Nascar in Atlanta


Bless the free ticket fairies again. They provided us with tickets to both the Saturday Busch Race and the Sunday Nextel Cup Race in Atlanta. The race isn't actually in Atlanta though it is in Hampton, Georgia which is another thirty miles south. Deciding we didn't want to drive 260 miles on both Saturday and Sunday we headed to my favorite recent site, Priceline. I was hoping to get the downtown Hilton again but was not dissapointed too terribly when we got the Marriot Renaissance Center for around $70. As is our usual tale we got a late start after dropping off all dogs at their weekend digs. They have added a new highway to get to the track since mt last visit and that made getting their Saturday no problem. The only traffic I encountered was 70 miles away from the track when there was major construction on I 75. Bless the department of transportation that thought it was a good day to work with all the traffic heading that way. So after a two hour delay in traffic we were moving again. Traffic around the track was no problem as I hit none until it was in site. Free parking! This is in stark contrast to some places like Daytona where they'll charge you $50 to be within a quarter mile. We parked within a hundred yards of track but on the backstretch. So we still had to hike a bit to get to our seats, after all it is a two and a half mile track. Unfortunately after the hike realized I had forgotten my binoculars. I had given some extra tickets to employees and was happy to see someone who truly appreciated it show with their family. More important than the missing binoculars was we didn't bring a cooler. Of course that didn't stop most people, I actually saw a young man with a beer bong in the stands. I know they play up NASCAR as this family friendly sport but I have changed my mind after the last couple of trips. I guess it would be the drunk Earnhardt fans at Talladega spraying the crowd with beer after his win a couple of years ago or the drunk young ladies in parking lot exposing themselves after a race when I was in Atlanta a few years ago with my daughter. With $11 margaritas and $5 sixteen ounce beers the lubricating would be limited. Part of the plan actually as I didn't want to play bumper cars on the way back to Atlanta with a belly full of beers. The race was entertaining and we left with about 15 laps left to beat the traffic and check into hotel. Any dissapointment I had on hotel choice immediately vanished. This may have been the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in. The bed was awesone with six pillows. First time I have ever found a book other than the bible in the nightstand though. They also had the Book of Mormon. I wonder what the Marriot's policy is on that? Are they Mormon? Or do they let any religious group willing to donate enough books to place them in the rooms? I am a little concerned that instead of books in the night stand we may start getting book shelves with religious librarys. The hotel also had what they called a German bar. While there was some nice brews, I was overall dissapointed in the total selection. Secondly no oompa at all. You would expect to hear at least a little polka or some accordian. Instead it was piped in dance music from the seventies. A true German would have cried. So after some brew and dinner called it a night. Unfortunately Sunday was not as kind to us in terms of traffic or racing. Got a late start and it took almost three hours to get to the track.  We did arrive in time for the delay of the start of the race due to weather. We hung out for a bit and then decided it wasn't going to run so we left to beat all the traffic, unfortunately 70% of the people decided to do the same thing in the fifteen minutes preceding our decision. Five hours later we made it home. Over all it was a good weekend and we had a good time but I ma beginning to question my sanity ion wanting to put up with all the hassle when I could stay home and watch it. I know if I had to pay the almost $300 for the tickets we used the answer would be no. But like a dog getting hit in the nose with the paper I'm sure I'll be back. If its free its for me!




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