Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sonoma Race Report - VICTORY!

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!  I just spent 2 hours writing this blog and when I went to post stupid Blogger said there was a conflict and when I hit the back button it was gone.  CRAP!

Ok guess we will try we go...and this time I will copy it before I try to post!  Dang IT!

Hey Tez! I think you have some of this confetti!
It will be impossible for me to even articulate the absolute amazing experience it was to win at my home track in such dominant fashion.  So I wont even try (again!) but do want to thank Kurt and the entire #22 crew for sharing a crazy fun race weekend with me!

Sunday started with me and Tez hitting up Starbucks yet again and getting to the track when the garage opened.  Tez hung about while I got the schedule for the day and we met up a short while later at Jeff Gluck's tweet up.  Word on the street was "Maaaacus" was going to make an appearance so I texted Tez the super secret squirrel password (Sonoma) to get past security and met him in Victory Circle.
Gotta say Gluck was a bit of a disappointment - the subject of Kurt's girlfriend came up in the tweet up and he asked how he could possibly ask about her in Kurt's media time.  I said that probably wasn't the appropriate venue to ask in and he agreed.  Well, not sure how many of you saw his article yesterday about Kurt's girlfriend - so he wrote about it by pretending to be high and might and not write about it.  LAME!  Anyway, we did meet some fellow tweeters and Tez got more quality time with Maaaacus (see his blog for pics!) and when Gluck asked everyone for their picks for the winner this week for the record I TOTALLY called it!  =)

After the tweet up I headed back to the garage to try to finish up my interviews with the pit crew.  They were coming up with some really funny stuff for what car part they would be...I hope to have the updated crew blog done by the end of the week!
The pits were open to the fans and RA6AN, Tez and CR were busy writing good luck messages on their favorite drivers pit walls.   I found two of my favorite people wandering on pit lane...Rex and Brandon who are like family to me and who I lived with for nearly 10 years before getting married.   It was their first race ever so I gave them the tour of our super swank pit box and managed to get them out on pit road by the cars as well, thanks to Tony, on of my buddies who is an official.
We Tony the Troublemaker wanted to make sure they were getting the full experience so he grabbed some poor girl out of the crowd and asked her to take a picture with a somewhat shocked Brandon...apparently this is what you do at a NASCAR race? 
Tony also grabbed a girl for CR and Tez but I'll leave it up to them to post that since I don't want anyone getting in trouble...LOL

I had to get back in the garages to follow the car through inspection and do my informal job as the cutest tool bag girl on the circuit!  This time we made it through inspection without problem.  Thanks to Tez and CR who stuck around to get some pictures of me following the guys pushing the car out on to pit lane.
I had a bit of downtime once the car was ready to go so I grabbed some food and hung out with our guests at the hauler.   We had quite a few visitors this weekend - several winemakers, a bigwig from Shell who came out from Houston along with the two women who star in the commercial with Kurt (the ones who wear the lab coat), also guys from Lennox and a family from Magellan.   While we were chatting I couldn't help but snap a picture of Kurt's "beer cozy"...
If you read my previous posts you'll recall a public service announcement about sensible shoes.  Well Kurt wasn't going to be in 6 inch platforms today but I am sure with all the shifting, braking and gassing he appreciated his extra padding.  

The #6 crew Man Cave - but they said girls are allowed so you are all set Melissa!
I headed out to pit road for the pre-race festivities and got a good spot in the corner of the pit box to watch the action.   Not much to see except turn 11 but with Kurt leading the whole race it didn't make too much difference!  With Addington's aggressive call for the race there wasn't that many opportunities to catch our crew in action.
But the Red Bull team sure was busy...
And shortly there after the other teams around us were dealing with problems as well...
Sigh.  He just hates Sonoma...
And so Junyer had to pack up and leave early knowing he couldn't compete for my attentions with Kurt dominating the way he was...bubye.
Junyer's empty pit stall was the perfect spot to watch the safety workers try to extract Smoke from the tires...
While our crew had stellar stops all day, by far the fastest stop was when Dave H had to do a quick tire refill on the tire cart when Stevo had a flat...those air hoses attached to the box are quite handy!
The laps were winding down and we were getting cautiously excited.  The guys were so amazingly calm and reminded me there was plenty that could go wrong yet.  They were monitoring several other team radios and watching for any trickery with tires but the cautions didn't come and we were sitting pretty!   Here is Kurt coming around on our final restart...
This is about when I started bouncing up and down while I was standing on a tire trying to burn off some of my adrenaline...the white flag flew and the guys were up and ready to party!
And the celebration begins...
I had really hoped Kurt would try the backwards Victory Lap but it would have taken forever!
The beer begins to fly!
And the celebratin' begins!   Here is my "Where's Waldo" picture...see if you can spot me!
On left in front row in between fire fighters in the white helmets 
And then it was time to get soaked in Champagne!
And finally time for the hat dance...
While I was not on stage for the hat dance I did manage to snag one of the Sprint caps they are wearing in this picture and have Addington and Kurt sign it as well as a very cool black Infineon winners circle hat!  woot!   Kurt then went off and did his Winner's media time and the post race show so I decided to follow the guys and the car going back through inspection.
It was really quite special to see how many crew guys from the other teams congratulated our guys for the dominating win - NASCAR really is a big family.   We even got a special congrats from this guy in the red shirt...
My astute readers will definitely recognize those *cough* sexy legs...

We finished up inspection and the guys started tearing down the car so they could load it up in the NASCAR hauler for them to take back to the tech center to do the full winner's tear down.  Kurt was still not back yet from Victory Lane so I headed back over to find him still doing the hat dance for all the sponsors.   TR guessed he probably had about 40 hats and photos to take.  I was feeling particularly ballsy with all the excitement so I asked TR if he thought Kurt would take a picture with me in Victory Lane and he said he thought he would...and wha'la!  How cool is that!?!!
I am waiting on the "official" photographers shot of this but gotta thank TR for not only getting me up there but also for snapping this!

I am sure you all caught the fancy hand blown glass chalice that Kurt was drinking from in Victory Lane with the Reserve Estate Zinfandel in it.   Well after he got zipped in a golf cart to yet more interviews he dropped it off with the crew and they were kind enough to share the spoils of victory with me!  (Probably cuz I made them beef jerky...)
I am now two for two getting in to the winners circle at the races I have gone I guess that means Kurt wins Phoenix in Nov??!!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I sure hope he wins in Phoenix, I want to go to VL!!!

  2. Why yes, I do still have some of that beer/champers/sweat/tears/whatever else stained confetti in the little ziplock bag you handed me when we got back, lol

    Out of curiosity, exactly how many photos, between all of us, did we take that had you in it? It must have been, at least, a dozen surely.

  3. So happy that you got to go to victory lane with your guys! And sharing it with us... it's almost like we were there!

    I saw Gluck's column about how he, and the rest of the 'real' writers, were such fair guys that they didn't mention Kurt's breakup. How about, it's a non-story! It happens everyday! When I joined twitter a few months ago, I saw that Kurt and Eva were not following each other, so I knew something was up... but that is none of my business.

    Nice pic with Brandon... looks like I'm not the only one happy they relaxed the dress code in NASCAR. LOL!

    Thanks for all the great behind-the-scenes pics and reports!!

  4. Hey Dobbins! Thanks for reading...I will be hoping and praying he gets you that win in Indy! How cool would that be!! You are official photographer now...I am off duty!

    Tez - I dunno, I was going to do a "narcissist" blog and put up a bunch of the photos you guys took of me so I have them all in one place! There are at least 30...

    Gene - Thanks it was amazing to dominate so much and be at my home track. Something I will never forget! (Isn't Brandon hilarious!)

  5. Great report! Gosh darn it I missed out! At some point I plan on moving back to the west and when I do, look out Phoenix, Las Vegas, Fontana and Sonoma!

    Kristen, if Kurt keeps winning when you show up they might figure out how to get their honorary tool kit girl to every race!

    Wouldn't it be something if Kurt and Kyle went toe to toe right down to the last race of the season? Grandma would either be pulling her hair out or the boys!

    Now... Think Bristol for the late run next year! D.J.'s already got a mountain cabin lined up (last I heard anyway). Would they let you in the pits there?

    Thanks Kristen!

    BTW... I now have to sign in to my Blog account every single time I try to comment or post. Never used to be this way.

  6. Watched the race again. It really was amazing how Kurt performed in those fist 13 laps. Then of course holding on while his tires went. Great performance, and set-up, from beginning to end. Montoya was an embarrassment to his fan base. Well, that's the way I see it. Ryan raced a good race. Too bad he was around Montoya, and then Menard later.

  7. That is too darn cool! I was figuring if my driver couldn't win I would have to hope it was yours, and what do you know!

    With the record you have going you'll be traveling with the team to every race shortly haha.

  8. I remembered to tape the replay on Speed today (it's 11:57pm when I wrote that so it still counts as today!)...probably won't get a chance to watch it until next week though, lol

    sent that photo your way, CR...and I did figure it out, K. But you already knew that since I emailed you last night about it and you replied earlier today.

    talked to my parents Tuesday night...they said I was a bit (ok, it may have been 'a lot') hyper but they can understand. I'll probably still be hyper until Watkins rolls round, then up again until Montreal, then again until the Chase starts. I think that'll take me through the rest of the year, sa-weeeeeeet! :D

  9. Your level of access is awesome......and enviable! I'm thinking you need to plan a trip to Atlanta on Labor Day weekend so that I have a greater chance of seeing Kurt win!

  10. Hey Dwindy! I would love to be a *paid* good luck charm...LOL I've got Bristol in my sights with my NTC! woot!

    CR - I still have not watched the broadcast - something I hope to do this weekend. Will be fun to watch Kurt putting on a clinic!

    LOL Tez - You hyper!? Naw... =) Thanks again for the very sincere email!

    Hey Alex! Thanks for coming over here to read. Atlanta is a track I'd like to hit one day too. Will expect a full report if you go!

  11. Just a little extra on "Blocking" at Sonoma...

    Ryan Newman Thursday Daytona Press Conference;
    Posted: 01 Jul 2011 09:35 AM PDT


    “I’m not a fan at all of blocking and if you don’t block on an oval, you shouldn’t block on a road course; and there are a lot of guys who get in the bad habit of blocking on a road course, especially in Turn 7 and Turn 11 there at Infineon. It’s difficult to be able to work through some of those things when somebody does block in front of you. However his whole retaliation thing worked out, that’s not for me to talk about or say. But it is frustrating. I had guys that blocked me and (I) let them know about it and I got turned around myself twice in Turn 11. So, the blocking part is not cool at all. And it’s something that we as drivers have to address and gain a little more respect out of each other so that we’re not doing that. We can have great racing and great passing there without the blocking.”

  12. Excellent stuff as usual! I met Gluck at the Hall of Fame in May and he seemed like a pretty good guy. I'm gunna try and make it out to Phoenix again in November. Hope to see you there!

  13. Ahhh does Ryan not know he blocks and races people way too hard all the time? Interesting...

    Hey Mayer! I am going to try for Sat and Sun at PHX at least...would love to meet up!!

  14. The feeling of victory is really unexplainable. Especially if a victory won through hard work.

  15. Precision and accuracy is what you did to achieve victory! Teamwork, selfless volunteering in work is also one thing.


Tell me what you think race fans!!