Thursday, August 1, 2013

travel #2013 - huntsville speedway

I didn't realize it tat the time, but my trip to Huntsville Speedway this past Saturday may have been my last hurrah for my year of travel. (map)

Funny how unexpected expenses do that to you.  Regardless of how long my travel plans will be on hold, I can't believe I'm saying this, but, I'm glad I got to go to Alabama.

Oh, Alabama.

It's not quite a 2 hour drive to Huntsville Speedway.

Alabama is a beautiful, if not sometimes comical place to visit. We took the back way to the track, and let me tell you, it's been a good year for corn in Alabama.  It was tall and thick, and ready to be picked.  This area is still pretty rural, so not much had changed in the 10 years since my last trip to Huntsville.

The track itself is in a fantastic spot.  It backs up to a mountain, and as the sun sets it's absolutely gorgeous.  It seems odd to talk about the nature setting at a race track, but trust me, when you're sitting on metal bleachers at the peak of summer waiting for the show to get started, you appreciate the view.

Huntsville Speedway itself is near the top of my 'Best Tracks to Watch a Race' list.  It's short, just a quarter mile - which for you NASCAR fans, is half the size of Bristol.  Your car has to be set up to turn.  It's an action packed little track, and it's small enough that you can see everything from the stands.  The concessions and bathrooms are well laid out, so even though there was a decent crowd, I never had to wait in much of a line.  'Beer Barns' are located on both ends of the grandstands, and there is a family friendly section of seating in the middle.  Traffic isn't too bad, so everybody leaves happy.

The fans are always a great part of the 'experience' of a night at the racetrack, and as you can imagine, the great state of Alabama does not disappoint in this arena.  Close your eyes, and think about what race track hairstyles and fashion might look like in Alabama.  I can say with 95% confidence that someone who fits that description was at the track this weekend.

No crazy hair in this picture, just a cool sunset.

Along with the fashion, it's always fun when you realize you're sitting next to a driver's mamma, or girlfriend, or drinking buddy.  And you always know, because they are vocal in their support during a race.  I'm guilty of it myself, and it makes zero logical sense, but during a race, fans go into a WWE mode and feel like they must be heard over the roar of the cars.  If payback is deserved, you will hear about it, and probably see it on the track.  It's part of what makes going to the racetrack a cultural experience.

As for the race itself, it was great.  There was a respectable number of cars present for the Rocket City 100, and they were all close in speed.  There was a lot of racing, and cars moving up through the field.  The team we went to see (my dad drove for the owner on occasion, and the last race I actually went to I spotted for this team) had a car driven by the awesome Chris Whorton, who technically led every lap of the race.  He was challenged for a while, and it definitely got 'racey' for a few laps, but the car owner has track championships at Hunstville spanning four decades, and there was little doubt that Chris would win this race.

So congratulations to Chris & Rick, it was fun to be back at the racetrack!


  1. Sounds like you had a great time!
    I'm not a big race fan, but I know that at a race there is excitement in the air - you can't help but catch it!
    Love the sunset photo.
    Lea's Menagerie

    1. Thanks Lea, the sunset photo makes me happy!


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