Well, I made it back. Highly disappointed, and wouldn't do it again. We arrived at the Orlando airport on Friday around 12:30, then drove the 45 minute drive to Daytona Beach. We went to the track to see where we would be setting up the garage, and found out the Nascar has us setting up at turn three....outside the fence!!!! Needless to say I was highly upset, coming all of this way, and finding out that we wouldn't even be in the infield. I counted to ten, took a deep breathe, and counted backwards from ten. From the track we went to Competition Tires South's warehouse, to start scanning and loading tires. First time ever there, and boy what a warehouse. Racks and racks, floor to ceiling, almost all full of various sized tires. Anyway, found our tires, and started pulling them off the racks. About a half hour into pulling tires down, we received a phone call from one of the higher up's, telling us that Nascar won't allow us to set up two tractor trailers until after lunch time on Saturday afternoon. So, now that we have some hours to kill, we just took our time pulling and scanning tires, and washing the big rigs. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!
Saturday morning, we met at the warehouse around 8:30 am, and finished scanning all of the tires, and then started loading the tires onto the trailers. I didn't think the stack of tires looked like quite enough, so after inquiring about it, I found out that we aren't going to be mounting the Cup tires as originally planned, but instead, we will be mounting the K and N series tires. Which means, 30 teams, at 3 sets each team, equal 360 tires, period! No Cup car tires, no Nationwide series tires, no Camping World series tires, no nothing else! Four mounters going at one time, means we each have 90 tires to mount and then we are done. Roughly two and half hours of work. Now I'm starting to smoke, as I'm highly upset. If I'd have known that this was all we were going to do, I would have declined the offer from the very beginning.
We finished loading the tires, and headed for the track. Made our way around the outside of the track, until we finally reached turn three. Parked the big rigs into position, and started getting the materials out to set up the awning and canopy. Again, the phone rings, and Nascar decided that they don't want the tarp over the canopy frame attached yet. We can set up the frame work, but just don't attach the canopy yet. Really??? Do you have any idea as to how hard it is to attach the canopy after the frame work is all up? It sucks!!!(to put it lightly) Well anyway, the frame work was up, the mounting machines and air tank all hooked up, and all of the airlines were run. Nothing else to do for the rest of the day, but wait. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!
Sunday morning arrives, and we head for the track. Once there, we (four guys) immediately start attaching the canopy, in 20mph winds!!!!! Can you say flight school??? Try pulling the Goodyear blimp down by yourself, in high winds and see how you make out!
Anyway, the canopy is now secured, and start unloading the tires, and place them in stacks of four, three stacks per team. When the teams started showing up with their wheels, we finally got around to mounting the tires around 10:00 am. At 12:15, we had all 360 tires mounted, and had nothing to do, but we aren't allowed to leave until all teams have inspected their tires, and turned in one set for qualifying. When the last team finally turned in their set of qualifying tires at 4:20, we could then lock the trailers, and for for a bite to eat. We headed to the local shopping mall, as it offered a tremendous amount of different food options, and on the way there, one of the Goodyear higher up's call, and said they need four guys in the infield to pull shocks from the qualifying calls. Oh boy, I finally get the chance to go in the track. Or so I thought!!!! We pulled in through the gate, and can to a Nascar check point. Seems that only full time Goodyear employees are the only ones allowed to go into the infield. Are you kidding me??? The guys all jumped out of the van, and I ended up driving back to the motel by myself. This has got to be the worst trip ever!
So there you have it. Didn't enjoy myself at all. I took pictures of what I could, and I'll try and post them tomorrow night. I'm glad I'm home, I missed the family, and I won't go back to do it again!