In anticipation of the upcoming race this year, we just wanted to post a few quick photos from the time we got to attend the Daytona 500 race in Daytona Beach, Florida!
The whole experience was amazing. Here’s what it looked like before all of the fun began. A hazy morning in Daytona Beach…
Inside, the stands were jam packed and the crowd was so lively. There was a stage set up for entertainment outside of the race and we also enjoyed all of the activities and vendors who were out there. There was a ton of food, dancing, and more! We made a whole day out of it and being there was a ton of fun!
Before the race, I was lucky enough to ride in the Grand Marshal’s pace car for a few laps! For those who don’t know, that is a car that is driven on the track prior to the start of the race. It essentially drops the Grand Marshal off at the stage to deliver that signature racing phrase we all know… “Drivers, start your engines!” That was totally a once in a lifetime experience for me! It was so crazy to be in a car that was going fast enough to make you forget that the track was not flat because it totally feels that way once you gain enough speed!
And they’re off!
We watched from the pit with team Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe’s crew. He was a great guy and answered all of our questions about racing and such. Here’s a quick sneak photo of him before the race…
Here’s a pic of our pit passes and some of the other racer’s pit boxes.
Here is Jimmie’s pit box and crew. They were great guys! I tried to stay out of their way but was so into it that I took photos of everything they did.
We were lucky to watch it all from the pit and see the inner workings of the race. They gave us devices to keep track of the top few drivers in real time. I had no idea before then that so much goes into driving and winning those races!
This is Chad Knaus, Jimmie’s long time crew chief, who does a lot of the heavy lifting during a race. He was in the zone and not to be bothered!
We were also so amazed at how fast they changed tires and how they all worked together so quickly to get the drivers back on the road. I had seen it on TV before but something about being there to see it in person was just amazing. I don’t think they even went 15 seconds changing the tires in this pit stop. It was all so exciting!
Getting the next tire ready.
And just like that… our guy Jimmie Johnson ended up winning the Daytona 500 that year! Perhaps we brought him some good luck?! We’d like to think so, but he is a pro and an amazing driver!
The whole Daytona 500 experience was completely surreal and I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to go see a race!