souvenir and food stands
up near the gate and I bought a sandwich.
People bring all kinds of small transportation
to the campgrounds - ATVs, Scooters,
Motorcycles - I even saw a powered barstool!
I wish BW would have brought his ATVs.
These guys had the ultimate smoker grill!
Numerous campers brought their own
swimming pools!
The rain didn't last long and had stopped
before we got back to our campsite.
Here is some examples of the native fauna.
BW and I met some guys from Columbus Ohio in a nearby
campsite and we played them a few games of horseshoes.
We were getting a little nervous about getting tickets, as we
didn't have much money to spend, when some girl in a golf kart
drove up waving 2 tickets that were together. They were $96
tickets and she took $100 for both of them. Yea!
The Detroit guys had brought all their beer in big jugs
called growlers. It was some great beer made by small
breweries in Michigan.

Bryce pulled a giant frosted glass out of his cooler and
preceded to almost empty one of the jugs into it. The
glass held more than a liter. He then passed it around
to share.
It was called the friendship glass and had the numbers
one through seven printed around the rim. Seven people
share the glass, each sipping from his assigned number.

Bryce recalled a song he'd heard about the glass that
went something like, "Friendship glass. Friendship
glass. It really kicked our ass...." :-)
Someone had brought a big propane grill and loaded it
up with big beef tenderloins which they make filet mignon
from. Rick sliced it up and we grabbed pieces and ate it by
hand. It was very delicious. It was gone in a second.
Eventually the afternoon turned into evening and we
hiked to the track which is across the street from the
campground. First, we had to climb this hill.
By the time we got inside the track, we'd
missed the driver introductions. BW and I
headed to the front row by the start/finish
line where there is no assigned seating.

There was a childrens choir singing with
a few drivers standing about.
It was surprising to see this huge section
of the crowd create this American Flag.
My friends occasionally get in the way when
I'm trying to take pictures at the track. BW,
being a photographer, should know better.
He should also know that 900 decibles is not
going to come through a cellphone better by
holding the phone two feet closer to the track.'
:-)
It is so loud in the front row, where the cars
zoom by seven feet away, that earplugs are
a must. The decible level where we were
was so high that if you pulled your earplugs
out, your ears would start ringing instantly.
Sitting on the front row is unbelievable! The
cars zip by so fast in front of you, its like some
spaceships out of Star Wars. It is very
exciting and besides the noise, there is a
good amount of wind.
After about an hour, BW and I decided
to go check out our seats. They were
located very high in the middle of turns
three and four. (Waltrip Stand, Row 51)

There didn't appear to be any room
and we tried to get people to squeeze
up so we could sit down, but they
would not.

BW was mad about it and spent half
the time standing and complaining.

While he annoyed everyone around us,
I lit up a big cigar to do my part.
For awhile, it looked like Rusty Wallace
and Kurt Busch would finish 2-3. Matt
Kenseth dominated and would go on
to win the race.
After I finished the stogie, we left and
returned back to the front row, where
we were to meet Koz and ET after the
race.

Here is E.T. doing a beer bong.
The checkered flag waves!
We got separated and E.T. and BW
returned to camp together while Koz
and I looked around at souvenir stands
before returning to camp.
I got a t-shirt for $5.
Back at camp, someone had put up some
neon sheep on top of the camper!
Koz grilled hamburgers for everyone. We
stayed up really late and partied. ET related
how BW had fell down the campground hill
on the way back.

BW can sleep anywhere anytime, and he
went right to sleep as soon as he got back
to camp, which was around midnight. Let's
see he was up for 11 hours today...
After all his sleep, he didn't seem to mind
waking me up early the next morning after
I'd had only a few hours sleep.

Consequently I felt terrible the entire trip
back to Indy.

I guess next time I need to specify DON'T
WAKE ME UP!

Anyway, we drove through major rain most
of the way back, perhaps caused by Hurricane
Katrina, which had hit Louisiana while we
were in Bristol.

Indy's weather was beautiful, but in a day or so,
Katrina would dump rain on us all day long.