On the hot plains of Texas, a big man and a tiny woman staked their claim. They inhaled the sweet perfume of the Lords of Rubber and Gasoline as they gazed towards the forbidding pillars of the Temple of Speed. The wind shrieked with the siren’s call of turbocharged engines and punishing tolerances. They were home.
In other words: we went and camped at Texas Motor Speedway and had a weekend of racing and adventure, culminating in the 2019 running of the DXC 600.
I made a conscious decision to leave my camera at home and to leave my phone in the cooler bag as much as possible. While I don’t have pics from the race itself, you know I couldn’t resist taking pictures the rest of the time. Here are a few highlights. (Click the pics to see the whole thing, otherwise it might be cropped oddly.)
Heather, gleeful at my suggestion that we stop at the Dairy Queen in Bowie, TX.
All set up at our campsite in Texas! It took all of 30 minutes from pulling in until we were resting under the canopy. Heather wanted to show off her new shirt, as she was indeed a happy camper.
Our 4 day home away from home, shortly after we got everything set up. Those canopies are a real life saver under the hot Texas sun.
I bought and programmed a scanner for the race so we wouldn't have to rent one (which was nearly as expensive as buying one.) We could hear all the radio traffic from our campsite!
The Texas skies were volatile- don't let the pretty clouds fool you.
A Texas tradition: Heather's butt planted firmly on the pace cars. This is a tradition that will continue until we get busted.
Mechanics work on the #12 car, driven by Will Power. With no mufflers, these fellows are LOUD even at idle.
Heather, classing up the joint like the sun flower she is.
These boys are insanely loud, and it's a LOT of fun to listen to them roar by in a pack. My neck got 3 shades darker.
The skies over Texas begin to darken; taken from our view way up in the grandstands.
2019 Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (Black/White) and talented new driver Zach Veach (Yellow/Black) test against one another during Practice session 1.
I should have been watching the storm behind us, rather than the one in front of us. Oh crap.
50 MPH winds ripped up through the stands, drenching us all in short order. We'd come prepared with bags for our electronics, but it got a bit chilly.
The wind arrived like a hurricane and the track went from dry to flooded in 15 seconds. The violent burst was over in a few minutes, but everything got soaked and practice got cancelled.
As the rains moved off to the east, a glorious edge-to-edge double rainbow appeared.
For a while, it was a triple rainbow, but my camera didn't capture the extremely faint 3rd arc.
The stunning view was worth the storm.
As the sun began to set, the double rainbow began to boil away in front of our eyes.
As we headed back to the campsite, we were greeted by a glorious post-storm sunset, just outside gate 4.
The next morning, I was resting outside. Note the new canopy? The old one didn't survive the storm and while removing the wreckage, I gashed my leg wide open.
Our new canopy really unified the campsite. It sets up more quickly, is lighter, covers the same area, and cost less than the old one. Winner winner!
While we rested in the shade, we were visited by the ghost of Indy past- a pace car from an Indy 500, long ago!
Lots of Indycar fans may disagree, but I adore the look of the 2019 aerokit.
Lovebirds spotted on the track.
Corvettes line the track as they wait to pick up NASCAR truck drivers for the race on Friday evening. There are always two races at TMX for the Indy weekend- a NASCAR truck race, then an Indycar race, with practices and qualifying for each scattered over the afternoons.
Some 200 Corvettes showed up for a huge auto show on the day of the race, and they were amazing, as you'd expect. More stingrays than the Indian ocean!
Heather Claptrapping the line of VROOM.
Best hood tag I saw at the show.
Arguably one of the best looking modern 'vettes from the show. The paint was iridescent blue, with a subtle sparkle.
The flame effect on the intake was a nice touch.
Pace car? The butt goes on it. 1995 or 2019, doens't matter.
Another pace car has its value increased due to posterior proximity.
4 all time greats of Indycar: Johnny Rutherford, Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, and Rick Mears. We were so thrilled to have a chance to see these guys in person!
Make that 5 all time greats.
Sweaty-ass lovebirds spotted at the track again.
Sitting on the track itself, soaking in the shade with our backs against the safety barrier, about an hour before the race started.
Heather, copping a feel of the finish line at Texas Motor Speedway. Note all the fans' signatures on the markings; a longstanding TMS tradition.