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09/10/16 - I drive down to Richmond to see my first ever race. The NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400!

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id: 48162
The camp site (and parking lot) where I hung out before the race
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These fine folks answered my call on Reddit when I was looking for people to teach me what's up with NASCAR. From left to right, Kevin, Guy I Forget Who Might Be Tyler, Derrick, and Andrew
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Andrew grabs a few beverages for the road as we get ready to check out the pre-race activities
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There were so many cars! So many people!
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Riding over in the tram
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I have arrived!
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The Richmond International Raceway
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I heard the radios are a must-have. I couldn't hear much over them but it was decent hearing protection if nothing else
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Lots of people wandering around
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Time to pick up my tickets
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NASCAR tickets!
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It was so hot. Wearing my Formula 1 hoodie did not help
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Hey, NASA is here!
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NASCAR cars are based on road cars but they still differ pretty significantly!
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Derrick and Andrew were into it
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Hi Toyota Lady
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Derrick looks right at home in that race car
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Nailed it
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Snowmobile jumping!
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And motocross bikes!
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It's hard to not look cool on a motocross bike
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Lots of ads, everywhere
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There were a bunch of NASCAR cars sitting around for people to check out
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Wanna go for a ride?
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Let's head to the Fan Zone and buy some swag!
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So much swag
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Every driver had their own section! Where's Ricciardo?
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Derrick, Andrew, and Kevin are champions
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More posing for pictures
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Heading back to the campsite
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This is some hardcore camping. What the hell is this thing??
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Derrick's having a good time
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Let's play Stump!
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John explains the finer techniques of grilling on whatever the hell this is
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Andrew takes his turn in Stump. It's a very literal game.
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Kevin carefully uses one of his nail-extractions, bought by doing two shots
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This is a fun time
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Getting properly lubricated before the race
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I think Andrew is halfway there
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Kevin is just here for the boos
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Careful with that hammer..
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A little shotgunning..
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Golden hour is so nice
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Ready to roll out. Let's go to the race!
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Talking to friendly strangers on the tram
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This is translated as "oh god, please stop driving drunk!"
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Here we are!
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Holy crap. It's way more intense than I imagined. The sights, the sounds, the smells..
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At the race!
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It's overwhelming
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This catch fence looks pretty strong
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I was jealous of the photo guy's gear
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Hey neat, this is one of the mics they use to get car audio on the TV broadcast
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They take the national anthem pretty seriously around here. Reeeeeally seriously.
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The lighting was fantastic
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This photo looks pretty similar but check out the flyover!
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Fun old timey planes
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There were also some modern jets but I couldn't get a photo of them. Too fast!
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The cars are getting ready
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The all seeing info board
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Official Guy says "let's race!"
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Doing a few formation laps
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They were incredibly loud. It wasn't the apocalyptic level of loud I had expected but I'm so glad I brought hearing protection
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There were a lot of people
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Warming up those tires
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The cars drove by in a grid formation as a tribute to the fans
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It's weird to see them driving in these lines
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Double the cars of an F1 race
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And now we are racing! You can tell because I couldn't focus on the cars very well
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Sparks are flying!
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This guy lost the whole rear of his car but kept going for the whole race!
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Pit stops are a little slower in NASCAR than F1 but no less impressive!
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That yellow blur is a car
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This looks like a pretty crappy job
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Another car out of control!
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Coming into the pitlane
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Another rapid pit stop
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Ready to go, away they go!
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I had to get closer to the cars on my way out
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Well that was a blast! NASCAR may not be my thing but I had a ton of fun. Thanks again to Derrick and Andrew and crew for taking me in for the race. Super cool dudes.
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