Last March, I was watching a race, and I think I was recapping it, and I noticed that Nascar was running the Labor Day weekend race at Atlanta. Considering that the biggest obstacle to going to a race has always been the fact that I never wanted to spend the exorbitant amounts of $$ they charge for hotels, having the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with my in-laws nearby, was perfect for my son and I to go to our first race. We got to the track 3 hours before the race, mostly because I wanted to see all the stuff outside the track. It's not that I thought it would be cool, because I figured it wouldn't be, but mostly because I wanted to see what was there. So, we wandered around, visited some haulers and a couple of tents and were generally unimpressed. My son was desperate to go sit in the stands and make sure we made it to the race, so we went on into the track. Or, the stadium as my wife kept calling it. There was some guy named Jason Michael Carol, or something like that, performing a concert. I had never heard of him and he was followed by Diamond Rio, who I know is a country group, but I don't know anything else about them. Finally, we got down to driver introductions. Robby Gordon got a smattering of boos. Marcus Ambrose got some cheers. Junior was an interesting phenomenen. There were a lot of cheers and not many boos, but those who did boo went out of their way to make sure that everybody knew they disapproved of Junior. Jeff Gordon got booed and cheered, but mostly cheered. Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised by the cheers for Tony Stewart. As expected, Kyle Busch was booed very loudly. The biggest cheers of all were for Mark Martin. I know that Mark is short, but TV doesn't give you an indication of how short. No disrespect intended to Mark, but he's a shrimp. I think my oldest son is taller than Mark. After driver introductions, Dr. James Dobson gave the invocation and Diamond Rio sang the national anthem. This is when I started sending texts to my wife. I sent them so she had an idea of what was going on and so that I could give you a sort of "live" recap. Live at the track, that is. I was hoping to get time stamps, but I don't have them. The quoted parts are actual texts I sent to my wife. TV doesn't do the flyover justice in any way. I knew the cars were loud and I don't know whether it's because of the engines or the air displacement, but the cars scream. When 43 cars scream by, it's deafening. If I hadn't had ear plugs, my ears would still be recovering. There's so many things that you don't get at home that you get at the track, and not all of those things are bad. See above. The restarts are fantastic. I don't know whether the crew messed up or not, but he literally came out 1 lap before the wreck. Whenever the 48 wanted to go, he did. He passed people, including the leader, easily, and I really thought he was going to win. On both of the times he passed for the lead, he passed Crybaby Busch both times and received plenty of cheers for passing the Crybaby. This clown would simply not sit down and he was right in my line of sight to watch the cars come off of turn 4. If you ever lost track of Junior, all you had to do was look at who was running high. He didn't run the high line the entire race, but when he was hooked up on the high side, he would get such a run off turn 2. I can't stress enough how much of a run Junior would get off turn 2 and he would just blow by people down the backstretch. I don't know what happened, but going from 3rd to 14th on pit road was not cool. The last thing I wanted to do was leave early to beat traffic, only to miss a finish like Earnhardt/Labonte in 2000. There was no question that once Kahne got in front on the restart that he was going to win. Some of the other things that I didn't text had to do with various hand signals at the track. You know about the hand signals that the drivers give, such as a wave to let the guy behind them know they're going to the pits, or other such things. But, some fans had their own unique way of letting Kyle Busch know that he's #1. Finally, the other unique fan was the guy behind me who did a sort of escort nearly everytime that Mark Martin went by. He must have done it 200 times, usually with a beer in hand. There were a lot of helpful fans like that, who helped out their driver by pointing which way the driver should go. After the race, we had a fairly short walk to my car and then we got to sit in traffic for an hour. I had one person who was a jerk and acted like he was going to let me in, then decided he wasn't going to. Other than that, it didn't really take that long to get out of the track. Overall, it was a great time. It was a good race with lots of lead changes, and most of those happened on the track under green. My son is already talking about wanting to go to other races and I don't think there's any question that we're going to another race sometime. If you ever get the chance to see a Cup race live, I highly recommend it. If you do go, please wear earplugs.