On Friday I trekked southeast to the Watkins Glen racetrack to catch the first day of a 3-day weekend NASCAR racing event. First I swung by Hahn Photographic to pick up that wonderful anti-vibration Nikon zoom lens. Except perhaps for Formula One I don’t care much about car racing and it saw more as a fun photographic exercise.
I made it to the Watkins Glen village by about noon so first had lunch, walked around the town a bit and then drove the final 4 miles to the track switching the Mini Cooper engine to the Sport setting as warm-up for the afternoon and evening. While your ticket is scanned and checked only once in order to get on the grounds, there’s security at the entrance to each of the stands who want to look in your bag. Executing my plan to shoot from many different places and angles around the track this meant that my backpack was checked about 12 times. This got a little tedious after the third check. Curiously this seemed to mean that they didn’t care – from a security point of view – what happened on the camp grounds, the pit areas and vending areas.
Walking around I was amazed to see that many families apparently follow the racing circus around in their campers. Some even built their own stands around the course; a few quite elaborate. I guess there worse ways to spend one’s summer. As a racing course I like Watkins Glen. Similar to European circuits it has right turns as well as left turns.
Much of the pit area was open to the public. This was fun as it allowed you to see many of the teams working hard on the cars. In the afternoon the area also hosted a driver autograph session. Guess which team table was by far the busiest…?
Pictures in the gallery.