Monday, June 21, 2010

Get 'Er Done

My mother hates that phrase by the way. Me, well, I'm not going to plaster it across my windshield or anything, but I can see its value.  Because sometimes you really do just need to--ahem--get 'er done. And let me tell you, I've never seen a group more skilled at that then these fellows right here:

The #11 crew had me sitting in awe all day long Saturday. Of course, there's the glitzy pit stop action that can make or break a race. I really have no adequate words to describe how thrilling it is to watch that car come speeding in to be swarmed by these guys like a hive of mechanic bees. I barely had time to snap this picture before Brian was zooming off again.
But then there's also all of the strategy and adjustments that come with racing on a road course instead of the usual ovaly-type one. I'm sure you find my technical jargon rather awe inspiring too, right? While it's true that I didn't understand half of the things that were said and done, I was still enthralled just watching all of the decisions being made.  That team just rolled with all the punches that were thrown their way--and if you watched the race, then you know that there were quite a few jabs that had to be absorbed. Even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the #11's solid 13th finish, I still felt really proud of those guys. BigSpot is lucky to have found such a great team to work with.

 I am slowly absorbing the NASCAR lingo--and I have this guy to thank for a lot of that:
Joey D--aka my lameduck BFF--not only excels at tire catching, (jettisoning?) but he also is a professor of tire dissection. Thanks to his expert tutelage, I now have a sketchy understanding of why the crew takes a blow torch to the tires that come off the car. 

Let me see if I can remember...this is where my visual aids will come in handy.

The rubber gets really hot after having gone around the track at whiplash-inducing speeds. So, when the car comes down pit road, it picks up debris that gets stuck in the rubber. The blow-torch wielder removes that layer of grit and grime so that the depth of the remaining tire can be measured. That's what he's doing here--measuring how much wear the tire got in the center vs. the edges. Those numbers he's writing are important

to this guy because he's an engineer. (read: very smart) He puts those numbers into a top secret formula that I speculate includes the gratuitous use of a black hat and the word "abracadabra". Then from thin air he pulls numbers that tell the crew how much pressure should be added or subtracted from each of the tires. Or something like that anyway. If you have any questions about my facts, you'll have to check with Sensai Spinnawitz. Although I will be candid here and say that I do question my mentor's sanity being as he suggested I attempt to operate the blow torch right there in the pits in the middle of a race. Visions of gas cans exploding in rapid-fire secession all the way to the finish line flashed before my eyes before I quickly declined that opportunity. Anyone of stable mind would know that there needs to be a mile long, fire proof perimeter set up before anyone hands me an open flame. Even with those precautions in place, I'm not sure it would be a wise move--I do like having eyebrows after all.

As mentioned, Road America is a road course. This means that you see the cars go by about every 2 minutes or so. Luckily, ESPN was playing up in the box so I could watch the action happening on the rest of the course. But, dude, they play a lot of commercials. Which left me with a fair bit of down time to study my surroundings. I did spend a fair number of those minutes studying him:

But, well, we've been married for nearly 9 years now, so that got old after awhile. Thus, I moved on to other, more novel sights. Here's a brief rundown of what caught my eye:

A) The crew that works hard should be fed accordingly. Enter Smuckers Uncrustables. I wonder if anyone has approached them about possible associate sponsorship? Seems like a win-win to me. I'll take a grilled cheese.

B) Is this where they keep the magic wands and white rabbits?

C) Aren't my shoes cute? I ♥ Boden.

Do you know what else I ♥ ? My new NASCAR BFF Ashley Parlett. She is a truly fascinating person. I'm not even exaggerating per my usual habit either. She actually builds cars. Builds them. You can imagine how this just blows my mind considering that I can't even figure out how to get the Volvo's high beams to stay on without having to keep holding the lever thing down. She has the coolest stories to tell about her racing days and being a female car chief in a mostly male-dominated world. But don't trust me, find out for yourself by checking out her blog:

I wish I would have gotten a picture with her, but I was too busy having my "OMG how cute is this girl?" moment. And here's the kicker: when I mentioned her new status as my BFF, rather than mumbling about restraining orders and stalking laws while backing slowly away, she actually said "I'm stoked". So obviously, she has good taste, right? Wonder where she stands in the Great Get 'Er Done Debate?


  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    One of these days I'll be an expert at drag lingo, just like you. Who'd'a thought?

  2. That is so cool! I've never been, but man, these pics make it look awesome!

    BTW, it's ME! I tried emailing you my new blog, but I can't find your email???