BUBBATE'S TIPS FOR RACE MAMAS
IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A NASCAR RACE...
THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW.
From Ann: Also, for those who take coolers to the race, freeze bottles of water to keep drinks cold rather than loose ice. Less spillage and no danger of pouring the melted ice down someone’s neck by accident. As the bottles thaw, you have ice-cold water to drink.
From Racemama: I actually freeze some of them like that and then some of them anywhere from half way to 3/4's of the way. Then when I pack the cooler before I leave home I fill them the rest of the way with water....that way I have ice water right away!
From Lisa: I use a camping style fanny pack that holds two drink bottles and has a large zip pocket. I have attached several different small zippered cases- like digital camera bags- and a number of those wonderful one-way large clips that hikers and climbers use. Everything I need is then loaded in- film, batteries, water bottles (frozen), sharpies, cellphone, lenses, scanner, headphones are attached with a clip. This way there is nothing in my hands. I usually carry two 35mm cameras with very, very large lenses, one over each shoulder that clip together at the back, again, hands free, and all of my tickets and paperwork are in my clear lanyard. I also have a lanyard-style solid wallet with my license and cash and credit cards around my neck so I don't have to dig through my pockets or worry about a purse. I usually put the rolls of shot film in my pockets ( I shoot about 20-25 per day per race so I need all the room I can get! LOL!). This set-up works great for me and I keep that very old, soft vinyl backpack stuffed in one of those small cases as an emergency holder if I need it. To get through security I just unclip the fannypack and put it on the table.
From Lisa: I also do a mapquest of the closest Walmart to where I'm staying and the closest Walmart to the racetrack. I have used this at every race. You can eat and sleep at Walmart. I usually drop off my film and pick it up the next day.
From Kim W: Don't forget to take a CLEAR backpack that track security can eyeball as you go through the gate. No stopping to have them dig everything out or having to repack when they are finished. I bought mine at Walmart for $6. Nascar sells them at the track with the Nascar logo for $20. Don't take your good camera to the track. Take a $6 disposable! I can't tell you how many times the person behind me or the person coming down the row to find their seat has nuked my camera with their beer!
From Ann: I usually put anything that is weather or moisture-sensitive (scanner, headphones, camera, etc.) in individual zip-loc bags before putting them in the backpack. That way if the weather turns bad or the people behind you empty their cooler on your backpack, those things are protected.
From Amanda: When it is back to school season, go to your local discount store and get a clear plastic backpack (the schools here require them so they are everywhere). They are much easier to carry and sturdier than the plastic souvenir bags that the tracks let you bring in! They usually have one or two front zipper sections, too, for your wipes, suntan lotion, etc. These are a lot cheaper than the clear bags, purses and packs sold at the tracks. Extra tip: keep your scanner, poncho and other race supplies in the pack all year long. Race prep is a snap that way!
* From Kathie: Use a small soft-sided cooler with a shoulder strap instead of carrying your purse. I carry my wallet in mine with the race tickets, small set of binoculars and Tylenol, among other things. Those little coolers are handy and they do well in the stands, as they are easy to tuck under your seat.
From Racemama: I can honestly say I have NEVER taken my purse to the races!
From Ann: I’ve never taken my purse to the racetrack either. I found an inexpensive men’s wallet that zips closed and use that. I put some money, my driver’s license, and one credit card in it, then tuck it into the backpack. If need be, you can stick it in your pocket while shopping.
Another handy way to carry money—I found a small waterproof container on a lanyard in a catalog. The container is about the size of pack of cigarettes (but not quite as thick) and latches shut. I fold a few bills and tuck them in it. (It will hold a credit card also.) I hang that around my neck along with a credentials holder containing my ticket when I get ready to walk to the track. That way there’s no digging for money or tickets when you get to the gate, or if you want to stop by the concession stand on the way to your seats. (Also handy to hang around your neck when ducking out during cautions, etc.)
* From Mrs. Goodwin: Take a travel pack of Clorox wipes to sanitize the porta pottie seat before using. God only knows who had what before you! Also take baby wipes to use for...well you know!
*From Connie S: Include a lightweight painter’s drop cloth in your back pack. They are inexpensive and can cover you and 3 friends during long delays. At the Bristol Busch race it even helped keep us warm during the snow delay!
*At all times, on every shopping trip.....be on the look out for items that would be handy on a race trip...Travel sizes of everything are lighter and easier to carry and keep track of. They are relatively cheap and don't need to be unpacked. My husband says "Let's go racing", I can be in the car, with everything to attend a race, including seat cushions, scanners, headsets, sun gear, clothes, etc., I mean EVERYTHING for a race weekend in 5 minutes. Just buy those little travel sizes and re-charge the scanner batteries first thing when you get home and BINGO! No stressing out, no lists to check and you're ready to go. contributed by BK aka Cinderella
*Paramedics will turn to a victim's cell phone for clues to that person's identity. You can make their job much easier with a simple idea that they are trying to get everyone to adopt: ICE.
ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. If you add an entry in the contacts list in your cell phone under ICE, with the name and phone no. of the person that the emergency services should call on your behalf, you can save them a lot of time and have your loved ones contacted quickly. It only takes a few moments of your time to do. Paramedics know what ICE means and they look for it immediately. ICE your cell phone NOW! contributed by Race Mama Mo
*When going to any track for the day only, take along a pillow and a blanket so while you are waiting for traffic to clear after the race you can catch some shuteye!!!!!!! contributed by Kelleysriker
* If your seats are in the lower part of the track, row 15 or below, bring your sunglasses even if it's a night race. Small pieces of debris can fly up from the track. Sitting on my computer right now is a pea size piece of tire debris that flew up and hit my sunglasses at Darlington in Row 15!
*Carry antibacterial hand gel.
*Also, throw in a packet of wet wipes and some type of face cleansing cloth that you add water to and it has the soap already in the cloth.
* Whether it is hot or cold, don't bother to roll, use a curling iron or Foo Foo up your hair. Put it in a pony tail if it will go and put on a hat!!!!!! I use a straw hat in the summer because it's not as hot as a ball cap. I know, you will get hat hair BUT it keeps the sun off of you when it's hot. When it's cold it keeps your body heat in. (90% of body heat is lost thru an uncovered head). Remember a small spray bottle to fluff up your hair when the hats off & to use to spray off when it's hot.
* Even if it is not time for your period, bring a few tampons. I can not tell you how many times my period came early due to the amount of walking we've done at the track. Trust me, there are no tampon machines near any of the 12 racetracks I've been to that hold NASCAR races.
* Bring Advil or some other type of pain reliever. Your muscles will be sore from all the walking. contributed by Karen AKA kiddo
*You can save alot of time by hitting the concession stands when the race is going on. Right before the race and during caution periods, the lines for the concession line are long.
*When you hear them yell the word caution over the radio, immediately go to the rest room (or concession stand) 98% of the people will wait to see who was in the wreck. Also, everyone stands up to see where the wreck is and you can bolt down the row on the seats. I never wait to get into a stall. When I come out though the line is forming out the door. I get back to my seat in time to see the pit stops which is more important in the scheme of things. The commentators will tell you who got caught up in the wreck.
*This is going to seem stupid BUT if you go to the restroom and the line is long either go to the next one or backtrack and go past your seats the other way to one. I know this sounds dumb but I swear I've gone to the bathroom & it was packed so I went to the next one & no one was in line. I also have gone back to the one past my seats the other way and the same thing happened. I don't know what it is but this tip works.
*Bring some folded up toilet paper with you to the track. I can not tell you how many times at the "Crown Jewel Tracks" that they have ran out of toilet paper.
*If it is your first time, please get a headset or scanner. It will be easier for you to understand what is going on if you have one of those 2 items. You will enjoy yourself a whole lot better if you know what's going on because there is so much that goes on that you don't see on TV. DO NOT depend on the male that brought you to tell you what is going on. Also, bring a pair of ear plugs. If you are down low the noise can bother some people. Don't bother me BUT hey I am a Bubbate!
*FROM Tammy D. Fort Kent Maine: We were 8 girls that went to the July Louden race in NH last year. We got there really early and set up out tailgate gear. We had a few drinks and then when for a walk to shop and find our seats. we got to enjoy a good hour of shopping and taking in the excitement. We then returned to our van, had lunch packed our stuff for the race and returned to our seat that we already knew where they were. We didn't get caught with a bunch of souvenirs at our seats and we got to change into our new race gear that we bought. This worked out perfect! I would recommend to any female race fan to go to a race with (out) guys at least once. It was the best time and we are going again this July for the whole weekend.
From Racemama BK AKA Cinderella: DO NOT EXPECT TO SPEAK TO YOUR BUBBA DURING THE RACE......unless it's under caution......it's just too loud, especially at short tracks.
FROM RACEMAMA: Jimmy and I have the scanner's with the attachment where you can talk to each other...we also have a great set of hand signals that get our message across when we don't bring the walkie talkies.
From Racemama BK AKA Cinderella: Do NOT take or buy ANYTHING you are not ready to carry for 2 or 3 miles back to the camp site or to the car.
From Racemama: When we go to the vendors, we take one of those 2 wheeled shopping carts that grandmothers use to go to the store. We put bigger wheels on it for traction in the dirt! Or we take a kids wagon.
From Racemama BK AKA Cinderella: If you look around at the track, you can SEE foo foo girls that WANT to be race fans.....a helping word or a tissue when they are out of toilet paper AGAIN can turn the whole experience around for a poor girl......us racing mammas gotta stick together!
From Ann: Shop towels (the heavy paper ones) are great to take also. Tear several off a roll, fold and put in a zip-loc bag. Great for wiping the seats off if it rains or if something is spilled. They can be wrung out and used over and over.
All about Clothes and a List
* DO NOT wear your cute new white shorts with the matching halter top to the track....unless you don't mind it getting dirty. I do wear a white T-Shirt that is real big...makes you stay cooler. I have seen so many poor uninformed females in full makeup, hair done and in cute white shorts set! By the end of the day, their makeup is smudged everywhere, their hair in a tangled, sweaty knot and their nice white shorts & top are black from the race track crap! Oh yea.....and they don't look real happy!
From Racemama Susan: Don’t wear anything you’ll be upset if it gets ruined. But, a white sleeveless 100% cotton top is the best for staying cool.
From Racemama Beth: The big white shirts can be a bit revealing in the bright sun. I either have a tee shirt underneath (and can take off the big white shirt if I get warm) or a cotton camisole is great. If you do slop something on the shirt, it's easy to bleach when you get home. By the way, remember the Shout Wipes too.
* Bring a poncho to the track. It's light and easy to carry. If the rains come you will be so glad. contributed by Karen AKA kiddo
(From Racemama: I took the same ponchos to each race for about 5 years before I finally needed them and boy was I glad! Also, a poncho works great if you forgot your coat and it gets cold.)
From Beth: If your rain poncho allows it, keep your ball cap on when you pull up the hood. The visor/brim works well to keep the rain out of your eyes, or keeps rain dripping from the hood into your eyes, or in my case, doesn't cover my glasses in annoying rain drops.
From Racemama BK AKA Cinderella: Clothing is tricky......my own experience (see if you would agree) is this: If you really, really can't decide what clothes to wear to the track or the
weather has been fickle.....ESPECIALLY for very early or very late in the schedule races, DRESS FOR THE SEASON THAT YOU ARE GOING OUT OF.......We've been sleeted on in Las Vegas (yes, in the desert in Feb) and had the vendors RUN OUT OF COFFEE because it was so cold at Humpy's in May......also darn near fainted from a heat stroke at 'Dega in mid .......especially at night races it can get very chilly......and if it rains....even a race mamma can be downright miserable. Our last name isn't TRUMP, but if you absolutely, positively have icicles hanging from your nose, those vendors outside the track can set you up with a sweatshirt that won't break the bank. You can layer ON, but you can only take so much OFF (unless you're down on the infield), so I always make sure I have the HOT side over-stocked (misting bottles, battery operated fans, even a plain wash cloth in the cooler can be life-saving with that cool water).
* Do not wear sandals or HEELS to the track. Wear sandals around the campsite BUT put on good walking shoes to get to the track. You may not be walking on pavement the whole way to the track and can hurt your ankle in sandals or flip flops. I usually wear one of two pairs of hiking boots to the track. It is the only time I wear those pairs of shoes BUT boy are they useful.
****I have gone to Wal-Mart looking for hiking boots for Bristol and they were expensive especially since I would only wear them a couple times a year. I walked over to the boys section and found water proof, halfway up my calf hiking boots for $3.00 in the clearance area. I ended up going back and finding 2 more pairs for $2.00. So go look in the boys department and get yourself a decent pair CHEAP.
*I like rubber soled shoes like sneakers or hiking boots because the stands are aluminum or another metal, and if it's been raining or someone spilt their beer, the stairs get slick! contributed by Beth
*From Ann make sure you wear shorts or jeans/slacks with pockets.
I have this list on the Race Ready page but thought racemamas weren't seeing it there:
_____ Hats/Cap (women hate this BUT a hat keeps the sun off of you
and 90% of body heat is lost thru an uncovered head).
_____ Shower Sandals
_____ Swimsuit for shower
* Extra pairs of socks, shoes, bras, underwear & change of clothes. I start with the days I will be there, multiply it by 2 and that's how many sets of shirts, socks etc. that I bring. If it is raining multiply by 3. There is nothing worse than wet socks & shoes. When it is hot there is nothing worse than a wet, sweat bra & underwear when you have a clean dry set of shorts & a top to change into. Even if you are only going for the day it is better to be safe than sorry. ALWAYS take a cold weather outfit to a hot track and a hot weather outfit to a cold track.
Hot hands and toasty toes - in the hunters section at Wal-Mart
Scarf, knit hat, ear muffs
Many clothes to layer, long sleeved t's, hooded & non-hooded sweatshirts & sweat pants, turtlenecks, vests, coats (different heaviness) long johns
At least one outfit for a hot track. (Be prepared!! I have been hotter in Rockingham in February than I was at Daytona the week before)
Plenty of shorts & tank tops.
Cool wrap - at Wal-Mart you soak it in water & it swells to 400 times it's normal size. The wrap ties around your neck & helps keep you cool.
At least one outfit for a cold track. (Be prepared!! I have been colder in Fontana at the end of April than I was at Rockingham in February)
Tips for the Cold
*Speaking of Wal-Mart...The outdoor department at Wal-Mart sells great stuff for when you are going to be roughing it. (Down here in the south it is the hunting/fishing department.) Seat cushions that retain your body heat, lightweight so easy to carry. Look around in those type of stores before you go to the races. You will find something that will make your life easier.
They also sell these great things called Toasty Toes & Hot Hands. They fit inside your gloves & socks. These things are the greatest! If you keep your extremities warm the rest of you will be warm.
*From Bigfoot (a guy) Try one of the back warmers that are available at drug and grocery stores. Like the hand warms and pocket warmers they are self contained sources of heat. I have a bad back so its double for me the warmer keeps me warm and helps make it tolerable to sit for long hours. Therma wraps come in small and large for back wraps and are better then the little stick on ones for shoulder pain.
* Dress in layers if it's cold. If you are walking to your seats you end up getting hot with all the clothes on so I usually don't put them all on until I get to my seats. If you get hot you sweat. If you sweat you are wet. If you are wet you will be cold!
* I was complaining to Jimmy that when I wear long johns they droop and bunch up in a place I really don't want them. His tip is to wear your underwear on the OUTSIDE of the long johns. It keeps them up! (I rarely wear the long johns. Usually I wear a body shaper, which fits better under my jeans but contains your body heat nicely.)
* Do not use how warm you are while you are tailgating as a way to determine if you need to change into something warmer. Look at the top of the grandstands where the flags are. It is always windy in the grandstands if you are up high. Remember down on the ground in the parking lot you have the track & all the cars blocking the wind. I've been in shorts at the campsite but sweatpants and a coat 20 minutes later in the stands.
Tips for the Heat
From Trish: I add to my bag is the trial size of Shower to Shower powder. After the ‘splash off’ & and cooling down in the ladies room I coat my underarms and chest with the powder. Does help as a deodorant and makes me feel better.
From Racemama: When Frankie and I get "race ready" we do the Sunscreen then "Powder up"....Jimmy cracks up at us cause he can hit us anywhere and a cloud of powder puffs out....
*If it is hot and you are wearing shorts.............take a towel to sit on. It helps from getting burnt buns and actually makes you feel cooler. contributed by Cyndi S.
*Do not bother to buy a vinyl seat cushion in the summer unless you have a towel to cover it with, or you love hot vinyl melting into your thighs. contributed by Racemama Susan
*Drink plenty of water. If not the sun off the track and sky combined with alcohol will dehydrate you and you’ll end up with a splitting migraine. contributed by Linda L.
FROM RACE MAMA: This is one of those things I mention at the bottom of the page that is second nature for long time fans. When I used to drink alcohol it would be: beer, water, beer, water etc,
* Do not wear makeup if it is a hot time of the year. You will sweat profusely at the track & if you wear makeup it will smear and clog your pores. We race mamas from long ago know whenever we see a female in full makeup that her Bubba didn't warn her.
* Use a water and sweat proof sunscreen with a high SPF. Frankie & I use SPF 50. Tracks are general black asphalt & you will get very sunburned if you are not careful. I have been sunburned so bad I blistered using SPF 30. REAPPLY OFTEN!
*On that note make sure you have chap stick with SPF. Man oh man sun burned lips at the track suck especially with nothing for them.
* Throughout the day go in the bathroom and splash your face, head & neck to cool off. Wipe your face off with either a cleansing pad or cotton balls in a Ziploc soaked in your astringent or rubbing alcohol. REAPPLY the sunscreen after each time.
From Jennifer L: I keep a Ziploc of babywipes and a Ziploc of Stridex face pads in my cooler. Don't take up any room and are great for mopping up the sweat while cooling you off. The Stridex pads are great for keeping your face clean and comfortable and babywipes are great for armpits.
* There are these great things called neck wraps. You soak them in water and the microbeads inside swell to something like 400 times their size. Anyway, you tie it around your neck and it keeps you cooler. They last for hours. I either dip it in my cooler occasionally to give me a blast of cold or when I am in the bathroom I run it under the cold water for a few minutes.
*DO not wear a visor. Your scalp will get soooo sun burned.
* Stay AWAY from driver shirts that have lots of plastic iron on decals in the hot weather. Most of them do and your top will be sticking to you virtually immediately. Also, take a spare top in your backpack. contributed by Racemama Susan
From Racemama: This is one of those second nature things for me. Also, In the hot weather I wear the loosest fitting, lightest weight shirt I can find (you know how some shirts are made better out of heavy duty cotton...I skip them) and also NO DECALS!!! I have a heavy black drivers shirt with decals on the front and back and that thing is hot! I will walk to my seat in one shirt and wait and cool off. Then I go to the bathroom and change into an extra shirt I have taken with me. (If it is real hot I take an extra bra too.)
* When the Southern 500 was still a Labor Day Weekend tradition (R.I.P.) my feet would sweat terribly in the hiking boots so I would carry a pair or flip flops in my bag that I put on when I got to the track. They weren't heavy and didn't take up to much room in the bag. My feet stayed nice and cool during the race. After the race I would put the hiking boots back on to walk back to camp!
* Put a wet washrag in your cooler. It doesn't take up much space & is great to use to cool off. Rinse it in the bathroom.
From Racemama Susan: We kept our cloths in large individual sturdy Ziploc bags full of ice in our “carry in” coolers.
From Ann: I’d like to offer a slight twist on that. Get the washcloth good and wet then wring it out, but leave it a little more than damp. Fold it neatly, place it in a zip-loc bag, and then freeze it. You can pack it (or several of them) in the cooler. Great for keeping sandwiches, etc., cool, and when it thaws, you have a wonderfully cool, refreshing cloth to wipe your face with.
I will update this as I think of more stuff. It's funny but most stuff we longtime female fans do is just second nature....we don't think of them as tips! If you have any suggestions please email