Tag Archives: New Jersey

NASCAR K&N Series East at NJMP the debrief

For the second weekend in a row I’ve gone down to Millville, South Jersey… this time for stock car racing. Like last weekend, and now for the third weekend in a row I’ve had a gout arthritis flare up which meant it was really painful to stand. But I took a few Advil pills and managed to get through the day thoroughly enjoying the racing on track. I wouldn’t wish this stupid fat man disease on anyone!

Happy to say that like last week I got an awesome station assignment… Turn 14. As I already mentioned in the post card posts it was a fantastic day to go to the races. NASCAR had practice, quali and race all on the same day. And to fill in the time between their track time we had BMW Car Club of America practicing, qualifying and racing themselves as well. Lots of really cool BMW 3 series, M3’s, 2002’s etc.

I’m not going to lie, the club days at a track typically suck! Ferrari at Watkins Glen last year supporting IndyCar was awful. But this Bimmer support for NASCAR was outstanding. Cars were going at it hard. There was some good overtaking throughout the field. I enjoyed it!

But I truly loved the NASCAR K&N Series East racing!

I remember some of these cars from their support race at Watkins Glen for the Monster Energy Cup weekend. The field was significantly smaller with only 15 cars on the grid and some 12 finishing the race. But the racing was tough and hard. We did not have any incidents at Turn 14 but I got to catch a peak at Turn 7 with a spin or two. It was great…

I especially enjoyed the Grid Walk during our lengthy lunch break:

So to sum things up… I’m grateful for the opportunity to work this race. I’m happy with my station assignment. I’m really happy with my captain especially since she was kind enough to bring me back a nice refreshing ice cream when she went out to get her own lunch.

I left my home at 6am and was back home by 10pm

Great day of racing! I hope to be back at NJMP next year…

Track Day Bro! Hooked on Driving MX5 Miata at NJMP Lightning Raceway

It was a great weekend spent at New Jersey Motorsport Park not just because of MotoAmerica bikes I  volunteered for on Thunderbolt but also because of cars I got to check out on Lightning. Camping at the track I was looking for things to do to kill time before calling it a night. Went into town to pick up some Chinese, ate it at the Tempest circuit watching kids race go karts. As I was about to leave I see an NC Miata being trailered into Lightning for next day’s event there… Hmm… what have we got here? I went over to take a look and the owner of the Miata was as excited as I was to see another NC MX-5 (he thought I’d race there too). We had a chat and the next day I stopped by during lunch time to take some better shots of his great looking Limited Edition (that metallic paint looked awesome!) with better light conditions.

Anyway… here’s the pix:

My shitty cell phone camera barely captured the metallic paint job…

The car sounded amazing. Very nice tone to the exhaust. And the owner was kicking ass on track, blowing past other cars including Camaro’s and Porsche’s… (at least the passes I got to see)

Oh look a Heinlein tuned Moostang Shelby!

Is it a rental?

Watching the Miata kick ass in the Carousel.

If I had the money I would totally do a track day… although instead of using my own car I would probably rent one. There were plenty of rentals all over the parking lot… great variety to choose from.

Oh yeah, back at Thunderbolt spotted this gem… the only Miata in attendance for the MotoAmerica SBK race, and must be a member judging by the license plate frame:

MotoAmerica Superbikes at NJMP Championship of New Jersey the debrief

It was a gorgeous weekend at NJMP Thunderbolt to watch some bikes racing. But the freezing cold overnight in my tent camping at the track kicked my ass. Much like Mosport in Canada last weekend my foot began to hurt a ton after freezing my toes off and I had a hard time walking on Friday… which sucked. It was so cold Thursday night I went out and bought another sleeping bag which improved my comfort the next two nights but not enough to make the arthritis subside and I limped my way through the weekend.

I didn’t let the injury dampen my weekend and soldiered on. The station assignments were fantastic this year. Like last year I worked Turn 12 on Friday and Turn 7 on Saturday and Sunday. It was fantastic! Probably as good as it gets really.

Turn 12

Turn 7

Looking towards Turn 6, where we had the first red flag of the weekend with a high side bike on the opening laps of the first race.

One of my British marshal friends was surprised I’m actually working an event in my home state… voila! It’s true.

NJMP got a new toy to add to the fleet of their Subaru’s… this nice looking (and sounding) Audi S3 safety car.

If you’re a bike fan, there was a lot to look at this weekend. And every time I work a bike event I really am tempted to go out and buy a bike of my own. Of course the sport bike that I want would require me to lose my gut to at least look normal on it.

Not much was out yet when I arrived on Thursday afternoon.

And a lot of familiar bikes were on display, but I was a bit disappointed to find out there is no visual spotter guide to help marshals distinguish the bikes. Or to help the fans for that matter.

Arriving on Thursday my goal was to go to the training/refresh meeting, which was neat. Dave does a great job. I was happy to see Dave using a pic of me Blue flagging (an IMSA race at Mosport a few years back) in his training material. I was surprised that there was only a handful of us in attendance though.

As cold as it was overnight, during the day it was super comfortable and warm weather. So much so I went out for ice cream one night.

It was delicious.

Big thanks to Brittany at NJMP for making this event possible for me, and I’m very much looking forward to another weekend down there soon for the NASCAR K&N East series. Interestingly enough the MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey was presented by K&N also… whose filters I use on my marshaling rig both oil and air.

It’s going to be awesome…

Post Card from Moto America Championship of New Jersey Round 9 at NJMP Thunderbolt Mega Photo Gallery

Greetings from a beautiful weekend in South Jersey volunteering for my only bike race of this season with MotoAmerica Championship Superbikes, Superstock and Supersport bikes supported by KTM RC Cup and Vintage Bikes.

Enjoy the over 100 pix from Race Day on Sunday… and stay tuned for more to come about this awesome event.

I got to work Turn 7 which is probably the best station at Thunderbolt and certainly for me, because during our long lunch hour I was able to just walk into the paddock area and check out all the bikes… spectator bikes, bikes for sale, racing bikes, etc.

The young kids riding… that is really inspiring!

notice the missing BMW engine behind the cowling…

These KTM spec series bikes are really neat!

Love seeing all these vintage bikes, many of them for sale!

And of course lots of new stuff for sale, Suzuki and others had a great test ride opportunity with customers going on a cruise in a convoy of new bikes around Millville, New Jersey

NJMP offered a good discounted lunch option for us, all for $5 bux

Philly Cheesesteak, fries, chips and drink.

By the time I finished my lunch, the grid walk was wrapping up… so I did some drive-by shooting of pix as the bikes were getting ready to grid up and race.

The kids riding area was super cool… I think a few racers actually joined them which looked pretty funny but must have been an amazing opportunity to inspire the young riders to pursue this hobby further.

Enjoy… more to come soon!

Sunday Fun Day: Ice Cream down the Jersey Shore

Perfect weather today for a little trip down the Jersey Shore for some ice cream! Of course besides my friend Bill and I, everyone else in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York had the same idea… the traffic was atrocious. Everywhere, all the time. But we followed through with it and had a great time hanging out and sampling some delicious ice cream from Charlie’s Creamery in Seaside Park, New Jersey

Originally my plans for this weekend were to volunteer with Team Pocono for the Indycar race at the tricky triangle. Unfortunately for me they did not invite me back. So I had the weekend free to have other fun in the Miata.

We met up at Cheesequake Service Area on the Garden State Parkway. I expected some traffic along the way, and there was some… lots of volume of cars on the road heading south. But when it came time to cross the bridge in Perth Amboy it was just bumper to bumper, it took me half an hour to cover 95% of my trip, and another twenty minutes to go the last two miles to the service area.

Bill was already waiting…

My plan was to continue south on the Parkway until Seaside Heights, visit one creamery and then work our way back up Ocean Avenue to the second creamery in Asbury Park before heading home. But because of traffic that plan was scrapped. So instead of getting back on the GPS, we took the local route, 35 in South Amboy towards Hazlet and Atlantic Highlands.

First stop was at the Navesink Twin Lighthouse park where the skies were so clear you could really see Manhattan and Brooklyn in the distance… no haze or humidity at all.

Part of the big backup on Route 35 before hitting the Ocean was the fact that Sandy Hook had filled up to max capacity. Everyone was waiting in line just to find out the park was closed and then sat around weighing in their other beach options.

The traffic further down the shore wasn’t any better. With pedestrian crossings every few hundred feet, most of the way we were going less than 20mph.

Hey I spotted a Holden Commodore!

The famous Windmill hot dog place…

Lots of cool cars out and about today… the weirdest thing about this Ferrari was a strong smell of burning plastic. We only followed it for a few miles at relatively low speed, but the bad smell coming off this thing was scary!

Gas prices down the shore were all over the board. It varied almost 50 cents between stations for the same grade of fuel. For whatever reason this Mobil was only $2.77 for 93 premium. Surprising!

The further south we went the less the bad the traffic got. As soon as we cleared all the towns with Boardwalks along the way, the pedestrians were less and less of an issue. And the traffic sped up. Obviously! It was a good opportunity to scout beaches to take the family to in the future.

Tons of people at the beach!

And we finally arrived… 2pm ice cream breakfast! Got a parking spot right in front of the joint…. one NJ.com highly recommended as one of the best ice cream parlors down the Jersey Shore!

Luckily the ice cream was very tasty! But since we lost a ton of time driving down here we scrapped the idea of following Ocean Ave back up… instead opting to go directly back to the Parkway and fighting the traffic there. The road was busy but not as much as it would be a few hours later when all the beach goers packed up and headed home.

It was an awesome, nearly 200 mile and $30 in fuel trip, just to get a $5.25 ice cream…

Post Race Photo Gallery from the Red Bull GRC in Atlantic City

The Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City rounds 8 and 9 were everything they were cracked up to be and then some. It was my first time participating in a professional Rallycross event even though I have gotten a small taste of it at NJMP a few years ago with Rally America… but nothing could have really prepared me for what took place over the weekend. Not even Ken Block doing some Gymkhana at the opening round of V8 Supercars at Clipsal 500 in Australia, where I got to see him fling a similar Ford Focus WRC around a street course.

The sounds. The noise. The sights. The dust. The close racing. The banging and smashing of cars fighting for the same piece of tarmac. It was amazing. And I got to experience it from a very special spot where the asphalt turned into a sandy path around a 180 degree turn. It was fantastic and I’m a huge fan of GRC now.

But nobody really cares about my opinion of how cool marshaling is, people care about cars and racing, and celebrity drivers. So here’s some pix post-race. From parc ferme. The scrutineering. Post race inspection of the winning cars. Both of Supercars and Supercar Lites. It was amazing and I hope I get another chance to work this awesome event, wherever that may be!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Special thanks to Chris for driving down to use my guest passes and to spectate, and of course take some pix for me after the race. Always nice to have a photographer on hand!

The rest of my pix were selfies. I got to work Turn 2 with awesome views of the Atlantic City skyline across the intercoastal waterway. The water got pretty busy on Sunday with a ton of boats, paddle boarders and jet skiers stopping by to watch the racing. Saturday though we had stormy and wet weather. At one point we were pulled off station because of lightning in the area.

Next day it was a different story, very sunny and dry… which of course meant massive dust clouds.

I found myself using two bandanas, both to protect my face and neck from sunburn but also to shield myself from getting sandblasted. I was only feet away from flying cars, going sideways into a corner.

Some of the dust clouds made it in on the inside of my glasses.

My area of responsibility…

They fed us well, and of course there was plenty of Red Bull on offer.

First TRUMP nuked Atlantic City, and now he’s working on a bigger picture… SAD!

On the way back North, Chris and I hit a local seafood place for some dinner… it was awful! The $15 ceviche appetizer turned out to be a plate full of cooked shrimp with some tostitos salsa in the middle. Ugh! That was probably the only downer of the weekend.

But I have nothing but praise for the Red Bull GRC event, and again I’d love to work another one of their races somewhere in the future!

Red Bull GRC Driver’s Parade on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk

The coolest part of the whole Red Bull GRC Atlantic City weekend for me, was the driver’s parade along the Boardwalk.

Why was it so cool?

In my opinion any time the series takes it’s presence, the cars, the drivers, the ambiance out in the public and brings the show to the ordinary people… that I think is the best thing they can do to promote the sport. And I commend the Red Bull GRC folks for organizing their driver’s parade right in the heart of AC, the place where everybody goes… the Boardwalk!

Naturally, I took a million pix…

Team Red Bull Honda getting ready to leave the paddock on Bader Field for the driver’s parade on the Boardwalk.

I rushed out and found a nice parking spot a block from the Kennedy Plaza where the teams were to have an autograph session.

The Boardwalk to me brings a lot of memories. My family and I used to go to Atlantic City a lot. Especially in the summer time… back when my father had a mild gambling problem, and we all joined him to go out on the boardwalk for a slice of pizza, and some go-cart racing on the Steel pier. I got my first speeding ticket just outside of AC where the Parkway meets the Atlantic City Expressway. Good times… Although the current state of the city, and it’s major attraction is a bit sad. This place used to be packed, super crowded… and now, even the seagulls left (they used to swoop down and terrorize unsuspecting tourists, with food in their hands). But it is what it is. And I’m glad the Red Bull GRC is breathing a little life into this city. It’s worth pointing out that according to a local cop working security detail for this event, all casinos remain open except those that used to display TRUMP on their buildings. Go figure…

And then the crowds swooped in…

If the background looks familiar, you may have seen it on TV not that many moons ago… it was the venue for the Miss America pageant…

I love the fact that teams allowed spectators, especially kids, to climb in their cars and get a closer look. Get the fans involved!

There’s that 600+hp turbo east of an engine…

At most Motorsport events I focus so much on the venue and the racing I forget to check out the surrounding area. The main attraction of Atlantic City in the summer time of course is it’s beach… and while I didn’t get a chance to go for a swim, it was nice to at least walk by the water at sunset.

and take some selfies…

During the autograph session the first 100 patrons received weekend guest passes for the race along with other prizes from teams and the series. That was really neat! (and probably propped up the numbers in attendance for the weekend)

And as the sun set, it was time to get back to the paddock.

Fin

Post Card from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field Atlantic City (Media Rides)

The maga photo gallery from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field,  Atlantic City continues. Here was a great opportunity to take some shots of complete cars (not when they’re in pieces in the team garage in the paddock) going around the track without getting in trouble (since we can’t take pix on station).

This was pretty awesome! And a great preview of things to come for the rest of the weekend. I was surprised to see cars shredding parts on the very first jump… bumpers flying off, etc.

The airport field provided a gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic City skyline across the intercoastal waterway… it was beautiful!

Not sure what “Racing 4 Detroit” is, but I support the idea!

Props to the GRC crew for providing lunches for volunteers throughout the event weekend. Friday it was Popeyes chicken day.

More to come…

Post Card from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field Atlantic City (Paddock)

My first Red Bull Global Rallycross event in Atlantic City was a great success. So much cool stuff to check out, it was a sensory overload.

I’ll start by sharing some pix… from the paddock when I first arrived:

The two hour drive (no traffic) from home to Atlantic City was nice and uneventful… I stopped at one of the service areas and what do you know? There was a Red Bull display promoting this event… I couldn’t wait to check out the 600+ horsepower Civic “Supercar”

Was able to park right in the middle of the paddock between the Red Bull Honda team and one of the Supercar Lites teams… another Miata was already there, a fellow volunteer for the weekend.

And then the garages started opening with people prepping the Supercars and Supercar Lites for Media rides later in the day:

Surprised to see CORE Autosport here wearing the same paint job as their Porsche 911 efforts in IMSA, but then the surprise wore off as I realized there were many major teams present from other series, like Andretti Autosport and Team RLL from IndyCar

Vee Dub with their Manufactuer plated Atlas SUV that also wore a Watkins Glen NASCAR Xfinity series parking pass… Hmm

Anybody wanna buy a Supercar Lites body-in-white? It’s a fast little bugger…!

Probably the most “famous” cars of the weekend. A slightly modified version of the rental car I drove from NY to Florida last year…

I was debating whether to drive down to AC early in the morning on race day Saturday or spend the extra $80 bux for a hotel on Friday night and be a tourist for the day…. naturally I’m really glad I did spend the money (although frugal me has a hard time justifying paying almost double for a hotel room that usually goes for $49 a night… but it’s peak tourist season in South Jersey where everyone hits the beach in the summer).

Also glad I showed up early because I would not have had the opportunities I had on Friday to take pictures during the rest of the weekend. Especially since my station was fairly remote and away from the paddock. So glad I was able to be here Friday!

Red Bull Global Rallycross Spotter Guide for Atlantic City, NJ Rounds 8 and 9

And now for something completely different… this weekend will be my first opportunity volunteering for the Red Bull GRC being held at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Other than watching a few YouTube video highlights I know nothing about this series, so a good start to familiarization is with a spotter guide… the GRC web site doesn’t have much other than last year’s guide so I snagged their previous race one assuming most cars will wear the same livery. and as one would imagine car liveries change from race to race, so the same day I posted the Indianapolis spotter guide the Red Bull Global Rallycross web site released the correct spotter guide for Atlantic City:

redbullglobalrallycross.com/news/features/spotter-guides/red-bull-grc-atlantic-city-spotter-guide/

Really looking forward to this event!

Supercars:

Photo credit: redbullglobalrallycross.com

Lites:

Photo credit: redbullglobalrallycross.com

This is probably the best guide on their web site for the Lites, as part of the Pick 5 Fantasy rallycross game.

Added on August 14, 2017… notice something interesting? The CORE Autosport team from IMSA is here complete with their driver line up. Similarly the majority of the other teams had a strong IndyCar affiliation with Andretti Autosport and RLL teams fielding very strong entries.