No Longer A Daytona International Speedway Virgin

Appropriately enough, I gathered this image Saturday evening prior to the Bud ShootOut.

My fellow Hoons, stay with this olelongrooffan until the end, it’s worth it.

So early on Sunday, this olelongrooffan was sitting on my skinny white *ss in my favorite chair in my Taj Mahal trying to figure out how I was going to approach my blog about attending the Bud Shootout last night at the Daytona International Speedway (still working on that).

Suddenly, the massive communications system lights up letting me know that someone in my rather limited world wants to have a real life conversation with me. That occurrence is a relative rarity these days.

Anyway, it was one of my older brothers, thehorsefarmer, calling to let me know that he and thebarngoddess coming down from their new home in St. Augustine and were making an appearance at the internationally famous Daytona Flea Market that day. “Where are you now, horsefarmer?” “LPGA and 95,” was his reply. About two minutes from that flea market. “Sh*t Man, let me grab a shower and I’ll hook up with y’all.”

And I did.

The three of us spent a couple of hours wandering around that cool place and I was able to score a cool old Nash badge for my collection of obscure old automobile related crap.

just a little something for our favorite Canadian auto salesman

I also was able to snag this cap for dirt cheap. Ironically, I was not even thinking about today’s US holiday at the time. I also scored a Jeep one for this olelongrooffan and a Cadillac one for thejeepjunkie’s wife in honor of their new purchase.

So, after thebarngoddess conveyed to this olelongrooffan that my flea market was the best one in the northeast part of the Sunshine State, we all had a cold sody pop and decided we had seen all that could be seen. As usual, thehorsefarmer suggests lunch and we, separately, headed out to International Speedway Boulevard to see what food serving joint we could find. As thebarngoddess’s Bull was the chase vehicle, I kept an eye on it in my rear view mirror. I noticed thehorsefarmer flipped on his turn signal and just a bit later we pulled into the Waffle House parking lot. thebarngoddess had a quick snooze while this olelongrooffan and thehorsefarmer enjoyed a delicious greasy cheeseburger. Bonus #1, Waffle House does not own a fryer so my potatoes of choice were hash browned. Bonus #2, this was the first time I had ever eaten at a Waffle House. Honest to God. Bonus #3, thehorsefarmer refused to accept any Washingtons from me for my four dollar meal. Thanks horsefarmer.

So during lunch, thehorsefarmer and I were discussing our afternoon plans. His included getting a tire relocated from the right front of the Bull to the right rear as thebarngoddess’ daily driver seems to be having some alignment issues. Mine, as I related to him, was to head to the Daytona International Speedway, utilize one of the two freakin’ awesome passes thejeepjunkie was able to scam score for Speedweeks down here and check out the qualifying session for next week’s Daytona 500.

After we had finished up that meal, we were chatting it up with thebarngoddess out in the parking lot and thehorsefarmer mentions he would love to go to the track with me for a short time. As he and thebarngoddess commenced to figuring out what she would do while we were there. I replied, “Hey I have a media pass that will get us, in your Bull, into the infield and thebarngoddess can hang while we wander around.”

And that is exactly what thebarngoddess, thehorsefarmer and this olelongrooffan did. We Hooned it right on through that tunnel under NASCAR turn 4 that is the same age as me and rolled right up to the Media parking area. You can see an image of how close we parked to the action in the following image as my Comanche was in nearly the same location Saturday evening.

Yeah, those racing transporters just over the roof of my Indian are parked in the garage area. We were parked that close.

So this olelongrooffan and thehorsefarmer assumed thejeepjunkie’s identity and wandered around the FanZone and the NASCAR garage area for a bit.

I was so excited for thehorsefarmer. We were there on a day when all of the drivers are around and we got to see quite a few of them. Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards among them.

This was the first time thehorsefarmer, at 60 something years old, had visited the track during a race related event and, Hoons, he was like a kid in a candy store.

I had to gather the above image of him behind the Bass Pro/Jamie MacMurray Chevrolet just because that driver is one of thehorsefarmers favorite as well as for all my kinfolk up there in the Ozark Mountains.

But it was even cooler just a tad bit later when we spotted Carl Edwards during a MRN interview after capturing the pole.

We even got to see the “hat shuffle” for the professional photographers following that interview.

It’s interesting how it works. Major TV networks get first grab at an interview (FOX), then the radio guys get their chance (MRN) then the still phototogs get their chance.

And on Sunday, thehorsefarmer got his chance. And I mean it when I tell you that I am standing in the background observing something I have seen a bunch of times before and watching my older brother being exposed to something he has seen on TV a bunch of times and just having a blast watching him enjoy it. For that, I am grateful to thejeepjunkie and the Powers Above for aligning all of this for us.

And yeah, that is “The Cat In The Hat” Jack Roush to right in the above image.

Yeah, it was a great feeling. Then and now. How often have you been able to introduce a sibling to a much desired experience? Especially an older one. Yeah, all is good.

So anyway, after that photo op with the Daytona 500 pole sitter, and a few sightings of some team owners, this olelongrooffan and thehorsefarmer were following Carl Edwards, who was in pursuit of his race car, down to Gatorade Victory Circle.

At first, I was a bit concerned as I noticed the gate from the garage area to Victory Circle was open (and we had exited the garage area) but when we approached that hallowed area, the security dude at the gate must have noted the look of awe on thehorsefarmer’s face and motioned us right on in.

We gathered up a few images of the proceedings, and yet another “hat shuffle” and then in typical Lee fashion, thehorsefarmer says, “Okay, I’ve seen it.” and we head on out.

As we were leaving, he mentioned he would love to have an image of him with the grandstands in the background. We were outside the fence at the time and he said we could just get it with the fence in the background.

Bullsh*t, this olelongrooffan replied, let’s go to the pits. And we did and here is the image of him

sitting on the pit wall of the Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon.

and a gratuitous one of this olelongrooffan as well.

But wait, I haven’t even related the best part. Remember back when we were in the garage watching Carl Edwards getting interviewed?

Well, as it turns out, thehorsefarmer was captured by the FOX TV crew in the backround and was broadcast on national TV, if only for a brief time.

Even better?

His daughter, the Shark, some 1,200 miles away on Haven Lee Farm in the Ozarks, just happened to be watching that broadcast and saw her Dad on national TV, an occurrence that was totally unexpected and is just awesome as Hell.

That, my friends, is how we Celebrate Life down here in the Sunshine State.

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