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#1 of 3 Old 10-04-2004, 02:55 PM - Thead Starter
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On Saturday, my dad was going to be in a sidecar race at Sears Point (now called Infineon) Raceway, so my mom, Joey and I decided to make a day trip of it (DH had to work in the morning, and had his high school reunion that night). We left town around 10:30, stopped in Fairfield because Mom was going to order a Dell computer for a friend of hers, and so we could pick up some lunch, then headed the rest of the way.

Poor Joey - you'd think we were torturing him. As we pulled off in Fairfield, he started complaining that he was hungry. I told him, "We'll pick up some lunch in about 20 minutes, honey. Do you think you can last that long?" In a deliberately weak and straining voice, he whispered, "No, Mommy, I don't think I can. I'm starving." It was all I could do to keep from giggling. He wasn’t starving – he’d had yogurt for breakfast at about 9:30. I think he was starving because he saw the Golden Arches.

So, Mom and Joey ate their Subway sandwiches as we continued the drive. We got to the track around 1:00 or so, I think, found a place to park, and walked down the road to the sidecar pit area. Joey saw Granddad and ran up to hug him - of course, he didn't care that Dad was in the middle of an interview with a Bay Area newspaper guy. Dad introduced Joey to the newspaper guy, and the guy talked with Joey a little even. Joey told him that when Granddad is done racing (i.e., when he retires), Joey's going to take over and race.

Joey thought the sidecar was cool, and kept wanting to get on it, which we had to keep him from doing (at least until after the race). So, he satisfied himself with telling jokes to my step-brother (and anyone else who'd stand still long enough to listen). My step-mom dug up some earplugs for him, too, thank goodness. Them engines is LOUD! Oh, and while we were walking around the pits, we found a penny on the ground (heads-up), so Joey gave it to Granddad for good luck. How sweet!

The race was scheduled to start around 4:30, so at about 4:00 we wandered up to the grandstands and got our seats. We got to watch the last bit of the endurance race that was running. Then they gridded up the 13 sidecar outfits. Joey asked which one was Granddad and Mark (Dad's passenger), so we pointed the outfit out. Luckily, it's the only one that's black and red, so it's easier for Joey to pick out. We explained the different flags to Joey (green for the start, white for the last lap, checkered for the end - I know there are more, but I was hoping we wouldn't see those). Then the race was on!

Now, bear in mind that the stands were REALLY empty - I don't think there was anyone sitting within 10 rows in any direction other than our little group. So Joey is jumping up and down, yelling "Go, RGM!" (that's Dad's team) throughout the ENTIRE race at the top of his lungs. Later, Dad told my mom that he could actually hear him a little, which is really funny (and I'm not sure it's true, but Joey loved the idea). It was a good race, with a near photo-finish (the team that led the race for all but the first lap got passed in the last 100 feet and ended up in second). Dad came in third. Joey was crushed - sobbing, very unhappy. I sat him down and tried to explain that it was OK that Granddad didn't win, but he didn't believe me. So, I told him to ask Granddad if third place was OK. He did, and Dad knew the 'right' answer - "I'm happy with third place, because I had fun racing." Go Dad! Turns out he’s actually happy they even finished – the rear shock broke coming off the start line.

We met the teams down in the pit area, and after they parked it, we all noticed that Dad's passenger was visibly upset. At first, we thought he was angry with one of the other teams (there's a history I can't go into right now), but that wasn't it. Apparently, he's been solo racing at this track for years and years, but this was the first time he'd trophied. Those were tears of joy. I was so happy for him. Joey gave him a huge hug, too (probably because he thought he was sad because they didn't win).

The guys got out of their leathers, and put on their polo shirts, and moved the outfit to a more photogenic location than their tent, and proceeded to let people get their pictures taken with them and the sidecar. When Joey's turn came, he didn't want to sit on the passenger's spot - he wanted to sit in the driver's seat. That's my boy! So Dad put him into it, and they took a bunch of pictures.

After that, Mom and I packed up our stuff and headed out. We stopped in Vallejo at Red Lobster for some dinner. While we were waiting for our table, Joey occupied himself by trying to cheer up the lobsters in the tank, because he said they looked angry because of the rubber bands on their hands. Joey fell asleep about 30 minutes before we got home. I carried him upstairs, brushed his teeth, had him go potty, and got him into jammies, all without really waking him up – he was SO beat! DH got home from his high school reunion about an hour later, and we, too, crashed for the night.

Well, that’s it for now - as if this wasn’t enough! I’ll post track pictures when I get them from my step-mom.
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#2 of 3 Old 10-04-2004, 03:25 PM
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Sounds like a really good time!
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#3 of 3 Old 10-04-2004, 08:45 PM
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sounds like you all had lots of fun!!
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