Saturday, October 17, 2009

Buttonwillow Raceway Park (PartOne)

I have spent the better part of the last week trying to describe what I got to see and be a part of. I have been to many car shows, various automotive racing events such as: The American Le Mans series, IMSA GT back in the day, Forumla D and D1 Grand Prix drifting, Historic Trans Am and the like....I have even been and participated in a handful of autocross weekends...but nothing compares to the venue I so lovingly Buttonwillow Raceway Park on OCT 10th and the 11th. I saw a NASA (national autosport association) calender and was recommend my Maximum Motorsports to go check out one of NASA's Open track events. So that Friday i drove down to Buttonwillow CA, a lil town off of HWY 5. In the middle of nowhere sprouts an amazing raceway park, as it is not just one track but has many configurations. That Friday night I could barely sleep as i had no clue what to expect. The next morning i got up early and made the 11mile journey from the VERY CRAPPY hotel 6...that is a story in itself. When I arrived at the gate i paid ten dollars which got me access for the whole weekend!!! Try that at Laguna Seca or the like. The pit area in spread through the grounds of the raceway, with Grassroots teams running around preparing their cars for the first run of the day. Cars of every make could be found, but my eyes settled on the many Mustangs waiting for their turn on the track. The people their are so friendly, everyone was fine with me taking pictures and asking all sorts of questions. Cars and their drivers were sorted by driving experience and car groups. They even had a HPDE which is NASA's High Performance Driving Event, which lets drivers off all experiences to go out of the track to get some seat time with real NASA instructors. This is something i plan on doing in the future. There were some great battles going on out at the track, F-Body camaros taking on Fox and SN95 Mustangs, BMW M3s vs 911 Turbos and GT3s, the great Honda vs Nissan battle (Honda civics, crx, acura integras, acura rsx vs Nissan Sentras, 240, 300ZX), it was amazing. There was this one battle between a 996 Porsche C2, a E36 M3, a C5 Z06 vette, and a ex Bob Bondrant Mustang was like watching showroom stock racing all over again...i loved every minute of it. I took over a thousand pics but could have easily taken more. I will be posting some of these pics on my Photobucket site . I will write about my on-track experience in the near future.