Look Out Ladies, Dick is 80!
Sunrise at Talladega. One nice thing is that a lot of the rules - especially the ones about pets and fireworks - don't seem to be taken real seriously. One downside is that the quiet hours aren't either, so the sound of RV generators makes sleeping a challenge. But it's hard to feel too tired on a beautiful Southern morning. Just a few rows over from our campsite is this lovely view of the track - it looks huge. We knew we'd have to leave before the Nextel Cup race, but Dad insists it's worth the $40 for General Admission to the truck race just to see the track.
People-watching is definitely a good campground activity, especially since it can be done while knitting. This guy was going around distributing free Confederate flags (with a checkered-flag edge) in celebration of NASCAR's Southern heritage. Just in case anyone worries that they left their white robes back in an RV, I'll mention that the flag on the RV behind them is overprinted with "Heritage not Hate." And he was perfectly willing to hold the sock.
There were so many things for socks to see and do that I had to bring out an extra sock - my Nile Sock. Since it was on two circulars (and I knew I had plenty of yarn for it), it got to accompany me to the track:
Wow. Just holy friggin' wow. At 2.66 miles, this track is bigger around than Indianapolis, and its turns are so steeply banked that they're 3.5 stories tall. Wow.
This was a truck race, so I had no idea of who to cheer for (other than I knew I'd boo Jacques Villeneuve, since I've never forgiven him for slinking off to Formula One after winning the Indianapolis 500). First I picked out #13 (Willie Allen), since I thought it took a lot of nerve to run a bright green car and slap the number 13 on it (and it didn't hurt that there was only one guy dumb/daring enough to drive a green car). But then I noticed there was an Aaron's car, and it had a dog painted on it. So #00 was my driver for awhile, but he crashed. For the last few laps I cheered #14, since that's A.J. Foyt's number, and he came in second.
I knitted through most of the race - although I did most of it in my seat. You can see most of the track from most of the seats, so there isn't much downtime, and a 250-mile race goes pretty fast. The cheap seats are the most exciting in some ways - each time the pack went buy, we could feel the wind from the trucks' draft. But getting sandblasted may have lost its novelty, so we were happy to move up to sit near my family. That was where I got most of the strange looks - apparently people don't usually knit at races.
I was really pleased to learn that my new Haiku Bag fit in the tracks 6"x6"x12" cooler template, so it could come into the track. It could be a great racetrack bag - two pockets for water, two for yarn, and it's stain-resistant, too!
After the race, it was time to party! I ran over to get a picture of the Bead Wagon before dark....
...and pretty soon the bead guys came over to party, and hold the sock.
And I had to have Dad hold the sock, since it was his party. He looks a little confused - it's possible that he doesn't understand my knitting obsession, or it's possible that my plan to serve Cuba Libres by the pitcher may have been going a bit overboard (anyone know what to do with a leftover liter of cheap rum?) It's so nice to have a friend who I can leave a frantic phone message for saying, "my car is full; can you bring 8 2-liters of Pepsi and a couple of pitchers, I'll explain later?" and she'll just assume it's for a good reason. It's a good thing Karen came along.
Somebody special showed up to help celebrate.
(Ok, that's not George W., it's my brother John. But isn't he convincing?)
And he held the sock. (The confused look is part of the act. Or maybe it's the cheap beer. )
Do you notice, by the way, that the sock is getting longer? I'm so grateful to Darlene for providing me with such an easy-to-knit pattern. Had this been a real hurricane, I'm sure that would have been very important.
Even Dale Earnhardt came by to party and to hold the sock.
(Ok, that's Cyndy again. She does this act at a lot of races. And a lot of people want to either kiss her or give her drinks. Who knew that a fake mustache could be so useful?)
The George Bush costume was for a skit that Dad had written - they all got together and performed it at one of the karaoke tents. Then the whole crowd sang "Happy Birthday," and Mom and Dad stayed for awhile to enjoy the singing. I crawled off to bed...I'm much too old to party like this.