A Day At NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice at Infineon Raceway – A Pictorial Excursion

by on June 20, 2010

in sports

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I headed out to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA to hang out for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions and check out the track. After watching races at this track for years, I had the impression it was more expansive from the camera angles on TV, but to be honest, they pack a lot of track into a small patch of Earth!

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It’s only 63 miles from where I live, but it took almost 2 hours due to needing to funnel through San Francisco to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. And this was at the 6 a.m. hour on a Saturday. If you pull out 10 minutes for hitting up a Safeway, and another 10 minutes to stop at the overlook to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning sun, that’s just over 90 minutes to go 60 miles. If anyone knows me, you know how nuts I was going, since normally a 60-mile drive usually only takes me around 45 minutes! Arg!

[HEADS UP on Image Size: I have re-sized the images to slightly larger than how they appear in-post. I’m hosting off-site at Photobucket! If these prove too cumbersome, leave a comment and let me know! ]

Once there, in the wee hours of the morning, there were some cool things going on. Below Marty Smith and the gang were filming a bit for Sunday’s show. (That’s a lot of people for a 2-person skit!)

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Here, it’s so early, there were only the diehard fans and myself in the crowd behind Randy Permberton and John Roberts as the show rolled. The young lady in the foreground was there to keep the crowds “energized” during pre-show and commercial break times:

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We could also watch the broadcast while there, behind the set. (Check out the blue cap over Roberts’ right shoulder… I’m a star!!! Lookin’ the wrong way, but there ya go. Don’t worry, I have better pics of myself “on TV.”)

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Here we, go… I’ve backed up, brown shirt, blue Oreo Dale Earnhardt Jr. No.3 cap! over Roberts R shoulder and I’m practicing my wave before we come back from commercial:

Infineon Raceway June 2010 Bruce Simmons

Bruce Simmons stalking the crowd on Speed TV!

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The Main Grandstands:

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The garage area:

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The hauler zone:

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How come Jimmie Johnson doesn’t have to share his stall??? Is this one of the perks of being a defending champion?

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They’re staring to pull out from the garage area for practice (Jeff Gordon) [And yes, I snapped a shot of every single car]:

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Pit Row:

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Check out the elevation change headed into turns 1 & 2!

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I’m in turn 7, looking down the track at the Grandstands and the surrounding scenery just beyond (And yes, that’s their very own, brand new Ferris wheel. $2 gets you a great view and the funds go to a children’s charity):

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That’s it for now… more to come I’m sure!

Oh!! Wait… thought just maybe you’d like to see some of the staff from the track!

The Infineon Speedway Girls:

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The two on the right were rather willing to smile and say hi for the camera. The two on the left were in great haste and too busy! That’s alright!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Simmons June 20, 2010 at 9:08 am

I have to say though, in most cases, headed to the track on a Saturday is usually the best in both worlds! Cost, traffic and experience!

Leon Hammack June 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

Bruce,
Great pics from Sears Point, uh, no Infineon Raceway!! Brings back great memories from my last visit, Montoya won that race. The traffic even back then was horrendous! Doesn’t matter which way you go from the West Bay or East Bay, you got traffic. Either bridge, Bay or GG, just makes it tough!

Gonna be a good race today, so I will just have to watch it on TV!

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