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Thursday: The Daytona Speedway

A bit of web surfing turned up directions to the Daytona Speedway. There are no races in April, but they give tours if the racetrack, and Aran is a NASCAR fan. Mackie isn't, but I told him that he could choose the afternoon activity if he went along without complaining.

The racetrack is only fifteen minutes away from the condo and it was easy to find.  An attached building outside it has a NASCAR museum in it.  I bought tickets for the racetrack tour and then we examined the museum while we waited for the tour to start.  The museum had a racecar in it and other memorabilia, which Aran liked.

The tour was outside on trams pulled by a truck, and the 12:00 one filled up, much to our annoyance.  We had to wait another half hour in the outdoor queue while they scrounged up another tram and tour guide.  The other tourists, the boys, and I stood in line and fumed. However, this ultimately turned out to be a good thing--people were crushed into the 12:00 tram, and when the scared-up 12:30 tram showed up, there were only enough people to fill it by a third. So we had more leg room and we didn't have to wait around as long for people to do things like take pictures later on the tour.  Cool!

The tram took us all over.  We trundled down the racetrack ("The cars rush down this pavement at 200 miles per hour.  We're topping 15 right now," said the guide) and saw the turn bank and the pit stops and the garage area (complete with awesome racecars in it).  We got to visit the press box and look down at the track from six stories and learn something about the history of racing at Daytona Beach.

I don't remember why or in what context, but I had done a bunch of reading about racing at Daytona Beach several months ago.  NASCAR evolved out of a bunch of guys who raced their cars down the sands of the beach in 1903 or so at terrifying speeds of 50 miles per hour.  The eventually carved an oval track in the sand dunes, and more and more people came to watch.  The crowds and the speeds eventually made it too unwieldy to keep down at the beach, and in the 50s, a racetrack was constructed and NASCAR was born.  However, to this day, you can still drive on Daytona Beach, though much more slowly.

Anyway, the tour was pretty interesting.  Mackie, who has no interest in NASCAR whatsoever, behaved very well all throughout, and at the end, as I promised, I told him we could do whatever he wanted to do.  I was expecting to hear he wanted to go to a water park or mini golf or an arcade, but he wanted everyone to go swimming in the ocean at the hotel.

And that's what we did.  The waves were still high, and they bashed everyone around quite a lot.  Eventually, the boys got tired--ocean swimming is draining--and they finished up in the hotel pool.  Supper was at Uno's Pizza (which I love but has disappeared from Michigan) and then quiet time at the condo.


Apr. 9th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
We have an Uno's pizza in Birch Run and another one in Bay City. Next time you come to visit we'll have to go there for pizza. I agree, I love their pizza!

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