Monday, June 16, 2008

Pocono Trip (Sunday)

After three days in the Poconos taking in all of qualifying, practices, and the ARCA Crash Fest 200, it was finally time to get down to business in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 500.

Sunday morning meant leaving the hotel way early and getting to the track, well, way early. But, we beat traffic so everything worked out in the end. The bad part was since we got there at 8:00 and there was nothing to do until noon, there was a lot of time sitting around doing nothing. Oh well, atleast we were at a racetrack and not somewhere else. I must say, Sunday morning at a racetrack is very... relaxing. 

I had time to walk around the pitroad area and experience first hand what goes into preparing for a Sprint Cup Series race. The cool part was the fact that Junior's pit was right in front of the MRN truck. The bad news: I was going to be on the complete other end of the frontstretch for most of the day, so I didn't get to see anything there. 

After 12:00, it was time for the Sprint Vision pre-race show. I got to follow Paul and Thomas around while they shot some stuff and that was cool. I actually got to stir some of the conversation by noting that Travis Kvapil's crew was placing Dish Network logos on their pitbox. I asked something along the lines of, "hey, they're putting logos on the pitbox. Is that full time now," or something like that. And, right after that, Paul went over and asked the crew guys about it. No, it wasn't full time but I got to take part in the pre-race show. That was awesome. 

I really felt like during the course of the weekend and that story from the pre-race that I got to share my knowledge and passion for NASCAR with the folks I was working with and I hope they realize that I want to make a career out of this. 

About one hour before the start of the race, I got to go to victory lane for the pre-race activities. I mentioned earlier in this series about how Pocono does things very weird. Well, this was no exception. They seemed to do what they wanted when they wanted and didn't really care about timelines from the network television, radio, or NASCAR itself. I wish that Pocono was filled up with water and stocked with Bass. (Yeah, I stole it from Kyle Petty... get over it.)

Once the command was given, I walked back to the Sprint Vision truck to put up the tripod and get ready for the race. I finally made it back behind Jimmie Johnson's pit box right as the field was taking the green flag, so atleast I got to see the flag drop. 

After that, it was pretty much just waiting in the media center for stuff to happen. I got to watch all the way up until Kyle Busch hit the wall. After that, I spent about 100 laps in the garage area waiting for him to come out and talk to the media. That sucked. I missed alot of the race because of Gomer Kyle. I didn't appreciate that. But I guess that's the nature of the job. At Chicago I hope I can atleast take a radio with me so I can listen to the MRN broadcast and atleast know what's going on. 

The coolest part of the trip was going to victory lane after the race was over. Yeah it was Kasey Kahne and all that won the race, but it was still victory freaking lane for a Sprint Cup race. And I got to talk to Miss Sprint Cup for a few minutes. 

I got to see myself on NASCAR Victory Lane on Speed which was very cool. My folks DVR'd pretty much everything that was on tv this weekend so I could see myself.


My overall thoughts on this weekend: Overwhelming, tiring, exciting. I experienced things that I never thought I would be able to, and I got to see things that you don't normally see watching a race from the grandstands or on television. I hope that I was a help and not just a fat guy in the way this weekend. I really hope this internship can lead to bigger and better things in the future. 

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