Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Foray to Phoenix

Editor's Note: The staff of Monday Morning Crew Chief attended the Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Sunday, and the newest member of the crew, Jayne Spearing, takes us through raceday from the early morning infield to the late afternoon press box.

Now, a possibly somewhat-dramatic retelling of the doings Sunday of your beloved Monday Morning Crew Chief staff:

On one cup of coffee and five hours’ sleep, our intrepid adventurers, the staff of Monday Morning Crew Chief, set off for a wildly exciting day in the unknown territory of Phoenix — Phoenix International Raceway to be exact.

They piled into the car at 5:30 a.m. with sacks full of snacks amidst snowflakes swirling down on a 42-degree Tucson, Ariz., which is about two and a half hours south of the racetrack. The crew headed up to the slightly warmer and much less snowy city of Phoenix, battling wind, rain, traffic and the occasional construction zone in their courageous adventure to the north.

Our heroes arrived at the racetrack Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with no wrong turns but, curiously, many left ones. After obtaining their credentials, they parked and waltzed on into the garage area.

During their one day at the racetrack, the MMCC staff schmoozed with personages including Leonard Wood, Trevor Bayne, various reporters and a lovely birthday girl. They watched the race commence from the ground behind pit road, and hungrily waited for the cars to scream around Turn 4 and roar past them again.

After about 50 laps, the crew realized they were getting a little dizzy from spinning in circles watching the cars revolve around them. They decided to mosey on to a different vantage point, one above and outside the racetrack.

The press box was a veritable tower in the clouds, rising from behind the grandstand and looming over the track as though it were reaching for the sun. Needless to say, this provided an excellent view.

This sky-scraping edifice was a perfect vantage point for the gaggle of race-monitoring writers who clacked away at their keyboards and hurriedly muttered secretive phrases into their phones and recorders. The tower occasionally swayed in the powerful wind, but our heroes, courageous to the core, took no notice and stoically watched the race play out beneath them.

This car crashed, that car lost control and before they knew it, the race turned into a face-off between two of the top drivers on the track, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. Their minds still reeling from the number of cautions, and their hearts and ears pounding with the sultry whine of racing engines, the crew watched the race come to a somewhat satisfactory, if unsurprising, end.

Their thirst for the ethanol-fueled, gloriously speedy sport satiated for the time being, our heros melted away through the fumes and returned to their haven in the land of the south, to labor over their analysis of the race and prepare it for the world to gaze upon.


  1. Interesting perspective Jayne.

    Your descriptive powers lend feeling to your work. I know you wanted to keep it short, but maybe a little more on your personal insight concerning the events on the track (we walk the line between short descriptive narrative to maintain our reader's interest and infusing too much of our personal enthusiasm for this sport).

    I enjoyed reading it!

  2. Thank you! I'm so glad! I like your suggestion, and am working on another that will focus solely on my experience, from my perspective. This is the first thing I've ever written for anyone else to read so I'm excited that you like it, and thank you for your enthusiasm!


  3. Welcome to the race blogging world, Jayne. It's nice to read something different than just the ubiquitous race reviews that we all do, and this was unique and enjoyable.

  4. Thank you very much, Gene! it was quite fun to write, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Jayne, welcome to the Lugnuts. Enjoyed reading your perspective of the race weekend. Looking forward to reading more as the season unfolds.

  6. Hey Jayne! Great read - would love to hear more of your guys adventures from PHX - and of course we love pictures around here.

  7. Welcome to Jacob's world. You will enjoy.

  8. Hahaha thank you! And I'm sure I will.