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November 8th, 2007

NASCAR and Me

In many ways 2007 has been an incredibly odd year. It's been ripe with a lot of torture, but also a lot of unexpected opportunities. I got to experience one such opportunity this past Sunday. (As an author I could NOT pass this up.)

Through work, due to a new client we're dealing with, I, along with several fellow workers, and our significant others, got to spend a close up and personal day at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The Texas Motor Speedway is a huge race track facility where two of the thirty eight races run each year are held. The facility can hold 150,000 people. Traffic in the area becomes a veritable nightmare during certain times of the day for four days. And some people show up there and hold a continuous four day party till its time to drag themselves home Sunday night, and some on Monday morning.

The first thing that hit me (aside from the size of the place) was how on the outside of the long structure we had a veritable mini State Fair going on. Huge vendor displays, tricked out cars, virtual reality simulations, corn dogs, turkey legs, inflatable seat vendors, a veritable zoo of people and this was only 9:30 am! The race wouldn't start till 2:30PM.

Of course we ended up parking by Gate 1, so ended up having to walk all the way across as it turned out the Sprint/Nextel stage we were to use as a meeting point was all the way to Gate 7, so I got to take a good look at a lot of vendors. We met up with some of our fellows and then were met by our host from the Nascar Members Club. He was able to get a golf cart (which saved us miles of walking) and got us set up with a purple Cold Pass for the day. Once everyone was set, we were off.

Got a look at the helicopter landing field for drivers, the sea of RV's of weekend race fans, special tent areas for other. There's even a building with condos that overlook the racetrack.

A road and small tunnel later
and we were within the racetrack proper. Making use of the interior space, there were more RV zones, a small restaurant, pit zones, and our destination - The Garage.

The Garage is the area where the drivers and their teams set up the long rigs with their cars. Bays are also located there where they can work on the autos and also get them inspected. The whole zone is gated and has security cameras and guards. Only people with special passes are allowed in there. We got in.

Our guide pointed out the different trailers and how they'd been placed in order of ranking. All of them were plastered with the sponsor names and logos, many with plastic boxes with promo material on the drivers. Many drivers were there incognito, so if you were not someone in the know, they could walk right by you and never be noticed. We were all gawking despite our lack of Nascar knowledge, looking for drivers and other celebrities that tend to congregate at the Garage. We did see the Nascar president and several older drivers as well as many who would be in that days race.

We got to tour the pits, and even the track itself. They had a concert with a cool band sporting a mean banjo player. I was bopping all over the place! As special guests, we got to be on the physical track and but a small barrier away from the entertainment. Later the Major of Fort Worth spoke to everyone, they had some fan contest winners, Nick Nowatski (sp?) from the Dallas Mavericks, and Vince Vaughn. Then they held driver introductions. By this time our guide had moved our small group off to one side, as he knew which way the drivers would exit the place. I was 5 feet of less from them as they went past snapping away with my camera.

The whole thing was like a giant circus show~! And hour by hour you could see the stands filling up.

After inspection, the cars got pushed out to their positions by the pit crews, and the special pass people herded off the track.

We stood by the M&M pit and watched the race start. After 3 pace laps, they let them loose! The most amazing thing was the noise. While all the cars were still together, you would hear the wave of sound as it went around the track and then nothing, as they made the last bend, then wham as it came right toward you.

It was amazing! A totally awesome day. And I have tons of pictures!
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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