November 14: Cathy and I went our separate ways today – her to go shopping at Sawgrass, me to go very, very fast in a race car at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
What a nice view to enjoy our morning coffee in front of
We got off to a very late start, but just before 11:00 I finally got next door to the Doral resort, picked up my Hertz rental car, and set the GPS to the race track about 30 miles south.
There’s a whole lot of pavement and concrete in South Florida, but with a GPS, getting around is quite easy. This is the approach to Homestead-Miami.
Next weekend is the Ford NASCAR Championship Weekend, a major event. The parking at the track goes on forever – it must total at least 100 acres. There’s grandstand seating for 65,000 people at Homstead-Miami. To show you what that looks like from my perspective, that’s well over double the population of the entire Yukon Territory.
Holey moley this place is big!! It took me a while to find the right gate. After driving around for a while I finally went to an area that I knew was wrong and a security guard there pointed me around to the back, Gate 18.
Things are getting set up for the big weekend, with lots of big motorhomes.
The pace car and some support vehicles.
I signed in and got a pass to drive into the infield. That itself is cool
These are the car-haulers for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
The “Drive Your Own Race Car” area.
Just the sight of these things up close gets my adrenalin pumping.
I hadn’t been assigned a car or got suited up yet but there was a willing camera-handler handy so I had this shot taken.
Car 56 would be my chariot for a few minutes.
Getting a driver suited – the gear that’s being adjusted holds the driver’s head to the roll cage.
Getting in requires a bit of flexibility – right leg in, left leg in, grab the roof, duck and slide in.
I shot this video to show you what it looks like from the ground. To get a video shot from the car was an extra $49 and there was a “no-publication” statement on it, so a no-deal.
This is where I wanted to be!!!
When you get high on that bank you’re a loooong way up! The lap record here for a NASCAR car was set by Jamie McMurray – 29.816 seconds at 181.11 mph.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!!
I went touring a for a while, not to anywhere in particular. This is Miami as I passed by. The coolest place I found was probably Bal Harbour – a lovely high-end community on the sea.
It’s now almost 9:00am on the 15th – in about 4 hours Cathy and will say goodbye to our friends and board the Carnival Destinity at Miami for a 5-day cruise that will take us to Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Grand Turk. ttyl!