I Got No Sleep For 36 Hours Just To Go To A Race
This was in 2021
It all started when my dad and I watched IMSA Weather Challenge on our sofa on a cloudy, August, Sunday morning. I was tired, and an F1 race wasn’t scheduled that day, so we decided to watch IMSA.
Corvettes have always been me and my dad’s favorite car in IMSA, and so we pulled up the highlights on YouTube. After conversing about how great the Corvettes looked, I grabbed my laptop.
Dad: What are you doing?
I was chewing on my lip (which I do when I’m and deep thought).
Me: Why don’t we go to a race this year? I mean, we may not be able to go to a Formula 1 race but why don’t we go to the next best thing?
Me: Okay the next, next best thing.
Dad: Hmm *scratches head* Tell you what, check and see when and where they are and how much the tickets cost.
So there I was writing down dates, ticket costs, hotel prices, and researching how long it would take us to travel to whatever race we decided to go to. Unfortunately, all the IMSA races close enough to go to had already passed.
So I thought to myself, “Well I DONT want to go to a NASCAR race, and IndyCar isn’t gonna work… Guess I’ll check GT America.” And so the idea was born.
After a couple days of research, I came to my dad with a complete list of expenses.
Gas: $3.17 per gal (I wish it was still like that)
Distance: 8hrs 13min (481miles)
Food: Budget of $35
Ticket Cost: $50 per ticket
After coming to him and giving him the details he said
Dad: Let’s play it by ear.
The literal worst thing he could say. Honestly, I’d rather “No”.
Two days before the practice race he comes to me and we sit down.
Dad: I don’t think we’re going to be able to go…
Me: *Hopes absolutely crushed*
The morning before the race, by some miracle, we find a way to go. But we leave from home at 10 pm. Here we are blasting old music. Chaka Khan, Slick Rick, Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Gap Band (Yeah, we’re old…).
I’m hyped up on so much adrenaline I don't even feel tired. Even when I’m still driving at 2 am. Finally around 2:30 we stop at a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Me: Yessss Coffee!
Dad: Girl this is why I can’t let you drive.
Dad: You went 15mph over the speed limit. If you get a ticket you’re not driving until you pay it.
Me: *Says nothing*
Dad: I guess I should have asked you if you wanted to race when you were little.
Dad took over after that. He continually told me to sleep and take a nap and as much as I tried I couldn’t.
At 7:30 am we pull up to the entrance gate.
No one is racing yet and everything is silent. But as soon as we get from under the tunnel that goes under the track onto the podium area, I swear everything came alive.
The sounds of impact wrenches, yelling, engines, Dynos, and tires being thrown around just exploded. It was a car enthusiast’s playground.
Acuras, Lamborghinis, Porches, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Mercedes AMGs, McLarens, and a whole bunch of other AMAZING cars were there and you could get so close to them you could see inside.
But an added bonus was that there was a Dodge Viper meet and when they started their engines, I got so excited I squealed.
Yes, I squealed. And my dad looked at me like I was an idiot (to be fair I was acting like one).
There was a bad thunderstorm around 4 pm and so after it was over the track was too wet to keep racing. So dad and I hopped in the car and started driving home.
But not before stopping at a cheese factory and getting some Smoked Mozzarella and a sandwich.
We decided against getting a hotel and so we drove home as soon as the race was over. We switched out about 1 hour out of Chicago and I drove the rest of the way home while he snored in the passenger seat. We got home at 3 am that night.
But all that is to say I’m crazy about anything with 4 wheels a motor and some pretty cool aerodynamics.
Not only did the race make it the best day ever (aside from meeting my boyfriend) but the memories I got with my dad will always make that day a day to remember.