Call the track to order tickets instead of ordering on line. DO NOT USE THE TOLL FREE NUMBER...you will get Daytona if it is an ISC track and the ticket agent for SMI tracks! Remember, some tracks are in rural areas & the race is the towns peoples BIG event. The person who answers the phone at a traditional track can be a plethora of information. ( A friend of mine called to ask about hotels in the Bristol area and the girl who answered the phone rents rooms out during race week.) Chat pleasantly with the ticket salesperson. Many times because I asked the person name and chatted a moment, the person has taken extra time to get me the best seats she could find. I even have had them tell me to call back in 2 days and I could get what I asked about on sale. If the seats are 10, 11 etc. they are in the middle of the row. Ask about aisle seats because tracks sell from the inside of the rows out so it will look full on TV. Also, if you ask for 4 together tell the person you will take 2 sets of seats in front of each other (ex. Row 21 Seats 1 & 2 and Row 22 Seats 1 & 2 are 4 seats still together and easier to get). Before calling go to the track website and download the seating chart. Start by asking for tickets in which section you want and go from there. Or have the seating chart pulled up on the computer when you call so you can see what they are offering to you before you say OK. If the site has 3-D views look at different seats in different sections and rows so you will know how far up you have to seat to see the whole track. Many times row 20 maybe $30.00 cheaper than row 21 and you can see just as much.
In the old days we used to say: THE HIGH THE SEAT THE BETTER THE VIEW.
That was when the grandstands went up maybe to row 30 and there were no towers above that. However this is simply not true anymore with grandstands & towers that go up 5 to 10 stories. You only need to sit high enough to see the whole track. After that it is a waste of money, energy & time because you are getting further away from the track. I have been on the top row of some towers on 1.5 mile tri-ovals and could not tell whose car was whose because the were so far away. I went down to the lower grandstand and sat where I could see the whole track and the view was a helluva lot better!
Also, the angle of the new stands has something to do with it. The top row of Wallace at Darlington you can see the cars all the way around the track but in the tower above it, Tyler which is the highest dollar seat, you can't see the cars when they are on the straight away right in front of you. Same at Homestead.
Ask if there are any "ticket packages" left. A ticket saleswoman at Talladega turned me on to this. I called on the Thursday night before the race and asked for Sunday tickets. She said they didn't have any Sunday tickets left. She asked if we would be there for Saturday too because they had packages left. We sat on the top row in the Tri-Oval Tower at the start finish line. KILLER SEATS!! Also, while you are on hold listen to the announcement. I have found out about buy one get one Friday tickets, free pit passes, $5.00 off Saturday tickets. Ask about military, AAA, AARP scouts, Emergency personal or any other discounts the speedway may offer. Go to the city page that is hosting the event. Find out the newspapers that are in the area. Go to the on line versions and look thru to see if anyone (sponsors) are giving away tickets. I've gotten free Saturday tickets, voucher for free pit passes & they will also have driver appearances listed for the week of the race. (ex. Jimmy Johnson at the local Lowe's). Also, you can get tickets to many races by checking in the classified section of these papers. For many tracks you have to buy tickets to all the races they have at the track. Season tickets have to be paid for almost a year in advance. There are many times that something comes up and people can't make it to the race. TRUST ME there are no sold out races. Remember that many of the older tracks are in the country so find the biggest city close to them. The Charleston, S.C. paper has Darlington and Rockingham tickets advertised for sale in it. The week of 09/24/03 I found tickets for sale at face value for the Kansas race in the Kansas City newspaper.
Ticket Brokers, Scalpers and Just Plain Thieves
I basically have no problem with ticket brokers....there are simply a business trying to make money. They have a business license. If you are going to buy tickets for more than face value then please buy them from some one who advertises on our site (go to index). Being a ticket broker is really all about supply and demand. If you are willing to pay $100.00 more than face value for a ticket than they are more than willing to sell it to you at $100.00 more than face value.
Bristol Tickets would not sell for $750.00 each if people were not buying them at $750.00 each. If "race fans" (and I use that term loosely) were not selling their tickets to ticket brokers then ticket brokers wouldn't have any tickets to sell.
On to scalpers. "Race fans" (and I use that term loosely) that auction their tickets on E-Bay or post them on message boards for more than face value are scalpers. This doesn't even have anything to do with being a race fan...it has to do with being a decent human being. These Scalpers are not a business trying to make money....they are simply GREEDY. They are taking advantage of fans who are desperate to go to Bristol. That being said if you buy a ticket from a scalper you are part of the problem.
The last part of this section are out and out thieves. Recently I have been contacted by a couple of different race fans who have been ripped off. I am not posting their names due to not wanting anyone to be embarrassed about being ripped off (even though they should not be embarrassed. Con artist are good at what they do.) Here's a few things to help you:
1) AVOID sellers asking to wire money to the UK
2) Either arrange to met the person at the track or go C.O.D...open the package in front of the person delivering so you have a witness (see story below).
3) Ask for a photocopy of the ticket to be emailed to you. Or have them fax you a copy of the ticket (make sure you see the name on the account and make sure it is same as seller) They of course, could be sending 100 fans that same photo BUT you then could contact the speedway and see about having their tickets revoked.
4) On E-Bay check the feedback (100% when the person who suggested this looked selling over 30 items.) BUT don't overlook if all the feedbacks ran day to day (Oct 21, 22, 23 etc.). Pay attention to the dates - no one has that many Bristol tickets!!
RIPPED OFF STORY
One guy found an ad on E-Bay paid thru paypal. He had to sign for his package which he did. When he opened the package it was empty. Best advice I can give is open the package in front of whomever is delivering. He has tried to solve this thru paypal and E-Bay but the guy who stole his money has a signed receipt for the package so basically he is screwed for around 6 months until Paypal pays him..
This particular company - Tour the Thunder - was a legitimate business. We had traveled to Charlotte with them the year before and had a great time. What happened with Bristol is that we bought our packages in October 2003 and he confirmed our purchase. The scary deal with buying tour packages from ANY tour group, is that they don't buy the race tickets until 1 month - 2 weeks before the race. They can reserve a chunk of seats at a racetrack in advance, but they do not purchase them until they have a good sense of how many people are going to want them. Then they buy what they need and give back the other seats to the track. My best advice to other fans is DONT GET ON THE PLANE WITHOUT YOUR TICKETS. This was our big mistake. We
contacted the owner of Tour the Thunder five days before our flight to Tennessee and he assured us that when he saw us Friday he would have our tickets. We went to Tennessee with our rental car, hotel and travel expenses all paid for believing that Frank was going to be there with our tickets. We had no reason not to believe him - we'd traveled with him before. He sent a fax to the hotel where 30 people were waiting for their bus and tickets to the Busch race saying he never got our tickets and he was filing for bankruptcy.
FROM A TOUR COMPANY OWNER: This is not true, we own a racing tour company and we purchase and pay for our ticket blocks 8 to 10 months prior to the event. We even assign the seat numbers when each package is purchased. Any tickets that are not sold, we absorb the cost.
We are only emailing this because we want you to know many tour companies are not trying to “scam” or “trick” our customers. We are truly trying to provide a lasting memory for race fans at a reasonable cost while being able to enjoy the races ourselves.
FROM RACEMAMA: I agree that there are many tour companies that are not trying to scam or trick fans...Maybe this should be a rule to ask a tour company BEFORE you book with them. Ask when you will know your section, row and seat number and when you will receive your tickets.
last Oct I was looking at Ebay and came across a listing for 4 cup tickets with autograph session and pit tour. I bid on this item and won with the understanding that the tickets would be mailed 4-6 weeks prior to the race. I email this guy a couple of months ago to assure he hadn't forgotten about me. It took him some time to get back but told me everything was fine and the tickets would go out 4-6 weeks in advance. Well, the time is here and no tickets. I started doing some research and emailing other folks (a lot of them) that bought tickets off of "Justin Willis" only to find out that no one had received anything. One person emailed me back and told me to contact the Richmond KY police detective and she gave me his name and number. I also sent a certified letter a couple of days ago to this "Justin" but haven't heard from him. Even supplied him with my cell number. I am waiting on the detective to contact me (he is on vacation) then hopefully I will know a little more at that time. I checked the guys feedback, he had 100% when I looked selling over 30 items. What I overlooked was the fact that all the feedbacks ran day to day (Oct 21, 22, 23 etc.). Had I paid attention to the dates that may have flagged my curiosity - no one has that many Bristol tickets!! Anyhow, that is about it....Justin Willis in Richmond KY....
If anyone wants to send any other scam that they have been caught by please email me here. I won't use your name. It is important we help out other fans.
I'm telling ya'll now.....there are no sold out races I DON'T CARE WHAT THE SPEEDWAY SAYS.
The 4 races that supposable are always sold out and the hardest ticket to get in motor sports; both Richmond and both Bristol's, were attended by Laidback Racing or some one in their immediate crew from 2003 thru 2008 on a whim and guess what: Tickets were on sale on the street for less than face value. Know what that means? There is more of a supply of tickets than a demand.
At Bristol while walking through the campgrounds I lost count of the signs in the windows of motor homes that were trying to sell their extra tickets at FACE VALUE.
(I don't even call the guys at the tracks selling tickets scalpers because I've never paid face value for a ticket from a ticket broker at the track let alone more than face value. I walk up, tell them what I need and what I am willing to pay & it always works. It helps when I wear a shirt from an old race. Let's them know I'm a real race fan. I've had them tell me to come back in a little while & they will make sure that they make the money they need to make on the buying end. MEANING they are only giving about 50% of face value for tickets they are buying from fans who have extras.)
Pit Passes for NASCAR Races
All tracks have a different policy and price. I've seen pit passes being sold by the speedway that cost $100.00 BUT have also seen free pit passes when you bought a Friday ticket! Interesting to me is that it was easier & cheaper to get pit passes at the newer tracks we've been to than the traditional tracks that we have been going to for years.California Speedway, Michigan and Pocono have great access to the drivers. After visiting Homestead on our trip home from the Keys, it looks like it would be good access too. Some tracks due to the size do not have any pit passes.
From Hulagrany: KNOW THE CLOTHNG RULES BEFORE HEADING TO THE PITS!!!! No shorts, sleeveless shirts, halters, open Toe shoes, long pants required etc.
Race Fans with Disabilities Help Section
I received an E-Mail from Nancy Lewis and we started corresponding. She is wheel chair bound. I asked her to help me with questions that the fan with disabilities needs to ask when they call or email the speedway. If you are calling a speedway ticket office remember that the person you are talking to may not be the best person to ask this information, they simply sell tickets. Ask for the Customer Service Department or a similar department. Track fan guides have some information. Of course some are better than others. Almost all have maps with the wheelchair accessible bathrooms and parking lots listed. As important as it is for all race fans to be prepared it is even more important for fans with Disabilities to do their homework.
Be specific as to your disability and the size of your chair. Nancy has a regular old fashion wheelchair. At Atlanta, the man beside her was in a big special chair as he had MS. The lady on the other side of her was in an electric scooter with four wheels and all the bells and whistles. PLUS their friends were in chairs. This starts taking up alot of the space set aside for fans with disabilities.
Newer grandstands are going to have elevators installed. Remember that many older tracks simply have an inclined to walk up so if you have some one pushing your chair it will make it extremely difficult and exhausting.
Here is a list of questions that Nancy sent to me. Unfortunately she learned it the hard way and wanted to help out other fans (many thanks to Nancy for taking the time to help out other fans)
Questions to ask:
What are the handicapped seating arrangements at the track? Is there a seat available for the companion/caregiver or a folding chair? Can a person bring a comfortable camping chair to use instead of the uncomfortable and HOT metal chairs?
Are the restrooms near this section? Do they have a stall large enough to get an electric chair and also that would handle a four wheel scooter?
Is there a family restroom where husbands can go in with their wife to assist in their care? I know my caregiver has had to go with me in Nashville when I couldn't pull my pants up or down as I was having to hold on to the bars to balance myself on one leg.
(BARS on both sides and back of the stall!!!!!! It would be ideal to have a wash basin in one of the stalls for hygiene needs of some HCapped.)
Are the grounds where the parking for the Hcapped paved or graveled or grass? We need paved areas. (Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair in gravel or mud? Nashville, last year Busch race in June!!!! We had a four hour rain delay. Finished the race at 3 AM!!! Soggy is not the word for the parking after the race. It was a challenge.)
Ask if there are special vehicles that can take you and your chair to the gate.
Camping: Do they have a handicapped camping area with bath houses equipped for special needs? Showers with bench seats and hand bars. Showers that have room to transfer from a wheelchair to a bench? Handheld shower heads Are the spaces on access roads that electric scooters can safely travel on to the track?
From the internet before you leave
After you are through reading this page, go to our page that is specific to the track you want to visit. (Set of links on the left) On it is a wealth of info on local restaurants, golf courses, bars, liquor & grocery stores, camping and much more. Trust me, why waste hours riding around looking for a store to buy more ice and beer when it might be located less than a block in the other direction from where you started.
Before you leave for the race, download the seating chart, the speedway map and the map that shows exit routes to interstates and tram stops from the track website. While at the speedway website & check out the rules to see what you can bring in the track. If it is a track owned by ISC there are rules "for our safety". It sucks to have to go back to your car because your cooler is a hard sided one & then having to buy an acceptable cooler. Avoid that hassle and check the rules out before you go. If it’s an ISC Track you will be allowed to bring in a cooler that barely holds 3 or 4 cans with some ice. Make sure you have a map of the tracks seating & parking lots. Trust me I was at Richmond and had my own map. All I needed was someone who worked there to tell me the grandstand they were put in front of to be helpful. Guess what? Not a single person working there could tell me the name of the grandstand they were standing in front of to be helpful. (Richmond has no signs anywhere and a whole bunch of roads darting out from everywhere on Speedway property.)
Then I want you to go to either www.expedia.com or a site like it and get more maps. The maps the track wants you to use are the same routes they want 200,000 other people to use. It is good to know where you are at all times because you may have come in from the left BUT they may make you leave to the right. You need to know where you are parked in relation to your seats and the interstate that gets you home. Always look to see where the infield tunnels are because you do not want to be in a lot that has to funnel out with that mess. At Talladega, for example, if you are coming from the east and have seats in turn 1 you do not want to get stuck in westbound traffic on the backstretch.
I CAN NOT STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING MAPS & MORE THAN 1.
Always have a detailed map of the city hosting the race. This is the single most important piece of information I can give. The headaches you will save by knowing where all those residential roads go! At the older tracks there are back roads to get in & out. At Charlotte, we can get to our camping spot that is directly across from the Track without ever driving on Interstate 85, Hwy. 29 or 49 or Speedway Blvd. and let me tell you folks that is no small feat. It is a time & headache saver.
Actually we used to go the back way into Charlotte when we camped on the back stretch but now we go the back way in on the front stretch!
AAA members can get these maps from calling their local store. If you aren't a AAA member, stop at the welcome center at the state line. They have many maps & I've found great detailed maps there.
I repeat....GET A DETAILED MAP! When you leave a speedway they may funnel you out in a direction you don't want to be going. Also, note where your car is parked. Tracks look real different if you get there in the daylight & don't leave till after dark. And don't use the big motor home with the Canadian flag on it as your landmark. How about they move while you are gone & then you are lost. Try to use a landmark like what grandstand you are behind or if there is a store near where you parked. Many track parking lots aren't lettered. Don't be afraid to ask other fans if they can tell you where your landmark is located. Race fans are the kindest and most helpful people you will ever tailgate with and are usually more knowledgeable than the staff at tracks.
**LAIDBACK RACING TIP FOR THE TRACK** At the gate if they tell you a backpack can't go in try a different gate BECAUSE I've never had to leave anything outside. I went to a different gate and that person let me in. Let all your buddies enter with your seat cushion and what is considered legal by the person at that gate. Go to another gate with only the item that the last person said was illegal size.
Go to www.jayski.com for scanner frequencies. They cost from 5.00 to 10.00 at the track.
From Lisa: Put your frequencies in your scanner before you leave home. Also Go to Speedtv.com and get a listing of the times for their trackside shows and guests before you leave for the race so you will know what time the shows are. I also do a first day re-con of the track so I know where everything is located.
On the track Preview pages pages I have listed the drivers appearances for each track and I have started a Driver's Appearance page for ones away from the track. Please note that they are not posted almost anywhere until about 2 weeks before the race and continues updating until a few days before the race.
Arrival & departure time
COME EARLY AND STAY LATE. ASK ANYONE WHO SAT IN THE BUMPER TO BUMPER TRAFFIC 5 HOURS TO GO 2 MILES AT CHARLOTTE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
This includes getting to the track days or a day early. Even when we were just going for the Sunday race, we get to the track in the wee hours (no later than 6:00 A.M.) of Sunday morning. If that is too early for you, get there no later than 7:00 A.M. It is alot more fun to hang out at the track than sit in traffic for hours just to get to the race. Remember people, there are sometimes as many as 200,000 people all trying to arrive & leave the same place at the same time. This is bigger than ANY Pro sporting event you have been to before. It is better to hang out, tailgate & rest for awhile after the race than to get in that mess, sit in traffic for hours and be exhausted without getting anywhere. Go over and meet your neighbor. I have never met a stranger at the track and I always end up with a story to tell.
Bring what you need and may need to be comfortable. Do not pile 3 kids and 4 adults in a car with no supplies or nothing to make you comfortable.
REAL RACE FANS always take Monday off in case of rain! It is better to take Monday off from work in case the race is rained out than to have to go home and waste your ticket.
In Case of Emergency
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!
Look for the independent vendors. They are in white tents and trailers and not the trailers that are painted like the drivers' cars. Remember they have to pay for those fancy paint jobs on those corporate trailers. The independent vendors are legal and NASCAR licensed or they wouldn't be in NASCAR's sight at the track. They are usually as close to the speedway as they can get without being on speedway property. Ex: At Darlington they are across the street from the Museum. At Bristol that are right across the drawbridge next to the moat. At Charlotte they are across from the speedway on the frontstretch. On each individual track Recon page I have where I know they are listed.
They have a great selection and even greater prices. I have found unique things at the independent vendors that I could never have found at the corporate trailers.
Ex: Davey Allison Bunker Hill Chili for $5.00 in 1998.
Another thing, usually whenever you see the vendors in a field there will be privately owned camping and parking there too.
from Lisa: I always do my shopping first thing in the morning when the gates open. You get the best selection and it's easier to get back to your car and get that off your mind. You do have to remember that not all of the haulers come in on the same day though so you may have to do it each day.
Drivers Appearances & Freebies at Corporate Vendors
Go to the corporate trailers (the trailers painted like the driver's cars that sell souvenirs) to see if drivers will be appearing during the week end. They usually have it posted at each individual trailer. Friday all day or Saturday morning or late afternoon are the best times to get autographs. The wait is shorter at those times. Also, they give out samples and free goodies at these trailers.
They give away tickets for the autographs. They give the tickets away sometimes the day before so many fans don't even show back up.
From Lisa: Pay attention to special promotions by car manufacturers for multiple driver appearances for which you will need a wristband.
On the track Preview pages pages I have listed the drivers appearances for each track. Please note that they are not posted almost anywhere until about 2 weeks before the race and continues updating until a few days before the race.
**LAIDBACK RACING TIP**: Drivers have excellent peripheral vision. I usually stand quietly with the camera up to my eye & just wait patiently. Every single driver whom I’ve done that to has stopped signing autographs to look up at me and smile. They realize that I was standing patiently and not yelling out to them to look up. They really appreciate that since the way some fans treat them is disgusting. I would much rather have the photo I have of Happy Harvick joking with me than a scribbled autograph that a million other fans have and no one can read.
At the MBNA, VISA, Mastercard etc. booth it doesn't matter if you have good credit. Fill out the form and get a NASCAR duffle bag, Road atlas, camping chair, diecast car or T-shirt, a poster, a Racing Video or something else race related.
If you fill out any form at the track you usually get a prize such as a poster, video, koozie or T-shirt. Go do this early before the crowd gets there. We usually try to get to it early Friday or we don't go at all because of the crowds. In fact, we call it Free Shit Friday!
IThe AllTell zone is setup as close as it can get to speedway property without being on it. They have a ton of stuff going on including concerts.
LAIDBACK RACING TIP: If you are going to put incorrect info on the form so they won't bother you, make sure you know it because they will ask you your address or zip code or SSN# to make sure you aren't giving them incorrect information just to get a prize.
From Lisa: Walk by the souvenir rigs and write down appearance times by drivers for autographs. Pay attention to special promotions by car manufacturers for multiple driver appearances for which you will need a wristband.
Parking and Speedway Camping - NOT
At many tracks, there are Pop Odoms parking & camping folks in their yards. You would much rather park there then get trapped in the speedway traffic. It is usually cheaper, you have more room and the host can tell you the back way out!. Also, spread the wealth......Speedways get enough of our money! Also almost all Pop's have daily parking and if you are hoteling it you can find new friends to hang out with at a Pop's.
Also, many tracks do not open some parking lots until hours after the race. They say 2 hours but trust me it is more like 4 hours. When they do open the lost they funnel you out how they want you to go...not how you may need to go. One year at Atlanta (the only time we parked on speedway property and the last) they made us go right when we wanted to go left and it took over a hour to get back to where we started.
Once again, pay attention to where you are parked. I know this seems simple BUT if you are attending a night race but get to the track during the day everything will look different when you leave the race at night. I can not tell you how many people have stumbled by our camping sites over the years trying to find their car. Lamar has too many cousins! '
If parking, the key for getting out of the tracks with few problems - is to go to the track before the big race to scope out the track and area and figured out which parking lot you would want to park in and which road to take. It really does help to check out the track the day before the races.
From Weezleboy: I've seen a number of people trying to find their cars after a race with the door clicker. Sometimes they get lucky. We live in Las Vegas and go every year. Until recently there were no signs on the light poles for sections and the lot is really huge and has no landmarks (Been to Phoenix too, also vast) . Since losing our car after a truck race a few years back I started using the Garmin GPS that I use when hiking in the desert. I set a waypoint before we leave the truck so I can find it again after the race. The model I have is hand-held and these days can be found at Target or Wal-Mart for about $85.
You have to decide what is important to you when camping at the track. For us it is to have space, be able to scoot around in the Little Brown Truck and to be able to drive the LBT as close to the speedway as we can. At Darlington that means the backstretch, where there is a ton of private camping. We park either across from the Brasington grandstand or if we wait late enough we can pull right up to the gate. If we camped at the private camping on the frontstretch we would have to walk down the long entrance road into the track. (The speedway owns more property on the front stretch than they do the back stretch so that is where they park people.) If fact we are closer to the grandstands on the frontstretch where we camp on the back stretch than fans who camp on the frontstretch!
If camping for the weekend remember to be considerate. Pretty much anything goes at the racetrack as long as you are not bothering anyone else. All tracks have a "party area". If your group is 20 guys do not pull up next to the family of 6. Go find the "PARTY PLACE". Likewise if you are a family of non-drinkers. Don't park next to a U-Haul full of Bubbas. They will offend you & you will have no one to blame but yourself.
We have chatted about the "Party Zone" with many different race fans at many tracks and have all come to an important conclusion. If a place looks like it will be a mud pit if rain came, It's the Party Zone. I don't know what it is about red clay mud BUT every track we have gone to, the Party Zone was in the middle of a dirt field where they are packed in like sardines. Don't matter if it is Speedway property or not. If you do not want to be up all night;
DO NOT CAMP IN THE FIELDS OF DIRT!
Usually whenever you see the independent vendors in a field there will be privately owned camping and parking there too.
BUYING SUPPLIES AT THE TRACK
DO NOT wait until you get to the track or even close to it to get your beer and food. Many places close to the tracks jack up the prices. Also, at Darlington, Atlanta, Martinsville and Michigan (that I know of) the tracks are in a dry county (no beer or liquor) or do not sell alcohol until after 12 noon on Sunday.
From BK: If you are driving and are NOT camping at the track.........FILL YOUR GAS TANK WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR HOTEL........those 3-4 hour traffic jams after the race are NOT a myth.....last thing you want is to run out of gas AFTER the race.....especially a rain-delayed night event. (Almost happened to us at Humpy's house!)
From BK: HOLD YOUR TICKETS IN YOUR HAND WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR DRIVEWAY ......should be obvious why....but we've seen tons of fans arguing with track people about that very thing....
Invest the $10 in a ticket holder.....they make them for every driver and every track, so choose your favorite...you WILL need to constantly show your ticket leaving and returning to your seat and that can be awkward when bringing food and/or drink back in your hands for your whole crew....also,
for those that may want to tip a couple, you will never be lost from your seat.....
Don't go anywhere without a Sharpie......we've seen Rusty Wallace at Bob Evans, Bobby Labonte at TGIF's and Ray Evernham at a shopping mall.....you just never know when the opportunity for an autograph will come up.......but, for heaven's sake forget about JEFF GORDON, JR, MARK MARTIN or any of the "super elite", you can't get them even by hanging out on pit road until they kick you out....those guys don't come out of their motor homes until pit road has been cleared......check it out with binoculars for yourself......should be pretty clear why.
Please, please be respectful to other fans, crews and track personnel. Except in exceptionally rare incidents, they all want the same thing. A GOOD RACE. If you get a pit pass, please remember crews are WORKING.....we've seen too many obnoxious "fans" on pit road...and we KNOW
why they went to hard cards. Get what you can get and enjoy the rest.
Make NEXT year's hotel reservation when you LEAVE! Most web sites won't take a reservation more than 1 year in advance.....but the individual hotels WILL make it if you are right there at the counter. They WANT you back.....with your $100 or $150 per night. You can cancel if you DON'T attend with no penalty and you won't be stuck like we've been TWICE (SLOW LEARNERS) with
last minute FREE tickets to the fall 'Dega race.......Also, if you are more than a couple - check a suite room.....they aren't THAT much more and if you can stand to be in the same room, you can save big $$ per couple. I've found particular hotel difficulties around 'Dega - in my experience, other
tracks just have MORE hotel rooms within a reasonable driving distance
FROM ELIZABETH B: This is good for anyone, but when you get out of your seat to go to the bathroom (especially true for grandstand non-reserved seating) pay very close attention to your location. My first time I went to the bathroom and came back out, turned around and had no clue where my husband was sitting. There is a sea of fans, all wearing similar colored clothes, and it took me forever to find my way back, finally recognizing some people in the rows in front of us. Count the rows and aisles as you leave for the bathroom.
KEEP YOUR TICKET WITH YOU!!!! I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES
WE HAVE SEEN FANS WALK AROUND LOST!
FROM CRAIG F: If you wear glasses for driving, bring a spare pair. You wanna step on your only pair when waking up and then not be able to see the car numbers? If you normally wear contacts and have a backup pair of glasses, after you get your site set up, change to glasses. Leave the contacts in your rig in case the glasses fail, and to drive home
with. Wood smoke, dust, track rubber, staying up late, etc. is just too much to deal with when your glasses also help protect you from same. Besides, if you are trying to impress anyone with your good looks -- supposedly improved by wearing contacts -- maybe you need a different activity other than spending a weekend at a racetrack.
Since you are allowed to take home anything you bring that they let you into the camping area with, there is nothing wrong with "doubling up" on certain items so that you run no risk of running out. Of course, this applies first and foremost to ingestible's you consider important to your well-being. Expect to share these with other fans, as well as to overindulge yourself. For many race fans, tobacco and beer top the list of things you can never have too much of. The last thing I ever want to do is go on a beer run after I've started drinking, so I don't tailgate without a small brewery in the truck. Food is somewhat different due to its perishable nature; you can drink the beer you take home even weeks afterwards, but you gotta do something with that meat pretty quick. And if I'm willing to share cigs and alcohol, I don't expect I'll ever have much trouble finding a burger or a dog somewhere without having to beg for it.
BE PREPARED FOR A RAIN OUT THAT RUNS ON MONDAY!!!!
From Joie: Take EXTRA batteries for the race scanners (and cameras)! Nothing more frustrating than having it go dead at the END of the race.
FROM ROBERT: With all the new cooler rules Wal-Mart is the first place I have found that is selling the best cooler ever made for race fans. Artic Zone has made a cooler that is not only soft sided, but has a hard plastic inside that is removable (like a trashcan inside) so it meets the rules of being softsided (and meets the height requirements) and it does not leak!! To top it off, it also has two areas in the front with zippers that you can put cell phone, keys etc. in and has a flip lid on top with a small bungee type drawstring on it to support newspaper etc. It has become a lifesaver for me and it was only like ten bucks!!!!!
Also, seat cushions that have a zipper and unfold as a blanket are great for stashing snacks to take into the race. Northwest Territory makes a nifty seat cushion that has a zipper, handle and a mesh area that can hold some stuff. I saw it at K-Mart.
Also a jacket with a lot of pockets is great to put stuff in. I also put a fold up cloth bag in my pocket and when I get in the gate I unload my pockets and put it all into the bag they didn't want me to bring into the track. Our snacks, sandwiches, extra beer & soda, binoculars, camera, chap stick, wet naps, Kleenex. At the Rock at the spring race in 2002 after they implemented the new rules, I had so much crap in the pockets of my jacket my arm hurt from having to carry it draped over my arm because it was too heavy to wear!
Use a hand truck, luggage carrier or kids wagon to cart your supplies (coolers, seat cushions, camera bags etc.) to the track. Use a bike chain to secure to the fence. Make sure you secure it away from where the gate opens.
From Lisa: Make sure you have a race antenna on your scanner (a shortie). You would not believe how many people I see with the wrong length antenna. Invest in a leg strap for your scanner. Holding it for 4hrs or dropping it 10 times is not fun. Those leg straps are great! You can even make them yourself. Mine took about 20 minutes and $4.00 to make.
From Racemama: I have 2 extra antennas in our scanner bag as Frankie is terrible about putting his in a good safe place!
The motto of Tailgating Real Race Fans is :
Be Prepared for the Worst but Expect the Best!
Or as my daddy used to call the 7 P's:
Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!
Below is a list of supplies. Take it and modify it to fit your needs.
RACE READY SUPPLIES LIST
_____ 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 & 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.
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)
_____ Scanners, ear plugs or radio headsets for the race
_____ Seat Cushions
_____ Batteries and bring a bunch they are expensive at the track
_____ Bike Chain/Lock
_____ CD Player/Discs
_____ Fanny Pack
_____ Video Camera
_____ Horseshoes, Frisbee, Half Rubber Stuff,
Washers, Football, Baseball & Gloves etc. for the Bubba Olympics
_____ Banners & Flags
_____ Poker chips and cards (bring an extra deck...I know a group of guys that spilled a drink on their deck of cards and they were frantic at 3:00 AM trying to find some one awake with a deck to spare.)
_____ Aluminum Foil
_____ Can Opener
_____ Cleaning Sponge
_____ Cutting Board
_____ Dishwashing Liquid
_____ Grill/stove top/ burner
_____ Garbage Bags
_____ Ice Chest
_____ Large Spoon
_____ Lighter Fluid
_____ Marshmallow Forks
_____ Measuring Cup
_____ Milk Jug
_____ Pots & Pans
_____ Paper Bags
_____ Paper Towels
_____ Plastic Bowls
_____ Plastic Plates
_____ Plastic wine glasses
_____ Sharp knives
_____ Steak knives
_____ Water Container
_____ Camp Knife
_____ Stake Puller
_____ Shovel & rake
_____ Ziploc Bags (small)
_____ Ziploc Bags (large)
_____ Allergy pills
_____ Eye Drops
_____ First Aid Kit
_____ Hair dryer
_____ Insect Repellant
_____ Toilet Paper
_____ Toothpaste (His/Hers)
_____ Wet Wipes
_____ Anti-bacterial soap
_____ Moist towelettes or baby wipes
_____ Air Mattress
_____ Air Pump
_____ Ant Spray
_____ Camp Stool
_____ Citronella Candles
_____ Duct Tape
_____ Lantern (Propane)
_____ Potty Chemicals
_____ Reading Lantern
_____ Shower Stall
_____ Sleeping Bags
_____ Sleeping Pads
_____ Stakes (Plastic/Metal)
_____ Starter Logs
_____ Tent flashlight
_____ Towel doormat
_____ Trash bags
_____ Whisk Broom
_____ Tie straps
_____ Collapsible table & chairs
_____ Bungee cords
_____ Different sized (Thickness) pieces of boards for leveling
DON'T FORGET :
Beverages - Alcoholic & non
Ice, ice and more ice (remember, block ice last longer than crushed)
Water to drink & wash hands
Tips for Tailgating with Kids at the Races