Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/16/22
Drivers. Start. Your. Engines. If you’ve never been to a NASCAR race there isn’t anything like it. A chorus of cars buzzing, humming, singing in harmony so loud that it drowns out every other sound around you like a sing-son of motors and tires. The rumble as the cars whiz by, the hot, road funk that pelts the front of the bleachers. The electricity, anticipation of the green flag, cars looking antsy waiting for the pace car to move out of the way. We get the fever in person, it’s palpable in the air. That’s what we felt at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart.
Beyond the chorus of sound, the behind the scenes to any Nascar race is incredible. The well-oiled machines of the pit crews endlessly getting tires and marking them, the stream of fuel in awkward canisters retrieved from the fuel center, the hot fire suits as they change a tire. It reminded us of a riding a bike, you get on it and it’s like second nature. They have it down. Then, when the tire comes off, or the engine overheats, or the unfortunate wreck, they’re right there in perfect harmony. Then, they have these elevated seating areas for sponsors, their families, race crew, and more to watch the race above the fray of the pit, above the hustle and bustle below. This is a site to be seen!
Another cool spot are the garages before a race. The cars getting ready for their big show with their tune-ups and last-minute safety checks! We got to see cars getting their wheels replaced, people looking under the engine and revving. Then, comes the parade of cars, one by one crew roll them out and walk them through the gates toward pit road. One after another, after another, their crew pushing and pulling to get them to their destination. They must contend with the spectators too outside the garage fencing, pictures snapped, waves, fanfare.
Outside the Motor Speedway, there is a dedicated fan zone with sponsor activations, drinks, and a stage for entertainment. From the Quaker State activation with a race car, to whatever was going on with that elevated car by a firetruck, to everything in between, you could win swag or enjoy a coke out there.
This year, something fun that Atlanta Motor Speedway did for entertainment, the introduction of Revs and Riffs Race Weekend. They added a concert line-up to the draw of the races. The two acts that we saw were a 90’s band that we remember seeing on MTV (when they had music videos), Candlebox, and rapper, artist, Flo Rida. Candlebox played an acoustic out in the Fan Zone on Saturday before the Alsco Uniform 250 Xfinity Series race. They’re in the same vein as your early 90’s grunge sound with reverb guitars and loud riffs, but with the acoustic set it was a little more mellow. To end the show they played their two big hits, You, which is lead singer Martin‘s favorite song he wrote when he was 18. Then, Far Behind that Martin quipped helps pays the bills. We met him after the show as he flocked to the fans on the side of the stage and graciously chatted and talked to each one of them, signing autographs or taking pictures.
Flo Rida took to the mic on the pre-race stage prior to the main Nascar Race, the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart. They’re heyday was late 2000s to early 2010s with hits like Low, which was performed. Something you have to know about their performance is that is highly intense, dancing, jumping, interacting with the crowd. Even if you don’t know one word (which you will), you’d love every minute of the performance. And watch out, you might get sprayed with Korbel champagne like we did! All over us!
What a fun way to fill a hot close-to-home weekend! We will be back for more!