Rain Delay Fun
What do you do on a race day at NOLA Motorsports Park, where it is pouring down rain and the future of the race is uncertain? You don your trusty poncho and head out to see what everyone else is doing to stay dry.
First, I found my buddy (lifesaver), Frank, from the Indy Racing Experience, where they were waiting to see if the race would start so they could pull out the two-seater for the start of the race.
Another shameless plug–if you have not done a two-seater ride, put it on your list of things to do before you have to take strong heart medication. Make your reservations here. We exchanged pleasantries and discussed life on the road and hauling the truck with the cars across the country and back for every race. Life on the road–I understand it well now.
The crowds were good, but it was hard to get a good read on how many people were in attendance because they were generally huddled in groups. The food trucks and concessions seemed to be doing a good business, though. I saw a lot of the New Orleans spirit in the faces of the vendors.
I then ventured down and saw racing’s version of the Pope-mobile waiting outside the Penske camp. Of course it was not the Pope, but close–it was The Captain-mobile of Roger Penske, as I saw them head out to the track–kept dry by their special rain-mobile.
I saw many drivers doing TV interviews and entertaining sponsors. Several of them ventured out into the crowds–made incognito by rain gear. Simon Pagenaud took to his scooter, umbrella in hand. It looked like a scene from the streets of Paris.
Meanwhile, the track-drying equipment made its way down through the paddock area. It was interesting to see it make its way through the crowds and the general confusion. I think a lot of people had tunnel-vision due to their rainwear and didn’t see it, so it was a very slow process.
Seeing the drying equipment trying to get to the track, should have been a sign of what was about to come. Before we knew it, the cars were called to the track for a few warm-up laps around to test the waters (so to speak) and then the race was underway. I must be one of those "When life gives you lemons…" kind of people. I actually had a great time exploring while on a rain delay!
But a tip of the hat to the fans from the bayou. They stuck it out and deserved to see some racing. It’s a shame the weather turned on them, but most seemed to have a great time. Hopefully, they’ll be back next year.