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The View From the Superstretch

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Written by Lisa
Posted by Chris

View at Daytona from the Superstretch. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

On July 5, 2008, DJ and I, and 150,000 of our closest friends, were witness to the pageantry of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. Could the name be any longer? As a relatively new fan, I don’t remember when the race was simply known as The Firecracker 400 in honor of Independence Day. Somehow it seems like a much better name than the one that has morphed over the years into an entire sentence that barely fits on a t-shirt. Don’t get me started on the rolling commercial NASCAR has become. That’s a rant for a different day.

I’m not going to bother rehashing the race especially since it happened 2 weeks ago and NASCAR.com and other news outlets have already covered those boring details. I am here to report what I witnessed off the track, which was much more fascinating than my favorite driver getting out of the car, (Feel better Tony!) and Kurt Busch taking yet another checkered flag. Is there really a competition this year? Once again, different rant, different day.

View from the superstretch at Daytona. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

When we first had the idea of hitting Daytona for the July race as our vacation, we thought it might be too expensive, too crowded, seats would be horrible, etc. Happily, we were completely wrong. Due to high gas prices, hotels in Daytona were offering really nice rates (less than $100 a night…for ocean front views!). I had never been to Daytona International Speedway before so I had no idea what to expect. That place is HUGE! I know it’s about the same size as Talledega, but it seems so much bigger. Maybe all the history I’d read had built it up in my mind. It did not disappoint. If you ever decide to go to see a race at Daytona, I can highly recommend the Superstretch (backstretch). The seats are slightly lower in price and your view is surprisingly good with the Sprint jumbo screen giving the broadcast feed. Besides, most of the wrecks happen right in front of you! Gotta love that!

Photo of Rutledge Wood of Speed Channel. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

As for the other activities we experienced before the race, I won a t-shirt singing a Jimmy Buffet song at the “Who’s Your Bud” Budweiser booth. Yep, I sang in public and I know all of you are really glad you weren’t anywhere near FL that day so you can save the smart remarks.  We played around in the Toyota Fan Experience where I had my picture taken with Tony Stewart. Ok, so it was just a cardboard cutout but he is still so cute! By far, the most fun we had was at the Speed Channel stage for Raceday built by The Home Depot with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, and Kenny Wallace. Wearing our “RubbingsRacing.com” t-shirts, we actually made it onscreen a couple of times. I got a Home Depot helmet and DJ caught a Speed TV t-shirt. We actually danced the “YMCA” and waved a Home Depot sign…with RubbingsRacing.com written on it, of course. As we were heading to our seats, we ran into Rutledge Wood from Speed Channel who gave me an autograph and allowed DJ to take our picture.

All in all, we had a blast! The best decision we made was to head back to the car with 20 laps to go. We had just agreed to leave if an Hendrick Motorsports driver was leading with 15 laps to go or if another caution came out then…caution! We hauled back to the bus to the parking lot (really huge place!) and were listening to the end of the race on the radio. We had  a lot of fun and handed out lots of RubbingsRacing.com cards. If you ever decide to visit Daytona Speedway, don’t hesitate to get seats on the backstretch. It’s still a great party…NASCAR style!  

All photos are copyright of the author and are all are used by permission. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

 


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About Christopher Smith

A long time fan of NASCAR, he attended his first race as a kid in 1979 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the World 600. Christopher watched Darrell Waltrip drive his way to victory and from that day forward hes been hooked. As president of RubbingsRacing.com, Christopher launched the site in 2000 and in the past decade, it has grown into a NASCAR-accredited web site hosting multiple podcasts, dedicated writers and race coverage at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned events. Christopher is an official member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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