So after a five and a half hour long non-stop drive, I find myself here at New Hampshire Motorspeedway. Sporting my Phillies cap in the heart of Red Sox Nation. No INDYCAR activity on track today. It is just the American-Canadian Tour, and the NASCAR Modified Series today.
If you wander the paddock you can find a few random drivers just hanging out. The stands have less than a 1,000 people in the seats. The crews out number spectators. The road leading to the main entrance has about a mile of cones preventing cars from making passes. The Loudon Police are out in large numbers.
Again, no one here. I walked into the main office to obtain my media credentials. The women there was alone eating lunch, she threw the lid on her tupperware of pasta salad to get my items out. Word has it they have five people handling media creds for Cup weekend. This weekend, one little old lady.
Walked out onto pit-road for the Modified Series qualifying with Dale Nixon of PopOffValve.com. Was a real throwback to stand in an oval track’s pit and smell leaded race fuel fumes. Luckily I was able to resist the urge to jump over (really off the way the pits are built here) pit wall with an 11-gallon fuel can on my shoulder.
There are lots of great views of the surface here. Heck I am parked facing the backstretch. I could sit in my car and watch all on-track activities there.
The media center is a virtual ghost town. I ran into one of the Japanese photographers who is here to cover Sato. Dale Nixon of Pop Off Valve is across from me. Robin Miller’s Speed TV crew came to claim a spot and steal some snacks to take with them. I guess Robin is low on bags of “Childs Play”. Oh, and Wolfgang is here. (Inside joke to the INDYCAR bloggers).
That is it as far as INDYCAR media. The only press here are basically all covering the NASCAR Modified Series. I’m not even sure ACT has anyone here covering them.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day. Firestone Indy Lights take the track for practice at 8AM (all times ET). The big cars of the IZOD INDYCAR Series follows them at 9AM. Then the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) runs their first 25 lap race at 10:30 AM. The IZOD INDYCAR Series runs their next practice session from Noon-1PM. Lights run qualifying from 2:15 to 3PM. The IZOD INDYCAR Series starts their qualifying session at 3 PM.
The NASCAR Modifieds run their race after INDYCAR qualifying. (Tentatively 4:15) the stars of the IZOD INDYCAR Series will be at an autograph session from 5-6 PM at the INDYCAR Fan Village. The day ends with the second ACT race, a 50 lapper set for 6:15 PM.
I will be running all over the facility tomorrow in an effort to keep on top of the days events. Also follow me on Twitter ( @SpikeRogan ) for tweets out of the media center during the day.