Monday, February 15, 2010
Daytona 500 - just when you think it doesn't get any better
On Friday, Feb. 12th we met up with 4 other friends from Iowa to go to the Daytona 500. Dan Splide(Rotocast) and Eric Clement (Featherlite) needed to be at the race to conduct business and Marc Folkedahl, Lee Hackman and ourselves were the recipients of the great hospitality that they provided. We stayed about 30 miles north of the track in a beautiful ocean side condo. Saturday morning we got up bright and early to get our passes so that we could get right down in the pits next to the drivers and cars. It was unbelievable to be so close to all this action. Once they started the practice runs you had to be very careful. Cars were zooming in and out of the garage area and you didn't want to be in their path.
The National race started at 1:15. Eric lined up a very special treat for us. We got to have a ride in the pace car prior to the start of the race. It was incredible. Going at 120mph on banks as steep as 33 degrees! I can't even imagine the 200mph speeds that the drivers go. We kept saying to each other, "does it get any better than this?" Yes, it does. We didn't have to watch the race from metal seats in the stands. We got to go up into one of the suites and watch it from there! You had a panoramic view of the whole track with complimentary food and drink. Again, totally unbelievable. We had a great time watching the race and enjoying festivities after wards. The following day was the grand daddy of the races, the Daytona 500. The rest of the group could only watch a portion of it since they had to catch flights. Because Ward and I had a flexible schedule, Eric arranged another day up in the suites for us. It was truly an unbelievable weekend. Thanks Dan and Eric for all your extra efforts in making it so.