2009 NASCAR Rock-n-Roll 400 Weekend

This weekend Nascar held the Rock-n-Roll 400 at Richmond. And of course we were there. We had several memorable events over the 2 days.

Starting with Friday and the NNS Virginia 529 250.
We began our tailgating and promptly went shopping. On the way into the Fanway, we found the Scotts Bird Seed display. Complete with one of Carl Edwards back up cars. As we were taking pictures of the Prince in front of the car he asked if he could sit in it. The very kind gentleman monitoring the car snuck the kid into the seat and I quickly snapped a picture. It was very nice of the guy to let the Prince sit in the car, especially since he could have gotten in trouble for doing so. The kid of course was very excited and now wanted Carl to win the race.

True to his “voodoo child” form, Carl did win the race that night. In the same paint scheme as the one the Prince was allowed to sit in. His magical streak continues.

We also took a visit of the Sprint Corner, which came with a 3-D Nascar Driving Simulator Experience. Of course we had to try our hand at racing around Daytona. As the race started SirEvil in his #88 National Guard Chevy was winning. I was some where back in the pack in my #14 Office Depot Chevy. But I had a secret weapon. The Princely “voodoo child” who didn’t want to drive his own car, was standing behind ME. On lap 4 (5 laps total) someone bumped the #88 from behind and SirEvil lost control of the car. He hit the wall and spun out through the grass.

Although he got his car under control and finished the last lap, I came in 3rd, behind a phenomenal competitor in 1st and the computer in 2nd. SirEvil finished in 8th. Much like Jr.’s night on Saturday. Sadly.

The race was great, and though it would have been nice seeing Denny win the night; it wasn’t to be. Carl made a pass in the pits over Kevin Harvick and came out first after a late race caution. He held that lead and won the Nationwide Race at Richmond!  Woohoo.

We made it home in record time, getting in the door around 11:30pm. But we were back up at 7am and headed back to the track. We still got a great spot for Saturday’s tailgating. After Friday’s events we were content to put our feet up, grill and chill. We met some of our tailgating neighbors, laughed and shared stories and food. Later in the day we watched some of our neighbors play Ladder Ball.

But off in the distance, up the hill in the parking lot a group of 20somethings were also partying. Now these kids stand out because the guys, who were standing in the bed of the truck that was jacked up about 6ft off the ground were ..um.. HOT. One in particular very well built shirtless lad caught the attention of one of our neighbors playing Ladder Ball. And she was continually distracted when it was her turn.

At some point I made a comment she should get her camera. To which she responded “Yeah, go get my camera” to one of her friends. Oh now I just couldn’t let this opportunity go. I walked up the hill and petitioned the young man.

“There’s an elementary teacher down here who can’t take her eyes off of you. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to come on down and embarrass the hell out of her by having your picture taken with her?”

“Yes Ma’am” he replied and off the back of the truck he jumped. I discovered his name was Matt and he was from Virginia. As we walked back down the short distance to our tailgating homestead, sure enough our new little friend blushed every shade of red known to mankind. I introduced Matt to (today I can’t remember her name, we’ll call her Amy), and he promptly put his arm around her and posed for a picture. He was extremely gracious and a wonderfully good sport about the whole thing. Plus our little adventure boasted his “standing” with his friends, no doubt! After a few minutes his friends began calling him back. He gave me a hug, I said thanks and he wandered off up the hill.

We discovered later that Amy is going through a bad breakup/divorce and she has been under a lot of stress and depression as a result. Her friends came up to thank us, letting us know she needed that. I’ve learned now that I’m pushing 50, life is short and opportunities to have fun don’t always come around every day. Seize the day and have some fun!

So off we went to the race. After a bright sunny day, the race is delayed by a short shower. But thankfully it was short and we still had the race. Mark Martin had the pole, but he didn’t keep the lead for long. The night belonged to Virginia’s own Denny Hamlin. We’re so glad he won. He deserved it!  It would have been nice had Tony not gotten overly aggressive at the beginning of the race and gone 3 wide around turn 3. He ended up spinning and going a lap down from the get go, causing the 1st caution. Thankfully he came back and had a decent finish, ending the race in 17th.

The next big thing for us to watch was where Ryan Newman finished. He had to finish 16th or better to ensure a spot in the Chase. He constantly went down and up in the standings as his position changed on the track. I was worried for the little Prince, he would be so disappointed if his guy didn’t make it into the Chase. Thankfully, Ryan and crew pulled out a great finish, ending the race in 10th. Woohoo!

The last thing for us to watch was Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch. A few years ago we were bashing Vickers for being such a poor racer. He was continually hitting the wall or other cars, causing cautions and taking out our guys because he a wreck waiting to happen. Now here we are, years later, pulling for Vickers to make the Chase ahead of whiney Kyle. The points changed as quickly as their positions on the track changed. Kyle was in on one lap, and Brian was in on the next lap. They went back and forth the entire night. Until the last caution when Brian’s crew got him out in front of Kyle. Brian is in the Chase, Kyle is not. Karma will get you every time; I hope Kyle has learned that lesson now.

So our boys over all are split; 2 in and 2 out. Their standings from the “regular season”

Our Guy Points
Tony 1st 3806
Ryan 9th 3272 -534
Joey 14th 2705 -1101
Dale Jr. 21st 2628 -1178

And now we move into the Chase with the point reset.

Rank Driver Points Behind
1 Mark Martin 5040 Leader
2 Tony Stewart 5030 -10
3 Jimmie Johnson 5030 -10
4 Denny Hamlin 5020 -20
5 Kasey Kahne 5020 -20
6 Jeff Gordon 5010 -30
7 Kurt Busch 5010 -30
8 Brian Vickers 5010 -30
9 Carl Edwards 5000 -40
10 Ryan Newman 5000 -40
11 Juan Montoya 5000 -40
12 Greg Biffle 5000 -40

I’m pulling for my Tony to be the next Owner/Driver to win a Championship. He can do it, he has the skills, talent and great team behind him to do it. So let’s go Tony!