Some of the cars in the JGR shop.

Making it fun at some NASCAR tracks

In the spring, we made a trek across the southeast to visit family in Virginia.

(You can see our visits on other blog posts at)
Washington DC
Williamsburg VA

But one of our favorite reasons (besides family) to be in the southeast US was to attend not one but TWO NASCAR races!

If you aren’t a NASCAR fan, no worries, I’ll fill you in.

Cars go 200 miles an hour around in a circle, sometimes crashing into each other. One driver wins, the other 39 go home and try again the next week.

Before we headed to Virginia we stopped at the small town of Bristol, Tennessee. It really is Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia. The town sits on the border between the two states, and the state line runs right down the middle of downtown. Really!

You can read more about our Bristol visit here.

After our visit to Virginia, we headed down to Charlotte North Carolina for a visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Yes, we are total rednecks!

The week was a fun visit to race shops, the race track, and even driving race simulators!

We had a special and amazing surprise when visiting the Joe Gibbs Racing Car Shop. I’ll get to that in a minute.

The Hall of Fame highlights the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), which as rumored, had its beginnings running bootleg whiskey during prohibition times in the 1930s. The sport grew over the years and boasts one of the highest spectator attendance records in all sports.

We delighted in driving racecar simulators, which are actually CARS (sort of). Marc was 1st out of 6 drivers, while my 5th out of 6 drivers more accurately reflects my driving record over the years.

We stayed at the racetrack at one of the campgrounds – which is really only a parking lot with grass strips between small one-lane paved strips. But it was fun, and we met some ‘real’ racefans, who camp for 2 weeks and decorate their sites with all kinds of things!

We had ‘pit passes’ to tour the area where the teams set up their cars and work during the race. Because my family has a FedEx drop off site at their business, I looked for the FedEx pit box to show them. Plus, we saw the ‘hauler’ for FedEx, which has a fun Race Car Box on the outside (check out the shipping receipt on the side of the truck).  (click on the photo and it will enlarge).

We went to the All-Star race, which was a nice race with a full moon. Such fun!

fullmoon1

We had a special treat when we visited the Joe Gibbs Racing shop. We were the only ones in the entryway of the shop at the time, except for the receptionist at the front desk. We were just looking at the trophy cases and cars, when Marc spotted Joe Gibbs coming into the shop, just a few feet away from us. We tried not to gawk too much, but after all, he is a 3-time NFL Championship Coach for the Washington Redskins and a 3-time Championship Team Owner in NASCAR.

The receptionist came over and asked us to come and meet him, and he would autograph a book for us! WOW! We were stunned! We were able to chat for a few minutes, and he told us his wife wouldn’t last 24 hours living in a motorhome with him (haha!) and told us to enjoy our visit. Then he was off to his office, but we were so starstruck that we didn’t even get a photo with him!

What a wild ride! We loved it!

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