Um, Where Did My Weekend Go?

Michael ChristelmanContributor IJune 13, 2008

I apologize that this story is a little out of date, but I am so excited to be able to write for the Bleacher Report that I wanted to get something up quickly.  This may be from February, but it deals with rain at the track, and that's what we had at Michigan today.

Well, the news from the California Auto Club Speedway is once again not the race itself. Where to begin on this one? Shall I start with the track’s new name or something called rain, or better yet, "weepers?"

The nicest thing about the new Auto Club Speedway is its pretty blue walls. Okay, I’m making that up. But, the blue walls now make it much easier to identify which cars have scraped the wall. It’s like a Darlington Stripe in neon.

Please remind me again why there are two annual events at the California Auto Club Speedway. Labor Day at the race track is, well, sweaty, and if it is going to rain in Southern California, there is a good chance it will be in February.

Even though I get the great fortune of attending two events there each year, I vote for one event at the end of April just like it used to be. If that can’t be accommodated, then how about late October? That's when it is still pretty nice here as the rest of the country starts to get out the heavy blankets.

I don’t mean to be too harsh on the two-mile oval in Fontana, but certain thoughts come to one’s mind when I repeatedly see track workers cutting trenches into the race track.

Now I guess I shouldn’t complain too vehemently, because although I did attend Saturday and left soaking wet after the Nationwide race was postponed, I did not stay all of Sunday.

Figuring that NASCAR and the track would use their best judgment and knowing that foul weather was expected all weekend, I took today off. Much to my surprise, the race was started yesterday. When FOX said at 9 p.m. Pacific time that they planned to run the whole race beginning around 10 p.m., well I jumped into my truck and was at the speedway by 9:45.

Boy, did I look like an idiot when I called my wife an hour and a half later, to say I was on my way back home. It turns out that going to the Auto Club Speedway to sit in the cold for under two hours can be deemed by some as a huge waste of gas and time.

In my defense, after sitting at home watching six hours of coverage plus two programming 'updates,' I figured the least I could do was see the thing end in person. Or so I thought.

For the faithful who stuck it out all day yesterday, I have the utmost admiration. Those were some hearty souls.

They were also angry souls. Some threw bottles onto the track and let out primal screams of anger in the parking lot. At least today was sunny, and trenches only had to be cut into the track BEFORE the racing began, which I will admit had me a little nervous until I finally saw the field take the green flag.

Though maybe the cutting was a little more exciting than the racing itself, but then that is what we have come to expect in California. I only fell asleep once today, so I know I am getting better at watching Fontana’s 500 milers. Congrats to Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart for their respective race wins.

I have to admit, other than the satisfaction of seeing just how well Dale Jr. ran in his 47-lap down but repaired Chevy, that the best part about Monday for me was being able to watch over 600 miles of racing on uncomfortable aluminum bleachers.

The laps I saw also proved to me that I do indeed have enough stamina to survive sitting in the stands for the entire Coca-Cola 600, not to mention an additional three or four green/white/checkers.