Dover International Speedway
NASCAR Race Camping

October 2011

 

 

I was a NASCAR racing fan long before NASCAR was cool, way before NASCAR sold out to Millions across the USA and not just in the deep South-East.  When I was a kid I used to listen to “stock car races” when Jackie Stewart was making the calls on ABC's Wide World of Sports.  My NASCAR fandom began, 1st being a Richard Petty fan, after assembling my first plastic model car kit a #43 Petty Blue Plymouth Belvedere.

For years while watching in front of the television, I thought “what an experience” it would be to sit in the stands and watch the aerodynamic 800hp racers swing into the turns.  The our family was stationed in North Texas in 1997, the same year Texas Motor Speedway opened, providing a golden opportunity to go to our first race.  After a few years of showing up on race day in just enough time to take our seats and watch the race; we eventually realized the fun and good times of extended race day tailgating. The next logical graduation was to spend the race weekend on site and camp out with the real "Hard-Core" race fans.  The AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway was our first race camping experience.

(Dover Base Camp For The Weekend)

 Instead of going over the weekend adventures blow by blow….I’ll condense the lap by lap action: Saturday morning “early” we jumped into our Dodge dually truck camper and headed up 13 North towards Dover.  We arrived on site around 0900 and began our set up.  The rest of the day went pretty much like this;  A few drinks here, some eating there, hanging out, shopping for race stuff, drinking some more, snacks, walk to the track, watching the Nationwide (formerly Busch) race (while freezing), dinner time, drinking again, BS with neighbor campers* and finally after a long day we called it a night.  From day one, this Dover trip was about hanging out with good friends from my High School days, Norm, Lisa and their son “Mr. Zach Attack.”

NASCAR Camping at Dover Speedway is bare bones camping, no power, and no hook ups, your camping rig must be self contained.  Michele and I had talked about purchasing a generator, but decided to wait and survey what other campers were doing while at Dover.  Our plan was to go out on only the 12V cabin battery using the truck electrical system to recharge the battery.  This plan went down the drain early when I realized that my truck was not set up in this fashion….as my quarter charged battery monitor told me late Saturday night.  OH CRAP…..how am I going to put the camper legs back up?.....OH CRAP….how am I going to get the slide out back in OH CRAP!!!!

Sunday morning we woke up pretty early to prepared breakfast and ready our site to welcome our friends from Erie, Pa.   Once breakfast was ready and Norm and family arrived we ate, hung out, purchased a Honda generator, drank, ate again (cookies), talked about the good old High School Days, played corn-hole (I won), ate some more, drank a little more (is anyone counting?), the girls went race shopping, ate again (gut busting) and then headed to the race track, known as the "MONSTER MILE."  The race this day had to be the coldest race on recorded but we survived the “Arctic 400” and made it back to base camp.  The night ended with grilling out (fireball wings, Thanks to Norm) and enjoying a fun filled but cold day at the races.

 

Although this trip was a ton of fun, it was the more stressful of the two camping adventures and here is my top ten lessons learned. 

TOP TEN ROOKIE LESSON LEARNED

10.  Your second trip CAN be as much fun as Your first! 

9.  Remind your wife often about the difference between gray water and black water

8.  In the pitch black of night, do not get out of the cab over bed without a flash light (wife)

7.  I get up way to many times to use the rest room in the middle of the night...old age stinks!

6.  Do not leave your puppy in the cab of your truck with an open bag of licorice

5.  Make sure invited friends know about your 10 alarm Spicy Hot Ketchup

4.  NASCAR campers take camping to a whole new level…

3.  Camping World @ Dover, has great customer service, free delivery and no sale TAX!

2.  A generator today is worth 1000 generators purchased in the future

And the Number One Lesson Learned while Race Camping at Dover International Speedway

1.  Fellow campers are great people, they came to my aide and helped this rookie out
*Many THANKS to Jim, Harry and the rest of their gang
!

 

(The Gang, Minus Lisa)

 

(Class of 1982)

(I feel Like a Monster)

 

(View From Our Seats)

(Coldest Race Ever)

 

 

 

(Norm and Lisa)

(Hanna Dog)

(Air Force F-16s)

 

 

 

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