After putting in a 12-hour day at work, the ride home was no different than any other weekday because of the traffic that would slow the commute down to a snail's pace.
By the time I got home, I was too tired to eat so looking over at the couch it had relaxation written all over it.
Oh how comfortable the couch felt as I laid my head back to…
It was a beautiful sunlit Saturday afternoon as we made our way out to the speedway.
Today was the day that the fans of NASCAR had been waiting for after the big announcement in December, that IRL star Danica Patrick would adorn our wonderful sport with her presence.
The announcement sent an electrifying wave of uncertainty, along with the usual dose of fans who would give her the benefit of the doubt before she took her first pace lap.
The NASCAR boards lit up with blog after blog as the fans tried to depict what type of season she might have, and all that didn’t matter because she was here to stay.
In just a few short hours the motorsports world would finally get their chance to see if all the preseason hype was really worth the wait.
As we slowly approached the front gate, you could already feel the electricity in the air as some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in attendance were being announced over the loudspeaker.
Tom Cruise along with Kelsey Grammar who are Auto Club Speedway regulars were the first to be announced, along with Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, Julia Roberts, and Will Ferrell just to name a few.
Not even the star power that was mentioned could take away from all the propaganda that surrounded the signing of Danica to JR Motorsports, and Danica knew it as she sported a tailor-made driving suit from none other than world renowned fashion designer Vivienne Tam, along with a custom made pair of stiletto driving shoes from Adidas.
NASCAR themselves jumped on the bandwagon, and played their own rendition of the pre-race anthem which they felt would be a fitting tribute to NASCAR’s newest driver.
Instead of playing the Star Spangled Banner which is the usual song of choice, Pink Floyd performed their award winning song “Money” as the alternate song to begin the pre-race festivities.
As the band blared out the words, “I'm in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set, and I think I need a Lear jet," the fans looked to the sky waiting for a flyover. To their amazement there were no jets but instead a Brinks armored truck did a drive-by, which also happened to serve as the official pace car for the race which was about to take place.
Nothing was left untouched for this very special event which also included bringing in the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and billionaire Donald Trump to do play by play.
Not to be left out of the high dollar marketing event that was about to take place, Bill Gates himself would help with the color commentary along with Warren Buffett who would cover pit row.
As we sat there looking around while thinking what could possibly happen next, out comes the grand marshal Cyndi Lauper, to give the drivers the command to start their engines.
As I began to toss and turn trying to get myself comfortable, Cyndi yelled into the microphone “To get those engines started.”
As the engines came roaring to life and the cars pulled out of the pits, each driver pulled up behind Patrick and gave her a gentle nudge on her rear end as if to tell her good luck, or at least that’s what they said after the race.
The race had finally begun when all of a sudden the first caution of the day came out, which happened to be a bright shiny object.
Trump announced that it looked like a mirror, but by the time the safety crew went to pick it up it got crushed.
During the T.V. replay they did confirm that the shiny object did come from inside of Patrick’s, which led DiBiase and Trump to believe that it fallen off of her compact.
After the first round of pit stops Patrick went a lap down because she missed her box, and the report from pit row was because she was trying to fix a spike that broke on her Adidas stiletto racing shoes, and she couldn’t reach the brake pedal to stop in time.
Patrick would later get her lap back when her teammate and boss Dale Earnhardt Jr. claimed that he lost control of his car and accidentally spun, which brought out the yellow to give Patrick her lap back.
NASCAR replayed the tape and found that Earnhardt was telling the truth, even though there were no other drivers around when he lost control.
The remainder of the race was a three man battle between Joe Nemechek, Scott Speed, and Paul Menard with Speed taking the lead on the last lap.
As the drivers came around the final turn, Speed went to the inside to try and squeeze by Nemechek while leaving the door wide open for Menard who took advantage of the move by Speed and won the race.
Patrick would finish the race on the lead lap in 22nd place, and just like before the race started, all the drivers lined once again behind her and gave her a slight tap on the rear end.
After Menard tried doing a victory burnout but failed, he slowly began to drive his car back to his hauler when thanks to the help of a NASCAR official, who kindly redirected him to victory lane.
The crowd began to roar as Menard slowly climbed out of his car, and proceeded to do a small victory dance.
Just then Sprint Cup girl Monica Palumbo came out to give Menard the traditional victory hug, when out of nowhere came Danica Patrick who pushed Palumbo out of the way knocking her to the ground.
As Palumbo grimaced while looking over at Patrick who was just about ready to hug Menard, all of a sudden there was a very loud screeching noise, and all I remember was looking over and hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock.