IndyCar at Infineon Raceway 2009

September 1, 2009 · Print This Article

This year marked the first time since its inception that Victoria and I didn’t get to go to the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. My brother’s wedding in Germany was a tad bit more important icon smile IndyCar at Infineon Raceway 2009 Through a DVR glitch (okay, I just forgot to set the recording) we didn’t get to see the telecast, either, but I dug up the final few laps on YouTube. And damn, this actually looked like a fun race! A year after a sleep-inducing pole -> victory lane routine by Helio Castroneves, this race actually had some drama and fun racing action! If you didn’t look towards the very front, that is… Dario Franchitti, uhm, won the race from the pole. Still, a step in the right direction, and a lot better than any Formula 1 racing I’ve seen recently. The “overtake button” adds some much needed action.

While we’re at it, here’s the web trailer I created for the raceway a few weeks before the event. Click to see the 720p version.

NASCAR at Infineon Raceway 2009

August 11, 2009 · Print This Article

I have more time on my hands now, so it’s time to catch up on a bunch of photos I meant to post months ago. Victoria and I visited the Toyota/Savemart 350 again this year, the big difference this year being my blown out knee. I couldn’t walk around a lot, and consequently didn’t film any footage. But we did take a few pictures again – a lot more touristy this year, but I wanted to post them anyway. Enjoy!

NASCAR Haulers 2009

August 11, 2009 · Print This Article

Just like last year, here’s a gallery of 2009 NASCAR haulers from select drivers. Taken at Sears Point on the eve of the Toyota/Savemart 350 in June.

NASCAR is coming!

June 11, 2009 · Print This Article

Over the years, I’ve made various blog posts documenting the arrival of NASCAR in Sonoma and the surrounding area. So who am I to stop this year? icon smile NASCAR is coming! Except, this year I won’t post any images of the racetrack or parked haulers. I’ll show some photos of the supermarket closest to my current office, which is pretty NASCAR crazy right now:

The grocery store is a Lucky, which is owned by the same group as Save Mart – the title sponsor of the yearly Toyota/Save Mart 350. I’d never seen these displays before, because Save Marts don’t really exist in northern California, and there’s no Lucky where we usually shop. This store is in Novato. Kind of cool way to shop, and a reminder of the race to come icon smile NASCAR is coming!

NASCAR in Sonoma 2008

June 9, 2009 · Print This Article

Just like every year, we’re getting closer to the anual Toyota/Savemart 350 at Infineon Raceway. And even though life has been busy and  I’ve been laying off the video editing for several months, I haven’t been able to resist NASCAR’s call:

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Here’s a new video with footage from the 2008 event. It’s rough around the edges, and several shots could use some better timing. But it gets my adrenaline going… Enjoy!

NASCAR In Game Design Terms

April 5, 2009 · Print This Article

nascar kart racing NASCAR In Game Design TermsI was having a great dinner at GDC last week when the conversation drifted to NASCAR. As is often the case, I was the only fan, and I invariably found myself explaining my interest in the sport. My answer to this topic is usually two-tiered: for one, the NASCAR garage is one big dysfunctional family. There’s 43 guys with different personalities who are shoving, pushing and banging on each other 36 races per season. You know that tempers are bound to flare, and that rivalries aplenty are bound to spring up – on and off the racetrack. Having an opinion on NASCAR is easy, and it’s fun! Just start watching for a bit and you’ll catch on.
The other reason to watch NASCAR are the actual races, which, believe it or not, are very entertaining. That part is harder to explain without reference. But since I was at the Game Developers Conference, it occurred to me to describe the appeal in game development terms:

NASCAR is the Mario Kart of real-life racing.

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NASCAR Haulers 2008

March 7, 2009 · Print This Article

I’ve certainly bitched about Windows Vista in the past: basically, it’s Windows ME all over again. And I deserve every bit of grief that it gives me, because I’m too lazy dig out the old Windows XP CD and simply reinstall my laptop.
One of the nice Vista features is the gadget sidebar, though. Even if Vista keeps messing up the order of the installed apps quite often, there’s a little window that can play an image slideshow. Mine is set to shuffle through photographs of the past decade, which is a neat way of remembering occasions and rediscovering cool shots.
Which is how I found the following few shots, taken on my iPhone in Sonoma last summer. If you watched the timelapse video you can see me scatter about on the paddock icon wink NASCAR Haulers 2008

It’s a nice throwback to 2006, when I did my first ever NASCAR post about the trucks staying in Larkspur before the race. Some of these haulers are still current for 2009, some are reminders of days past – when Dario Franchitti was racing in NASCAR, Caterpillar was on the 22 car, and CGR, DEI and Petty Enterprises were seperate still entities.

NASCAR Hauler Timelapse

February 15, 2009 · Print This Article

Now that the 2009 NASCAR season is officially underway, I want to kick off my own season by posting the 2nd timelapse that I recorded when NASCAR was at Infineon Raceway in 2008.

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This took about an hour in realtime.You can watch the other timelapse (filmed concurrently on the dragstrip) here.

51st Daytona 500

February 15, 2009 · Print This Article

The 51st running of the Daytona 500 is in the books, and it was a decidedly lackluster affair. A rain-shortened race, overly aggressive “Digger” merchandising by Fox, a terrible rendition of the national anthem by Gavin DeGraw… and the general feeling that it’s starting up all too soon. Maybe with the ailing economy, NASCAR can finally get to shortening their 36 race season to something more compact that people look forward to when it’s all coming back after the break.
Congratulations to Matt Kenseth! Unfortunately, these are the two pieces of TV that come to mind first when remembering this year’s race:

That’s not good, guys! Not good at all. Let’s see how the rest of the season unfolds, though.

NCK Road Race

December 6, 2008 · Print This Article

Every year, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Northern California Karters hold their season closing race at Infineon Raceway. This event hold a special place in my heart for two reasons: in 2004, this is where I first met Victoria’s family, when she brought me to watch her dad Michael race. That day also marked my first ever visit to the racetrack, which has developed into a pretty intimate affair. This year, two of Victoria’s aunts and five cousins were in town for the race. And Missy upheld the tradition by introducing her boyfriend to the track to the meet the family for his first time.

I made a pretty elaborate music video of the entire day of 2007. This year, I didn’t have as much time, so I just filmed some racing action from good shooting spots (having a hard card for the track and having filmed the 2008 NASCAR and IndyCar races certainly helped!), and edited it into a small montage. Enjoy! These guys easily reach over 100mph in their little karts as they race down the esses. Most impressive, and always a lot of fun to watch. Just as impressive: Michael got first place in his class!

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