Going where I can’t…seeing what I couldn’t

In case you didn’t know, we live just two miles from NASCAR’s oldest racetrack … Martinsville Speedway. I’ve been to races there twice annually for most of the nearly ten years we’ve lived here in SW Virginia. Fill the place up with around 65,000 screaming fans, with cars roaring around the half-mile paperclip-shaped track, and your senses are fully engaged … ears (hopefully with some protection) … eyes seeing it all … and nose smelling fumes from high powered engines and smoking Goodyear tires. Ya gotta love it. I sure do. There are some advantages living as close to the track as we do. I can go there when it’s deserted and stand where I’d never be allowed to stand on race day, and see things from a perspective I’d never be able to. Here’s what my camera saw just the other day.

Empty area under the stands, with no fans entering the tunnel to climb stairs to their seats.

Looking down seeing an empty “starter’s” stand, where someone is present most of the race, throwing “caution” flags and of course the checkered flag at the end.

I said to myself, “Why not get into the starter’s stand and see what he sees?” So, I did. No way during a race would this sight be possible … for me anyways.

Looking left from the starter’s stand, with empty seats and track. I imagined seeing cars headed my way at speeds near 90mph.

Looking right from the starters stand. My usual seat during a race is at the top of the grandstand to the right.

Under the stands near one of the Martinsville hotdog vendor locations. Those hotdogs are one-of-a-kind, and come with cold slaw, chili, onions and mustard. I can taste them now. I always buy two as I enter the track, then add to that unhealthy mix later in the race, with maybe some french fries or a fried bologna sandwich tossed in. Burp! Only a month or so to go before all this will be possible … the October race looms on the horizon. But what I see then will be much different from what you just saw here.

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