October 19, 2013
Grass Drags 2013
Last Sunday I had a first experience, going to the Grass Drags. Those are snowmobile races on the grass, held in a farmer's pasture. WS has always gone with Jimmy, and I didn't want to intrude on their "buddy time", so I had never been before.
I went by myself and found a lot to see. There were grass drags, water drags, and exhibition jumping:
There were helicopter rides, which I wanted to go on, but you had to have at least 2 people in your party. They weren't placing seperate parties together, so I just stood and watched the two helicopters do their thing for a while:
Then there was a sign that you don't see very often - at first I thought it was a No Guns Allowed sign, but then I saw I was mistaken and had to smile at the sentiment - so of course I had to go into the establishment:
I had a great time, just wish I could have seen the drag final. Unfortunately I had to get home to take care of Prince, who much appreciated being taken for a walk and being fed, so that was okay with me.
September 29, 2013
Last Sunday Justing (the neighbor kid) and I went to the fall NASCAR race at NHMS. This was the first NASCAR race (major) that I had attended and it was certainly exciting to be amongst the crowd and to see the race live. Here are a few of the pictures I took:
I had pit passes, so we got to go on hte track to see the pit boxes. This is a view down the entire line
We also wondered around the back and caught the color guard practicing
Our seats were toward the end of turn 4, about midway up, so we had an excellent view of the track; the first is toward the finish line, the second to the backstretch, and the third gives a sense of the size of the oval:
The flyover at the end of the National Anthem (couldn't hear the announcer, so don't know what it was. Maybe Cop Car can help me out:
September 21, 2013
Whatever Can go Wrong . . .
I had a pretty good week, so naturally the fates decided to take me down a peg. The laptop died tonight. Used it last night to reconcile all the accounts (personaly and household), but decided not to back up. Also, it holds the majority of pictures - some backed up, some not. Went to start it up tonight, and lo and behold, it doesn't get past checking the CD drive, then it shuts itself down.
I'm so used to shit going wrong this summer that I didn't even get upset. Thought a couple of swear words, but that was it. Will have to take it to the shop next weekend and see if anything can be salvaged. Can't do it tomorrrow as I am going to NASCAR race. Even that isn't going as planned (although better than it could). I was supposed to go with Jimmy and Justin (the kid across the street that takes care of the animals when I need it). Jimmy had to cancel Thursdaynight.
Justin got his phone taken away for bad grades. the only reason his parents are letting him go to NASCAR with me is because they don't want me going alone. Nice of them, but not necessary.At least we will have lots of room; I have 4 tickets and only 2 of us going. Also, have 2 pit passes so Justin and I will still have a great time. Oh, and it is supposed to rain until about noon tomorrow, which may mean I just eat the tickets with nothing to show for it if the rain decides to stay (not supposed to, but the way things turn out for me . . .)
A well, another day in paradise with my mantra being tested (and so far not on the winning side).
July 07, 2013
New England Dragway has held drag races in Epping, NH for many years (as long as we have been here). We went to them once long ago, but these were the up and comers racing - not the big names. Nothing wrong with that, but we have always wanted to see the big names that we see on TV. You know, John Force, Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, Antron Brown etc.
This year, the Dragway had been upgraded to accommodate NHRA top legue racing, and of course we had to go! This track upgraded from holding a couple of thousand people, to selling 20,000 tickets to this event (plus over 10,000 for the qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday).
We were impressed once we got in the gates. All tickets got you access to the pits - which were right behind the grandstands. A lot of tracks have the pits seperate and you have to have pit passes (much like Sprint Car racing). Since we got there an hour before the final qualifying started, we took advantage to see some of our favorite drivers' rides and crews.
Naturally John Force and his whole slew of drivers were highlighted at the front. We got to see John Force, Courtney Force and Robert Height funny cars on display (I assume these are former cars, or back up cars).
Then the races started and that is when the fun begins. The started with eliminations for dragsters. The stands shake as the cars flash from the start line (we were about 2/3 of the way down the track) and the deep rumble can be felt thru your body as the cars get closer. Then as they go by, there is a rush of air as the cars puch their way down to the finish line.
The pre race burn outs creat quite the show themselves with the roil of smoke that comes up from the tires.
And the culmination of the day was that for the first time, John Force and his daughter Courtney Force, faced each other in the finals for funny cars. It was about the best outcome that anyone there could think of and they gave us quite the show as neck and neck they came barreling down the speedway in about 4 seconds. You can hear Jimmy yelling at the end of the race:
A great day of racing in New Hampshire - can't wait to go again next year!
June 20, 2013
New England Nationals!!
WS and I are going to the finals on Sunday. When we lived in Kansas, we went to th eOklahoma races a couple of times. We moved to NH before the Kansas Speedway was built. Although NH has had minor races, they have never had the big names before (the ones you see on TV). The closest big races are in NJ and PA - not very close to us. So we are thrilled that John Force, his daughters and all the other competitors are coming to the state.
September 03, 2012
Remember one of the feel good stories about the Olympics, where a guy with prosthetic legs was allowed to compete with able-bodied Olympians? Seems he wants it both ways - he fought to compete as able-bodied. but he was also in the Paralympics.
He is mad because he didn't win the Paralympics 200 final and thinks the other guy cheated by having equipment that he didn't have. Huh, and he couldn't understand why there was reluctance to let him in as a competitor in the regular Olympics; he had equipment that no one else had.
I'm not saying that it was wrong for him to complete with able-bodied persons in the Olympics, just that it seems a bit ironic about his argument.
In the Pits
Saturday we rode to White Mountain Motor Sports to watch a friend of the Wonderful Spouse race his stock car; an expensive past time, not his regular job. Since I was on the back of WS's bike (saves gas and we would be returning at night - I don't drive at night), I had time to look at the clouds. I thought this one looked like a camel.
We were there to watch Oren and his purple 21 car, but that didn't mean we couldn't enjoy the other races like the minis.
All pictures are taken during practice or qualifying as the main events were held after dark. We did get to attend the driver's meeting before the main events though. I don't imagine that NASCAR driver's meetings are quite this informal, but this is the (very) small time, so it was very loose.
We had a great time, got to see some great racing, and even got to see and 11.5 year old kid get 3rd in the truck racing (a 14-15 yar old got 1st, a young lady got 2nd). The venue, although small, is very fan friendly and prices at the food stands much more reasonable than other places - which we appreciated since we were there from 3 until about 9.
We told Oren that we will definitely have to come back next year!
June 24, 2012
Big Times in NH
New Hampshire has a couple of events that not every state has, and that one would not think of belonging to a smaller (in size and population) state. We have two (count them, 2!) NASCAR races at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Not only is it the largest sports venue in the Noth East, but not every state that hosts NASCAR races have 2 races.
We are also host of the oldest motorcycle rally on earth, Laconia Bike Week (which yes, we did attend, but I haven't downloaded pics yet, so you will have to wait for the post). This draws a couple of hundred thousand visitors in itself.
And next year, and beyond, we will be hosting NHRA, Full Throttle, drag racing. We have had the minor league drag racing, but that is not the same as the Full Throttle series. We saw some of the big time drag racing in Oklahoma, when we still lived in Kansas. And naturally, shortly after we moved to NH, Kansas got its own track in Topeka. In the last couple of years we have talked about going to see a FT race, but the closest track is in New Jersey. That is a heck of a drive just to see a day of races. Well, yes, we could watch qualifying, but really, one day of all the sun, heat and noise are is enough.
To bring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series to New England and specifically the state of New Hampshire is very exciting,” said Joe Lombardo, track general manager, New England Dragway. “We have started the process of preparing our facility to host an event of this magnitude and look forward to hosting the stars of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing next June.”
The event will be headlined by 15-time NHRA Funny Car world champion John Force, seven-time Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher, as well as many other top stars including New England’s own Bob Tasca III, Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Greg Anderson, Cruz Pedregon, Courtney Force, Morgan Lucas, Robert Hight, Terry McMillen, and Jeg Coughlin, among others. The event expects to entertain fans from the entire New England region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Canada. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is broadcast on ESPN2/ESPN2HD.
So congrats to the owners of the Epping's New England Drag Way. The work that you have put into this should reap you a good pay back, and make it much easier for fans like us to witness the sport in person.
April 15, 2012
Although not as serious, this is life threatening for some; the temps on Monday are supposed to be in the high 80's or low 90's. Why is this life threatening? The Boston Marathon is Monday and for people around here, the temps are way higher than what they have been training in. First time runners may be too inexperienced to take heat exhaustion and heat stroke signs seriously, and those that have had recent health issues (colds, stomach virus etc.) may be weakend enough that running in the heat will stress them too much.
The heat is such a concern that not only have course officials decided to keep the race open an extra hour, they have offered deferment to those that believe they should sit this one out. Deferment will allow those people to run next year's marathon without having to qualify (or at least that is my interpretation).
"For many people, running the Boston Marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," B.A.A. executive director Tom Grilk said on Saturday. "We don't want people to feel they have to run, because perhaps it's not the wisest decision under these conditions."
Monday will be the first day I will get to ride to work. The morning will be in the 50's (morning's have been in the 20's up till now). It may be raining early, but that's why I have gear. Definitely don't want to miss the warm riding for the afternoon!
February 05, 2012
Big Game Tonight
The Mount Washington crew had an inspirational message for the game tonight.
Thanks to Josh Judge, of WMUR channel 9 for sharing.