Daytona Saturday-Coke Zero 400 Day

We have survived City Walk, we loved the Nationwide race on 4th of July, genuine excitement was all around for the big day on Saturday with the Coke Zero 400. We had an hour later departure scheduled from the hotel which was nice. It left a bit more time to resupply, sleep in and grab some food before the ride out to the track.  The only hurdle for Saturday was we did alot of exploring on Friday around the track so we weren’t quite as sure how the day would pass without any qualifying to watch or Fan Zone activities to take part in.

No worries, it was another great day. I think it was hotter on Saturday or at least the clouds didn’t roll in as often to keep us cool.  We hit the driver merchandise trailers again after we first got there. I forgot one bit, the track is 2.5 miles around, so walking around the track while it seems doable, isn’t really, you become dependant on these golf cart/tram deals they have. Anyways, we set a goal for the Saturday night race to get the cheesiest shirts possible for each of us. As you can see from the picture, I think we succeeded.  I’ll wear the National Guard/Junior hat again no worries, but this shirt isn’t getting busted out again til the next race!

We checked out the sponsor area again and passed on the Daytona Experience which included the Daytona Museum and a 3d IMax movie.  Part of our package was an all you can eat tailgate/bbq at 5 o’clock. I was psyched for this being a tailgate aficionado. It wasn’t so special. It wasn’t just for our tour but for anyone in the track that wanted to pay for entry to the bbq. It was burgers, dogs, chips and free soft drinks. I knew there was no alcohol included but the 20-30 minute wait for the first round of food was not cool. We know better for the next time. The highlights here were picking on people different than us, a great cheesey cover band and lots of free bottles of water. Hydration people, it is very important!

We had seats on the opposite side of the track for the Coke Zero 400. We were in the Allison Tower along the backstretch.  The seats were very much different than we had on Friday. We probably walked up six flights or so of stairs to get to our seats. We were in row 57, it was a hike. It was worth it though. Unlike on Friday, we could clearly see all four turns on the track. The only part we could not see was the frontstretch but we had a handy big screen to help with that like we did on the other side of the track.  The first thing that surprised me was the amount of empty seats. I asked a track employee for some directions when we first walked in and he informed that ticket sales were off by 50k, of course it can handle a capacity of 168k. 

The excitement before the race was huge. People are so into it and their drivers. You go nuts for your guy and boo the hell out of who you hate. For most people this seems to be Jeff Gordon or the dominant driver for this year Kyle Busch. 

The race itself rocked. I loved being able to see the whole track and not rely on the big screens as much. Dale Jr. had a fantastic race all up until the last 15 laps or so and backtracked from the top 3 to finish 8th. The ending was fantastic a few caution flags led to a dramatic victory for Kyle Busch over one of Julie’s guys, Carl Edwards.  One funny thing was Ed and ran low on beers towards the end of the race, so we went to buy more. No beer limits at Daytona, not only would they sell us 6 24 oz cans for only $5 a pop but they gave us a bucket of ice to put them in. It was perfect, it covered us for the race and the ride home, plus we had ice to throw in our coolers. As always, NASCAR and Daytona are fan friendly!

A few favorite things from Saturday that I forgot to sprinkle thru the post. One was our bus driver for Saturday brought Season 1 of CHiPs dvd’s to play on the bus during the day. Hilarious, great blast from our 70’s childhoods.  Two, Daytona’s smoking policy is you may as long as you don’t impinge anyone else’s experience. The Fan Guide suggests asking permission of your neighbors, nobody asked me all weekend if it was cool for them to smoke. On Saturday night, I saw a cigarette vendor in the stands.  Three, despite the fact you can carry in a 12 pack with you and they sell liquor drinks inside, I saw less drunks at the race than I do at an average Patriots or Red Sox game. Four was how the fans kick it up a notch, we saw a guy with a BRAND of the number 3 on his back shoulder on Friday. Damn.

Last was my top three t-shirts I saw during the weekend

3.) Is it Sunday yet? (with a checkered flag logo)

2.) I’m not Drunk, I’m a Race Fan

1.) Your driver sucks, whoever he is

I’m hooked on NASCAR, can’t wait for next year to hit another race at a different track!


One Response to “Daytona Saturday-Coke Zero 400 Day”

  1. Rankor Says:

    I was tehre, it was a badass even tin my opinion 😀

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