Today was race day. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway generously donated free tickets to active duty military and families. I sent in a request and - badda-bing - Cory and I had a free seat in the grandstand.
We left early to attempt and get ahead of the traffic. The last 9 miles still took an hour. We navigated the crowds, parking and throngs of people to enjoy the Sylvania 300. After the national anthem and an F-15 flyby we were able to enjoy some amazing race cars from our seats in Turn 4. We were just 5 rows from the fence. All the big names were there. Cory and I rooted for Jeff Gordon although he had a disappointing 15th place finish, he had some trouble on a pit stop or two and never got back into the lead pack.
This was the first of the Chase races (the last 10 races that decide the final overall champion for the year in NASCAR world). There was plenty of excitement and drama with crashes and blown engines. Cory tried to take it all in, but honestly it was a little much for him. Keeping up with the "leader" in this constant string of cars, the overwhelming noise (and if you know Cory you know he is annoyed by loud noises - so I had two kinds of ear protection to help him cope), and the always moving crowds never let him relax. I do think he had a good time, but it drained him.
I enjoyed listening to the drivers and crews talk on the radio (thanks to a Sprint headset-handheld TV combo). Although I will admit it's kind of like being at the County Fair - but with less security (Liz will get that joke). Enjoy the large bare-backed man in this photo.
We left early to get home for a Sunday dinner with the girls. I bought Cory a Jeff Gordon car and a #43 Air Force/McDonalds car T-shirt. I also bought a New Hampshire Motor Speedway shirt - their motto is my favorite - Live Free & Race!