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Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

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Old 06-24-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

OK, I'm strongly considering going to Phoenix International Raceway for the Checker Auto Parts 500 in November. I have a vacation coming to me that I HAVE to take between October 19th and Thanksgiving, and my sister / brother in law live in Phoenix. I have never been to a NASCAR event and I really want to go. That makes the PIR a perfect solution. However, having never been to an event, I have no idea what to expect or what to look for. Right now, the best seats are turn 1 about 20 rows up. Is this even good for such an event? Any suggestions would be helpful before I make reservations. I want to cram as much fun as possible in here.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

anyone?
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

Man, you're impatient! It's only been 2 hours!

Your seats sound good. You don't want to be too low to the track, or you can't see the far side over the infield. It's a small track, so it's going to be loud. Louder than anything you've probably heard loud. My first three races were Daytona, Homestead, and Charlotte. Then I went to Richmond and was blown away by the noise. Bring foam earplugs, even if you have the over-the-ear ones.

Find out what the beverage/cooler rules are for the track. I'd assume Arizona is pretty laid back, but it's better to know in advance.

Get there real early, and take in some of the outside events. I haven't been since Nextel took over the sponsorship, but I'd imagine it's still a carnival.

Bring lots of water and leave a cooler in the car stocked with food for after the race. Depending on where you park and when you leave, it could take hours to get out of there.

That reminds me - do your research on routes into and out of the track. Richmond was a disaster, traffic-wise, and I wish we had known the back routes.

During the race, find a spot where you can hang on the fence (or at least get close if they don't allow that at PIR). It's a helluva feeling when the pack blows by you at 120mph.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:45 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

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Originally Posted by onlydarksets View Post
Man, you're impatient! It's only been 2 hours!
For some reason it was no longer on my subscribed threads, so the "anyone?" post was more of a bump.

Quote:
Your seats sound good. You don't want to be too low to the track, or you can't see the far side over the infield. It's a small track, so it's going to be loud. Louder than anything you've probably heard loud. My first three races were Daytona, Homestead, and Charlotte. Then I went to Richmond and was blown away by the noise. Bring foam earplugs, even if you have the over-the-ear ones.

Find out what the beverage/cooler rules are for the track. I'd assume Arizona is pretty laid back, but it's better to know in advance.

Get there real early, and take in some of the outside events. I haven't been since Nextel took over the sponsorship, but I'd imagine it's still a carnival.

Bring lots of water and leave a cooler in the car stocked with food for after the race. Depending on where you park and when you leave, it could take hours to get out of there.

That reminds me - do your research on routes into and out of the track. Richmond was a disaster, traffic-wise, and I wish we had known the back routes.

During the race, find a spot where you can hang on the fence (or at least get close if they don't allow that at PIR). It's a helluva feeling when the pack blows by you at 120mph.
Good suggestions, thanks.

Is it possible to get in the infield? I heard those are the best places to go.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

Make sure you get headphones to listen to the radio. It helps to hear the radio announcers tell you what is going on like engine problems, when they will pit, etc. Scanners are pretty cool too. You can hear all the drivers and crew talk through out the race. you can buy one or rent one and get the frequencies on Jayski.com or at the track.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:21 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlydarksets View Post
Man, you're impatient! It's only been 2 hours!

Your seats sound good. You don't want to be too low to the track, or you can't see the far side over the infield. It's a small track, so it's going to be loud. Louder than anything you've probably heard loud. My first three races were Daytona, Homestead, and Charlotte. Then I went to Richmond and was blown away by the noise. Bring foam earplugs, even if you have the over-the-ear ones.

Find out what the beverage/cooler rules are for the track. I'd assume Arizona is pretty laid back, but it's better to know in advance.

Get there real early, and take in some of the outside events. I haven't been since Nextel took over the sponsorship, but I'd imagine it's still a carnival.

Bring lots of water and leave a cooler in the car stocked with food for after the race. Depending on where you park and when you leave, it could take hours to get out of there.

That reminds me - do your research on routes into and out of the track. Richmond was a disaster, traffic-wise, and I wish we had known the back routes.

During the race, find a spot where you can hang on the fence (or at least get close if they don't allow that at PIR). It's a helluva feeling when the pack blows by you at 120mph.
Earplugs are a must. I went to Richmond a couple of years ago and it was the loudest thing I have evr heard.

As for the fence part, I dont think they allow that anymore. In Richmond they have officials every 50 yards or so and they were pretty strict about it the last time I went.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

I have been to one race and we made it a weekend event. Saturday they had the garage racers who had a tool box and a friend for a crew which was fun to watch. Latter they had some other small races and we took turns picking drivers and making little bets to make it more interesting. Thes races were very short and I think we purchased a day pass which was pretty cheap. I think different tracks have different events on Saturdays and I think the trucks raced on Saturday night which we did not go to. Take Saturday to go around and check out all the stuff going on all around the outside of the track (free unless you buty stuff). We called it an early night on Saturday and got an early start on Sunday. Just take what you would take to a football game for tailgaiting before and after the race. The reason I say after we at dinner tailgating and let the trafic die down some before we headed back to our room. It was cool because the Skins where playing and the guy beside us had a TV and the game on. Most tracks allow coolers so take a smaller cooler which you can carry to the track (they do not allow bottles). Have fun and let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:55 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
For some reason it was no longer on my subscribed threads, so the "anyone?" post was more of a bump.



Good suggestions, thanks.

Is it possible to get in the infield? I heard those are the best places to go.
Sure, if you're willing to pay. I wouldn't do it without an RV, though.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

To expand on onlydarksets' great suggestions:

Here is a link to the PIR FAQ:
FAQs - Phoenix Raceway

Definitely take advantage of the cooler/bag rule. Bring in food/water/etc with you, so you can spend money or other things, or don't spend it at all. And while you can't bring beer in with you (You can thank the State of Arizona for that), it's still an advantage over spending 4 or 5 bucks for a 20oz bottle of coke.

The higher you are, the easier it is to see the entire track. So 20 rows up should be a good vantage point, especially being in turn 1, you'll be able to see the cars come around turn 4 towards Start/Finish pretty easily.

Earplugs are definitely a must. My only experience was at Richmond, and it was quite loud. Louder than I thought. However, since there weren't too many restarts, I ended up taking them out 1/2 way through the race and was fine. Even if you think you'd never ever use earplugs, have some anyways.

If the same is true from my experience at Richmond, they will have the NASCAR Experience set up right outside the track. Food, merch and sponsor trailers and setups. Tons of fun. You can race John Deere tractors, get free tins of dip, and watch a variety of different things. Even if you don't buy anything, it's a blast watching the people walk around. Watch the merch trailers because a lot of times, drivers will come during different times of the day and autograph stuff. My buddy and I busted Robby Gordon's balls when he was signing stuff...he took it in good stride though.

Scanners, radios, etc. definitely help enhance the experience. I didn't use them when I went to Richmond, but my buddy did, and it helped with the stuff we couldn't see (cars disappeared into turn 3 and came out after turn 4, we missed a few wrecks from our seats). If you have Sirius (or have thought about it), they have the race, along with several drivers scanner frequencies during the race.

As far as traffic goes, think of it like a tailgate. Take into account that it's going to take at least an hour to get completely out of the complex, and go from there. Richmond sucked because it's a haul and a half from the track to their parking lots. But as long as you account for it, it shoudn't be too bad.

jsarno - going to a NASCAR race is a helluva experience. Enjoy it to the fullest.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:46 AM   #10
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

great feedback guys.

I am concerned for my wife though. I have a deeper enjoyment of NASCAR than she does. She will watch, and gets into the drivers (roots for Gordon, finds pleasure in a Stewart crash etc) but for the most part she naps during the race. Is this going to be something that she will enjoy, or will she be "bored"?
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

-bring lots of beer, preferably bud cans
-smoke 'em if you got 'em, marb reds are the smoke of choice
-rest yer voice so you can do lots of yellin'
-jean shorts and a stained white t-shirt with the arms cut off is yer dress code
-finally, don't sit behind to this guy



peace,
matt
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

Geez, Matty - there are kids on this site!
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:55 AM   #13
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

matty...that is sick. LOL. Where did you get that?
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #14
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

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matty...that is sick. LOL. Where did you get that?
From the guy sitting behind him.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: Suggestions for 1st NASCAR event?

I googled nascar redneck and that was one of the first things that came up LOL
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