It took us just over an hour to get there, and we only hit a little bit of traffic once we left the interstate. Parking at Talladega is free, and we ended up about a 15 minute walk from the track
All the major sponsors and car companies were there with their trucks and stands, giving away free stuff. Some even had driver appearances scheduled. We were fortunate enough to be near the Ford stage when Carl Edwards appeared.
If we had been there earlier in the day (like 7am!) we would have had the chance to meet certain drivers. Maybe next time.....
We made our way through all the merchandising stands, and there were a lot. Think a big festival, with every seller put in a small space. That is what it is like outside a NASCAR track before a race. We hit up the Sprint area next. As the Withers are customers, they received free gifts. We just had our photo taken with the Sprint Cup Trophy instead.
We then headed in to the stadium to find our seats, and grab a beer and some food for the kids. We were very early though, so decided to head back out to purchase some merchandise (you know how I love a good souvenir these days!)
Not without stopping at various other places. I tried out this Chevrolet Silverado. Very nice....
The boys had their photo taken in front of one of Austin Dillon's cars. You can just see Jimmie Johnson's car in the background.
Next up, the Geico area. This is an insurance company, whose mascot/logo is a gecko. The boys were super impressed by this carving, and we acquired yet more free stuff, as modeled beautifully by Isaac.
We knew the race was getting close to starting, as the merchandising area was starting to empty out. We headed back in to our seats, to await the prayer, the nations colors, the National Anthem and the most famous words in NASCAR 'Drivers, start your engines!!!'
The race was awesome. Something about a big track, it was really like a huge arena. We had some interesting people sitting near us again. Some very drunk people also.
Most in the crowd were here to see this man, Dale Earnhart Jr, the most popular driver in NASCAR at present.
We were sat right by the entrance to pit row, so any time a caution came out (which was quite often), we saw the mad scrambled to slow down, and get to the pit box as soon as possible.
The boys were awesome. Although this was a good 3 hour race, we only took one break away from our seats, and even then it was only for about 20 minutes. They thoroughly enjoyed the race, and no one fell asleep! Even Isaac enjoyed it.
The race was won by Brad Keslowski, one of my favorite drivers, and the current 'bad boy' of NASCAR (see here for what happened at the most recent race.....). Paul took this video of the end of the race
We stuck around to see the end, and headed out with the crowds after watching Keslowski's burn out (a NASCAR tradition). We were fortunate enough to be given 4 copies of the race program. Prior to the race, these were about $5 each! We came away with quite a lot of souvenirs.
Took us a bit of time to get out of the car park which was unfortunate. Saw some interesting sights on the way though....
We headed back to the house to enjoy our last evening by the lake.