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California and Auto Club Speedway Weekend February 18, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
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Main grandstand at Auto Club Speedway
Image via Wikipedia

Hey!

Before I leave for California and Auto Club Speedway (fly out at 7:30 a.m. EST Thursday) I wanted to drop you a quick note. How are all of you? I’m working through emails – I got so many after the race at Daytona. Whew…the opinionated nation is up and at it.

Here’s my personal broadcast schedule from Auto Club Speedway:
(of course I am on Wed Night (tonight) (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Best of SIRIUS Package on XM – Channel 128 – 7-10 EST)

Thursday: “Dialed In” 7-10 EST live from Auto Club Speedway
Friday: “Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang- End of Qualifying until 11PM EST
Saturday: “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang -2p-2:30p EST (Camping World Truck Series pre-race)
Saturday: “Dialed in” with Claire B Lang End of Camping World Truck Series race until 7PM ET, handing it off to MRN Nationwide Series coverage
Sunday: 12p-2:15p ET “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang
Sunday: 2:15p-4:15p ET (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show with myself and Steve Post), straight into MRN Cup Series coverage/race.
Sunday: End of Cup Series Race until 12AM ET (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post-Race Show)

Rain Shortened Daytona 500:
I have had so much email with folks asking me if I didn’t wish the Daytona 500 had gone to the full length before the checkered. Of course, who didn’t? Here’s my story:

I anchor the rained delay coverage for Sirius NASCAR Radio. That means that if the network (MRN) throws it back to affiliates and says they will return later – I pick up the coverage. I also am LIVE from Victory Lane once the race ends. With about 20 laps to go I walk to the MRN trailer to pick up my live gear and then head to Victory Lane.

I was between a rock and a hard place. If MRN threw it back I had to be in the studio in the media center..if the race was to be ended early I had to be in Victory Lane. I decided when the race was red flagged to go to the MRN trailer and see if I could pick up the equipment early. I was able to do that and as I was headed on the long walk from the MRN trailer (near the care center) I heard the word via a phone call from the program director that the race had been declared over.

With all the gear on in the rain I began running the long distance to Victory Lane from the MRN trailer. I wanted not to be out of breath when I got there and opened the post race show. I got there and was set to go when – my equipment did not seem to be right. Soon, a voice in my ear told me that they had forgotten to put a battery pack in my equipment so although I could hear them they would not be able to hear me.

I began running from Victory Lane back to the MRN trailer….and an engineer met me about half way and walked with me to Victory Lane to test the pack.

Good to go – I felt like I had been hit by a truck lol. I was soon caught up in the energy of the moment and as I interviewed Matt Kennseth his eyes began filling with tears and then turning red. Then, his chin began to quiver and I was like woah I’m going to remember this as one of the moments I have covered that will stick with me for a long time.

Earlier I had been at the care center when Kyle Busch came out – and as the national media waited for him to appear he flew by in a golf cart. “Look,” I told the group, “There goes Kyle.” In the blink of an eye the media group turned and jogged towards the garage where Kyle was dropped off and began walking into the garage.

He stopped for an interview and I was walking right behind him. The press of the media group against me I thought, “Good Lord, Don’t let me knock him over!” LOL.

It struck me how he talked about Brian Vickers and Dale Junior without using their names…he called them “lapped cars,” and when talking about Dale Junior did not use his name – not once even though he was angry. That sort of struck me.

I’m busy packing for the Auto Club Speedway and will have plenty of time to blog on the airplane…..so stay tuned for some inside stories.

What’s my take on the deal between Vickers and Junior? Not smart –both of them lost and someone should have backed off. It took a lot of cars out – and restrictor plate racing is a bit insane to me anyway. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy watching it cause I do. We see some pretty crazy stuff at these races. How can you judge one incident sanely and not all that have transpired over the years with the “big ones” caused by bonehead moves. It’s plain insane to me so how do you judge any of it with any sanity? Answer is I’m not sure you can. You can comment, wrangle, argue and put your two cents in but really – how crazy is talking about two guys going that fast racing that hard that close and who should have done what? Insane.

Agree or not?

For now…I’m getting the show ready – and packing.

More once I arrive in California. I’ll be blogging on the airplane so get ready.

Thanks for listening.

Claire B

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