Monday, June 23, 2008

Our day at Infineon Raceway: A technology success store

The conversation went something like this:

Me: Would Britt and you like to go to the NASCAR race at Sears Point (now Infineon Raceway) on Sunday?
DW: I've already been to a NASCAR race.
Me: This is different. This is a road course. And that day was freezing cold. This will be nice weather.
DW: Right, this time it'll be over 100 degrees and full sun.
Me to myself: Okay, this isn't going well. Time to drop it.
DW: But you should go.

Okay. I'd always wanted to see a road course race at either Sears Point or Watkins Glen. It was one of the things on my bucket list, but I'd resolved that it wasn't going to happen this trip. I'd already spent one day of this vacation at a conference, and I wasn't about to tack on a solo day at a NASCAR race. So I let the subject drop, and contented myself to bonding with the race crews staying at our hotel. Being on right coast time I was up and getting coffee at the time they were headed out to the track each morning. For three days straight I'd been picking their brains-- mostly about their technology, but occasionally about just plain old racing stuff.

Then on the day of the race, at breakfast, two hours before we'd need to be at the track, which is 40 minutes from our hotel if there was no traffic to contend with, my DW says, "We would consider going to the race if you can get us seats in the shade." I'm like, "Great! I'll see what I can do." All the while hearing the theme song to Mission Impossible playing in my head. I sprung into action.

My challenge:

  • All 102,000 seats were sold out
  • Time was short.
  • The requirement for shade-- does it even exist?
  • There are no on-site scalped tickets to the event-- you can't even get into the parking lot without a ticket.
Bottom-line: It took me all of 10 minutes to score shaded seats right above the pits and the start/finish line. Dang I love the internets. The technologies: Google -- does shade even exist at Infineon? Yep, and VERY limited. Craig's List-- is anyone selling tickets? E-mail - are the tickets still available and where are they; shade? ATM - copious amounts of cash required. SMS - guided directions to the rendezvous point for the ticket exchange. This is what success looks like:




We had a great time at the race. My DW enjoyed it way more than our experience at Rockingham a few years ago. It was a decidedly different crowd from a typical NASCAR event. Not wine and cheese exactly, but without question a lot less alcohol was being consumed. We had such a good time that I've decided that just one road race isn't enough. I've edited my bucket list to include a day at "the Glen". Maybe next year.

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