My husband and I got to spend a Saturday at the June 2018 NASCAR Race at Michigan International Speedway as guests of Experience Jackson. I’ve never attended a NASCAR event before. (Although I did have a brush with fame a couple of years ago when I met Danica Patrick, but that’s another story…)
Our invitation included paddock parking, which is just inside the infield area behind the garages and pit road. We had a Pit Road Suite pass and arrived just in time to hear drivers on the track before the race.
Then the rain started. We went inside the suite and found seats by the window, hoping the rain wouldn’t last long enough to delay the race. We had a great view of pit road, the track, and the grandstand seats. As drivers pulled off the track to wait out the rain, they lined up right in front of us.
Unfortunately the rain didn’t stop, the drivers eventually moved their cars, and we started waiting. A postponed race meant we had time to meet and chat with other people in the suite. I learned a lot about NASCAR and racing from the gentleman at the next table who was happy to share with me. We relaxed, ate some lunch, got drinks and watched the giant blower trucks try to clear the track. During periods of light rain, we wandered outside to watch different crews working on cars and at one point all the pit crews set up, hoping the race would happen.
This continued until late afternoon but other obligations meant we couldn’t stay long enough to wait for the, now extremely postponed, race to start. The race did eventually start, but we had already left the track.
I am glad we attended the race, even though we didn't see it. The whole event was a lot of fun and, although I didn’t get to see actual racing, I can’t wait to go back and finally have my “first” NASCAR experience!
Written by Diane Gutenkauf
Diane Gutenkauf has been the Executive Director of the Ella Sharp Museum and Cell Block 7 since January 2017. She enjoys exploring all Jackson offers and can frequently be found attending events with her husband, Michael Hassan.