Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spotting, Sleeping, and Fog

It's a foggy morning here in Daytona, though it was clear just two and a half hours ago. The race has been under caution for a while because of the fog, which seems to be annoying the drivers to no end. (We're just going back to green on what seems to be a mostly fog-free track as I type this.)

I managed to grab three hours sleep last night and get a shower, which puts me ahead of many people at the track. Though I'm not feeling in tip-top shape (I wouldn't want to drive an expensive racecar in the fog, for example), I'll make it through the day just fine.

The same can't be said for all of TRG's cars. As I walked to the track this morning (it was only an 8 minute walk!) something went wrong on the differential of the 67 car, ending their race just as they'd clawed their way back on the lead lap. And last night, as I rode in a golf cart from outside the track to the infield (feeling like I shouldn't leave anymore), the 68 car had a nasty spin into the wall at turn 5 that "deranged" (as David Hobbs would say) the engine itself. It was done by 2:30 a.m.

So the sole TRG representative remains the 66 car, which is unfortunately 40-some laps down after a water line broke in the engine around 1:45 a.m.

I didn't see the repair drama firsthand, because I was up at the top of the Speedway tower on the spotters' stand, enjoying the view. (That's Chris at the top of the page, one of the spotters for the doomed 68 car, working his binoculars to help the drivers out.)

The spotters' stand is very high up, and it's magic. The view is incredible, and the experience of watching the cars and listening to the spotters talk their charges through traffic made me feel like a proud parent, just by association. What a sight, and what an experience. It wasn't even cold up there.

More later as the day really gets underway.

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