Written by the Warrior

 

6 months ago, I bought the IMAX movie “NASCAR” just before going on a trip to the Adirondacks with the rest of the gang. While I’m not a fan of TV or regular movies, I’m all for IMAX’s.

I have seen this particular IMAX when it first came out in the theatres and loved it. In addition, I personally know of a former racing dude named Mark and an avid fan of the Grand Prix named Maureen, that I can see through this IMAX of the draw of this adrenaline packed sport. After watching this movie on all major road trips longer than 1 hour, when presented with the opportunity of visiting the home of the premier race on the NASCAR circuit, we could not pass it up.

NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, and recently we visited the Daytona International Speedway, home to the Daytona 500.

There were no scheduled races that day, so we got a chance to go on a 90 minute tour to see what goes on behind the scenes.

fullsizeoutput_3011

We got to walk on the track, near the start/finish line where dreams are made/broken, where journeys begin and finish/not finish. On this particular day, it was quiet and really fun.

fullsizeoutput_2fad

We learned that the track was 2.5 miles long and this was an 18 degree super elevated curve. The drivers need to maintain a speed of 70 miles per hour to not fall down to the double yellow lines. It was steep! Even though it’s hard to tell in this picture.

fullsizeoutput_2ff0

Next stop was Victory Lane, where the champions goes after they’ve won the race.

fullsizeoutput_2fc3

Then we were off to the driver’s meeting room, where a mandatory pre-race meeting is attended by all drivers and crew chiefs. We watched the same safety videos as the race drivers.

fullsizeoutput_2fcffullsizeoutput_2fd4

I didn’t remember a thing from the safety briefing. Clearly I would have been disqualified before even starting the race!

We then got to see a few stock cars in the garages.

fullsizeoutput_2fdb

Here is what it looks like inside the race car, it sure doesn’t look comfortable!

fullsizeoutput_2ffd

We visited the newly constructed spectators stand.

fullsizeoutput_2fe1

The vantage point from here was amazing!

fullsizeoutput_2feb

And of course all roads in Florida end up at the gift shop, where these were purchased for only $3 each. (I know I know, they don’t need any more cars – but look, it’s a miniature Daytona 500 and Coca Cola 400 car!).

fullsizeoutput_3055

Of course, racing is probably not Daytona’s only claim to fame. I’m “clearly” an expert on this city of approximately 600,000, known also for wild Spring breaks.

For us, there was also one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen.

fullsizeoutput_2deb

Ormond beach is on the Atlantic Ocean coast and has miles and miles of beautiful white sand so clean and flat that cars drive on it. Thanks to Hotwire, our hotel ended up being right on the beach!

fullsizeoutput_2dec

The friendliest locals at the local grocery – named Publix. Why do I think that name is funny? This picture is actually from Cape Canaveral. So apparently there is a whole chain of Publix’s. Again, why do I think that’s funny?

fullsizeoutput_3042

Speaking of funny, I saw this… (It was actually not our car).

fullsizeoutput_3000

And a dad on nap duty at 7am.

fullsizeoutput_300a

And why was I up so early? It’s because I’m still having trouble sleeping as a result of the “condition”. But, there is also something truly wonderful about dipping your feet in the ocean and feeling the gentle wind in your hair at a cloud covered sunrise.

fullsizeoutput_2ded

Thanks, I know that I have excellent tan lines!