Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gentlemen (and Ladies) - Start Your Engines!

DH is a die hard racing fan. I've learned about NASCAR, CART, SCCA, and SOVERN. Every year SOVERN sponsors benefit races at the local race track, Pacific Raceways (the "old timers" all know it as SIR - Seattle International Raceway) over the July 4th weekend. Proceeds go to Children's Hospital, so we can have fun and feel like we're contributing something, too. We go with friends and make a day of it, cruising the booths, taking photos of race cars, watching qualifying rounds, then the races! This year we went on the first day, Friday, June 29th.

These aren't just any races, they're Vintage Car Races. The cars are all race cars from the 50's and 60's and have been lovingly restored, and are carefully (mostly) raced since some of these cars are worth in excess of one MILLION dollars.

The highlight of the Vintage Car Races (at least for DH) is the Trans-Am Class. Old Camaros and Challengers (among others) put on a big show for the fans on SIR's road course. This year was a bit disappointing because the rains came and none of the Muscle cars came out for their race. We got to see them on their qualifying runs and on display, though.

We had carefully listened to the weather forecast - partly cloudy with sun breaks and showers - and brought one of the canopies. It's a good thing, because when we went to the infield for the races, and set up for lunch, the sky opened up and dumped water all over us!! Only the die hard race fans stayed after the rain started:

Several races were complete by then. After the on again, off again showers, one event was scratched (the Trans-Am class) and one had 1 car - guess who won that one???, and one had 5. The last race, though, still in the rain, still on a wet track, had the whole field show up - 25 odd cars! The curves below us were filled with vintage cars!

The roadway and corner above us was filled with cars!

The sun tried gallantly to come out and dry off the raceway. This little car comes through some of the steam on his way down the hill.

We have a picnic lunch in the infield watching the races. Our friend Julie always outdoes herself with dessert, and we bring the sandwich fixin's. This year Julie brought tiramisu (!!) in honor of my retirement, and cinnamon apple pie, just in case the tiramisu wasn't good enough????? We made pigs of ourselves again. ;-)

DH got all kinds of photos for his model making hobby. He has almost as much stash of models and model parts as I have of fiber! These cars have wonderful stories. He was taking photos of one of the cars and started talking to the owner. The car had been "lost" for decades. Way back, someone (known) had stolen the racing transmission and kept it hidden, afraid to bring it out for decades. Meanwhile, the car had been converted to a street car in Canada. At long last someone found the tranny (or fessed up to stealing it...) and traced the car through the VIN number. Once the car and tranny were reunited, the car qualified for the vintage races... well, that and many thousands of dollars later.... At this series, the driver was an original driver who'd won several races (DH, of course, knows all these people and names... and I know that he knows, so I don't have to remember... ;-)

We were talking to another driver/owner (DH brought a model of the driver's number 77 Green Challenger, and got his autograph - right on the roof!) and he points out the team next to him. They are the guys who run the TV Auction for old vehicles. They were just like normal dudes, and were very cool to talk to. ;-)

Pretty fun way to spend the day before my 55th birthday.


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