Trackside: An Unexpected Weekend Focused on Fast Cars and My Dad 1

Pit lane at Road America

A few weeks ago I got to visit my dad while he was working a race at Road America! You could say it was a little bit of “bring your daughter to work”. Now, I haven’t been to the track since I was little even though my dad has been working in the industry for most of my life. So, This weekend was really exciting, and I can’t wait to go back! First off, let me tell you that Road America is a pretty cool track, it is a road coarse that twists and turns. There are a lot of cool spots to sit and watch qualifying, practices, and races. Additionally, if you are looking for more to do they also have Frisbee golf, a zip line, go-carts, and tons of food. Plus the Elkhart Lake area is really beautiful and has some fun spots to grab a drink or some food. But, even more exciting then seeing all the cars and watching the race was getting to see my Dad in action. My Dad has been one of my biggest supporters my entire life, even if he was a little quieter about it, he was always right there: working back stage all my dance shows, holding my fan for the Nutcracker, driving out and packing up the last of my dorm room while I took my last final one year, flying out for my Senior Dance concert, helping me move in and out of apartments… I think you get the picture. I knew my dad loved racing and the industry, but seeing him at the track, I felt like I was seeing him in his natural habitat and unlike I’d ever seen him before. I felt like we were being shown around by a celebrity! Everyone knew him! He was driving us around in a golf cart pointing out the different cars, showing us the best spots to watch from, and constantly getting waved at. I think for the first time in my life our roles were reversed and I felt an immense amount of pride that this is my Dad. Now my experience was probably pretty unique since not everyone can be driven around by their Dad, the local celebrity, but trust me a weekend at the track is a blast!Some of the cars at Road America



My tips:

  • Dress casual but bring layers! If its hot out, its hotter at the track. Think about the amount of asphalt and hot engines and there isn’t always shade. But also the day could start out cool, or it could rain. I wore my jean capris both days since we had passes that allowed us on the hot pits (though there really isn’t any need to since you can see everything from the other side of the wall). I was pretty warm our second day though!
  • Do the open pit walk through before the race! You can get an up close look at the cars and take pictures.
  • At Road America, each of the food places had different stuff but we got breakfast by the straight away, brats near pit lane, and the best pretzel sticks by Canada Corner.
  • Do you like to camp? You can stay at the track! We stayed at a cabin in town but if you really want to stay in the action you can stay on site.
  • You can bring your own food and drink
  • The place is huge, so golf carts or bikes can be a plus!
  • They broadcast the live announcers over the speakers and have video monitors at some of the corners. This is helpful if you aren’t necessarily the biggest race fan! Without the screens or announcers you wouldn’t know what else is happening except at the stretch of road you can see.
  • The cars are LOUD! We wore earplugs when we were really close to the track but my dad didn’t… which probably explains why he is kind of hard of hearing. If you are bringing kids please be sure to get them good hearing protection. And, although some people do bring dogs, remember their ears are even more sensitive then ours! They need protection too!

Have you been to any Sports Car races? What did you think? Did I miss any tips?

And if you are ever up at Road America be sure to go to Siebkens for a drink! The place is covered in team stickers and memorabilia!






Chelsea spent the weekend at a racetrack


I spent the weekend at the track with my dad! Read my tips!



One thought on “Trackside: An Unexpected Weekend Focused on Fast Cars and My Dad

  • Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

    A wonderful tribute to your Dad, for all the reasons you list. Seeing him as a grown up in his world is something you will never forget. Great photographs to support this post. Thanks for sharing a happy day.

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