Four NASCAR Races in Four Days

Whew! Just reading the title of this post makes me tired again. It was four days of non stop action in Daytona. We arrived in the campground on Thursday before the Daytona 500 and hit the ground running. After we set up the fifth wheel we hopped on a shuttle for our first trip to the Daytona International Speedway.

Number one on my bucket list was to attend an appearance by Sherry Polex, an ovarian cancer survivor who works tirelessly to promote ovarian cancer awareness and works with the Martin Truex, Jr Foundation to raise money for childhood and ovarian cancer. After wandering around the midway and buying some souvenirs we headed to the Toyota Racing Experience for her appearance. After the interview was over, she took a lot of time to sign autographs, pose for pictures and talk to the fans. You can learn more about Sherry at SherryStrong.org

The Duel at Daytona that night was the first of the four races we attended.

Friday we enjoyed lunch with a water front view at Caribbean Jack’s Restaurant before heading to the race track for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

Saturday morning the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flew right over our campground during their practice. When we made a run to Publix Saturday morning for a few groceries what did we find but Kyle Busch’s #18 M&M truck and car in the parking lot! Oh, the M&M’s were buy one get one free in the store so of course we came out with two bags!

Saturday afternoon we were once again in the stands for the Xfinity Series race.

The Daytona 500, also called the Great American Race, kicks off the NASCAR season in February every year. Pre-race activities began early in the morning before the race. Fans who purchased a Fan Zone pass were down on the field for a close up view. This year country singer Jake Owen performed for the crowd before the driver introductions. The crowd loved the flyover by the United States Thunderbirds.

Drivers, start your engines!

The race was exciting and it was close at the finish line. The winner was #11 Denny Hamlin.

By Monday morning we were exhausted. What better way to relax than to take a leisurely drive down highway A1A.  Lunch at Racing’s North Turn Restaurant in Ponce Inlet was followed by a walk on the beach and a drive to see the Ponce Inlet lighthouse.

After the excitement of Daytona we were ready for a quiet week at at our next destination. Stay tuned.

A favorite campground and Georgia Bulldogs Football

For the third year in a row we towed our fifth wheel  to  Pine Lake Campground in Bishop, Georgia to attend a home football game at the nearby University of Georgia.

There have been a few upgrades to this great campground since our first visit. The new owners have been hard at work upgrading the facilities and are in the process of adding more sites. The staff is friendly and helpful and they always remember us. It’s become one of our favorite campgrounds.

On game day, we always enjoy tailgating with friends before the game on the University of Georgia campus.

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There have been some major upgrades at Sanford Stadium since last football season. There is a brand new scoreboard and the new team locker room is at our end end of the stadium. Now the team enters the field right in front of us.

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Go Dawgs!

 

 

UGA Football Barn Sign

College football season is finally here! For the next three months, the Wandering Dawgs will be making the drive to Athens, Georgia to watch our University of Georgia Bulldogs play on Saturdays in Sanford Stadium.

Along with thousands of other UGA football fans and students, our favorite route to Athens is along Georgia Highway 15. One of the familiar sights of the trip is an old barn beside the highway in Tennile.

About eighteen years ago a message about Georgia Football had been painted on the sign for the first time. Ever since then, the message changes a few times during the year. Now whenever we travel that way we look forward to seeing what new message will be there.

The barn sign has a web page and Facebook Page. The Red and Black featured the barn sign in this article  Painted barn brings message to UGA football, fans for next season .

Go Dawgs!

Savannah Scottish Games and Celtic Festival

Celebrating Scottish culture and history, the  42nd Annual Savannah Scottish Games and Celtic Festival took place this year on a warm and sunny May 5.

The festival was held on the beautiful grounds of historic Bethesda Academy. Ancient live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss surrounded the event field. The salt marsh was a perfect backdrop for Highland Dancers. Scottish clans, societies and organizations had their tents set up under the trees. And of course there were food trucks and vendors.

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Beautiful location for the Savannah Games

With so many events going on at the same time, we had plenty to keep us entertained. Pipes and Drums music, Border Collie demonstrations, Highland Dancing competition, and Celtic music performances were all taking place at the same time as the Heavy Athletics. In addition, there were tents with information about genealogy and many different Clans.

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Border Collie Demonstration
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Border Collie Demonstration
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Highland Dancers
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Highland Dancers
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Opening Ceremony
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Pipes and Drums

The Heavy Athletics competition included several fun events to watch. The Caber Toss is a fan favorite. In this event the athlete lifts a twenty foot caber weighing over one hundred pounds, runs a few steps holding it upright, and then tosses it. The object is to have the caber flip once and land straight in front of the athlete at the 12 o’clock position. We also enjoyed watching the Clachneart (Stone Put) and the Sheaf Toss. We didn’t get to see the Throwing of the Weights or the Hammer Throw.

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Stone Put
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Stone Put
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Sheaf Toss
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Women’s Caber Toss
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Caber Toss
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Caber Toss
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Caber Toss

The Pipes and Drums were beautiful to hear.

I have Scottish ancestors on both sides of my family. I enjoyed stopping at a couple of tents to see if I could learn anything about my families. I found out a little about my father’s side of the family but didn’t discover anything new about my Scottish roots on my mothers side. And I still don’t know what our Tartan is. A little more research is in my future.

After the games we stopped to check out the roses at the Savannah Botanical Gardens. Stay tuned for more coming up about that in my next post.

Daytona Speedweeks and the Great American Race

Henry and I have only been following NASCAR for two years. Ever since the first time we watched the Daytona 500 on TV in 2016 I knew I wanted to go. So this year we went. And it was even more fun than I thought it would be.

NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The biggest race of the year is at the beginning of the NASCAR season. Every February, the Daytona Speedweeks is held at the Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 – the Great American Race- ends a fun filled week of entertainment on the midway and qualifying races for the Daytona 500 as well as two other NASCAR races.

We arrived in Daytona on Thursday afternoon. During the next few days we went to three races, drove along A1A on the way to lunch at Racing’s North Turn restaurant in Ponce Inlet, had lunch at Caribbean Jack’s on the Intercoastal waterway, watched the Thunderbirds practice, and didn’t have time to catch our breath until Monday morning.

Our first NASCAR race was the Can-Am Duel on Thursday night. Here’s a short video to give you an idea of how fast these cars are going and how loud they are.

Our second race was Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night. We arrived at the track early so we could wander around the midway to see some of the exhibits and do a little shopping. We entered the grandstands with plenty of time to walk around for different views of the track.

The trucks were fast and loud and the race was exciting. A great way to spend a Friday night!

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Panoramic view of Daytona Speedway from near start-finish line
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Daytona Speedway
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Trucks lined up before the race

After two night races in a row, we decided to take it easy and skip the Saturday Xfinity series race. Instead, we watched the United States Air Force Thunderbirds practice in the morning before enjoying lunch at Caribbean Jack’s on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Sunday was the day of the 60th Daytona 500 and a long day at the track for us. We had tickets for the Fanzone so we arrived in the morning to have plenty of time to go out in the middle of the track and get up close to the pit area, see the cars, and enjoy some of  the pre-race festivities.

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A look at the stands from track level
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Cars lined up before the race

We had a great view of the whole track from our seats in the upper section. After a concert by Rascal Flatts and the driver introductions, each driver rode around the track in a pickup truck.

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The stages are set for the pre-race entertainment and driver introductions
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The cars lined up before the race

After the national anthem, the USAF Thunderbirds performed a flyover.

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U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds flyover before the race

Drivers, start your engines!

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Start/Finish line at Daytona 500
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Daytona 500
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Pit stop for Kyle Bush #18 and Joey Lagano #22
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RV’s filled the infield

The race was exciting with the lead changing several times. A huge wreck near the end of the race knocked out all of the leaders and #3 Austin Dillon was the winner.

Watching a race on tv is fun, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. I was fascinated seeing all the things that go on before the race, at how well organized and perfectly timed everything was. The sight and sound of the cars going by at almost 200 miles per hour is mind boggling. Most fans have a favorite driver and it was fun seeing them all decked out in their favorite driver’s gear.

In case you are wondering, our favorite driver is #78 Martin Truex, Jr. He was in second place until the last wreck but he did finish the race.

I’ve already made reservations at the RV park for next year!