Tag Archives: I love New York

Most Un-NASCAR-Like Race at Watkins Glen the debrief

Greetings from the Glen! It’s NASCAR weekend and while the camp sites and the grand stands were all completely full (sold out some claimed) it was hard to believe that these were NASCAR races… Why? Because every driver, in each of the three series racing this weekend drove so professionally. It was a little hard to believe. I mean I don’t know much about NASCAR but if there’s one thing I’ve heard and seen talked about the series before is all it’s crashes. And there weren’t many. I saw a few nose to tail bumps, a couple of side to side contacts. A few spins. But that’s it. No major crashes. Hell, no minor crashes either. It was great to watch! Really spectacular racing with drivers in control of their cars ignoring the stereotypes. This was also the weekend that had the potential of seeing one of the first Monster Energy Cup events in the rain… and while the weather on Saturday had the potential for wet stuff, it really dissipated by Sunday and we had a picture perfect race.

I loved this weekend! I had such a blast.

First, huge thanks to RSI for the awesome station assignments again. I am super fortunate and blessed to get the views I was getting and for that I’m grateful!

Station 5A views, at Turn 5 exit of the Bus Stop

Station 2, at Turn 2 bottom of the Esses.

Both turns had a lot of potential for huge incidents. But instead we saw good clean racing. And that was neat!

I was super happy I got to hang out with some close friends over the weekend. Hit Watkins Glen downtown for some dinners. Enjoy the NASCAR atmosphere at the local pubs where drivers apparently served as bar tenders and free swag was given out. I was lucky to bring some of that swag home. That’s always a plus (not that I need any more swag).

Lucky for me, my buddy Chris from New Jersey came up to use my guest pass so I had an excuse to visit the infield for the first time (ever I think) during a NASCAR weekend. It was great to see sooo many people enjoying themselves. Checking out the displays, buying NASCAR gear, and having fun!

I loved the ambiance of it all.

And so another race in the books. This was probably the most clean NASCAR event I’ve ever worked. Which is a huge positive! I’m especially happy that for the Monster Energy Cup Series there was no Green/White/Checker routine everyone is so used to.

Thanks to NASCAR for putting on a great show. Thanks to Watkins Glen for being such an awesome facility. And thanks to RSI for making my volunteering enjoyable there!

See you next year.

Mazda MX-5: New York City Road Trip to the Bronx

There’s no better car to go cruising around New York City than a Miata, especially with the top down – it’s a perfect car for sightseeing. For the second time this month I had an opportunity to drive all the way to NYC and my Miata has made me fall in love with the city again and again.

I think people living in New Jersey take NYC for granted. It’s so close and yet a world away. It’s not always easy to get to even though we live in the best country in the world our transportation system sucks. I think many see it as a chore making the effort to go to the city. It’s not cheap or terribly convenient. When taking public transport, the expense, the traffic the crowds – suck. Or driving your own car and paying more for the tolls than anyone could really justify ($15 bux!!!), dealing with traffic, the gridlock, the pot holes big enough to blow a tire or crack a rim – destroy your alignment, the lack of parking and the ease of earning a ticket from the NYPD… it all adds up to avoiding the experience altogether.

But what an awesome city New York is! My job sent me to check out some vehicles they wish to purchase from their NYC affiliate with headquarters in the South Bronx. A very quick 20 minute ride with no traffic from my office in Hackensack across the George Washington bridge and down the Major Deegan past the Yankee Stadium. The garage was only a few blocks away from Bruckner Expressway I took to get to the Third Avenue bridge on my way to Long Island when picking up the RX-8 donut for my car. This time I noticed something new along the way: beautiful street art, graffiti. And it was a perfect backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot. I popped a u-ey, backed up onto the sidewalk, and snapped away… before the parking cop shooed me away:

mazda 2

mazda 1

mazda 3

mazda 4

mazda south bronx graffiti

So it turns out that part of the Bronx is called Port Morris. Definitely not the most dangerous part of town as the South Bronx is typically portrayed in the media with countless crimes, dangerous gangs and stolen cars left on cinder blocks or torn apart in the chop shops. It was a beautiful experience.

From there I decided to go home via Manhattan again, taking the FDR down to 42nd street and cruising along with the top down across town admiring NYC architecture along the way. From the beautiful facade of the Grand Central, to the art-deco style of the Chrysler building, the hussle and bustle of Time Square and of course the very touristy area of 42nd Street. Loved the experience of driving with many of the tourists checking out the car and taking pictures of it. It was great. I gotta do this more often!

I <3 New York

PS. The Miata is a perfect Motorsport Tourism vehicle so long as there’s a party of 1 travelling without luggage (on account that the RX-8 donut takes up most of the trunk space). Next time one of my marshal buddies visits NYC I’m definitely taking them for a ride in the MX-5.