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BRICKYARD GRAND PRIX RACE DAY
July 27, 2012
Johnny got us tickets to the track today including parking
in the Chevy Corral and passes to the Chevy Hospitality
Chalet.  He had a long ride getting to my house in the
morning.  We took our time and got to the track just after
noon.

We drove in on 30th Street to enter the north entrance.  
Cars were being parked in the north 40, but our pass got
us into the infield.  We saw a Porsche corral at the north
end.  I would have liked to get back there and look the
cars over, but I never did.

To get to the Chevy Corral, I turned into the golf course at
the southern end of the track.  I followed the paved golf
cart path that was just barely wide enough for my car,
winding through the hilly golf course, until popping out
along the back straight away.  That was interesting.  
Another black Vette was following us.  
After we parked, we met its owner.  Marc
was driving his new 2013 Grand Sport.  
He came by himself and would end up
hanging out with us today.  He claimed to
be rich and owns a lot of great cars.

He spoke of an event in September where
you get to drive your supercar all along
Alligator Alley in the Everglades as fast as
you want for.  That would be great... as long
as you did not end up in the drink fighting
alligators!
It was hot and mostly sunny.  

We walked over to the nearby viewing hills
in time to catch the beginning of the Grand-Am
Continental Tire race at 1 p.m.  Johnny and I
set up lawn chairs there.
I parked next to this blue '63 Vette.  It was very
popular and people gathered around it all day.
I talked to its owner, Michael, and found out he
lived on the next block from me!

We were parked along the path race fans took
to go from the infield viewing hills to the bridge.
We had a beer and Marc and Johnny both
needed to go talk to some GM guys at the
Chevy tent over in the Pagoda Plaza.

So we headed over there.
I took this photo from the top of the bridge
Over at the  Chevy tent, I was happy to find
it air-conditioned.  They had TVs all around
showing the action on the track.  There was
free food and drink and we all ate lunch.  
Jeff Gordon was in the next chalet signing
autographs.  
Suddenly they were showing a big fire on the
TV.  I ran out the door with my camera and
captured this photo of the smoke from back
behind the stands.  I thought it was from a race
car on fire, but found out later it was from a
camper on fire.

I went back inside and ate some more.
Then, an alert came on the TV saying a
thunderstorm was heading our way.

I had left my top down on my car!  Johnny and
I hustled out of there and into sprinkles.

I made it back to my car and put the top up.  
We sat inside and watched hundreds of people
walk from the viewing hills toward the bridge.  

Serious rain began falling and we had to roll
up the windows and turn on the air conditioner.  
I pondered how I had just spent the last 2
months without a drop of rain, with Indiana
experiencing its worst drought since the dust
bowl years of the '30's, and how I show up at
the track and THEN it rains!

Anyway, the Continental Tire race was red
flagged.

After a while, the rain stopped and the race
resumed.

I set up my lawn chairs in front of my car and
watched all the people stream back by.  It
reminded me of the old party days in the infield
at the 500 when people would be sitting in
front of their cars watching the crowds go by.
Big thunderstorms looked to be moving back to the area and we
decided to get out while the getting was good.  This was around
3:30pm and the Rolex race was to start at 4.  I was disappointed
that we didn't get to see it live.  On the way home, the deluge of
water fell and we stopped at a bar where we got to watch it on TV.

Later we met Tony at Hal's Fabulous Vegas for dinner. Then we
went back to my house until 10:30, when those guys went home.

Johnny called me from Lapel Indiana.  He had stopped for gas
and discovered he'd left his credit card at Vegas.  He called
them and also found out that I had left my card there too!  He
turned around and drove all the way back to Greenwood to
retrieve the cards.  He made it just at closing time - midnight.

He dropped my card off at my house and then started his long
trek home to Atlanta IN.  The poor guy had to work in the morning.
There were photographers working taking photos of fans,
then offering to sell them prints off of IMS's web site.  
Here is the photo they took of Johnny and I.
DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS