Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!

So this weekend I had the chance to go to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which though I reside close by, I have never been to the race, or anything that is like this ever before in my life. I was really looking forward to it, though I had no idea what to expect once I got there. Last year I remember running down by the area where it was held and hoping to go one day. This year was my lucky year. I scored Grand Stand tickets and tickets to the Paddock where they keep the cars before the race. You can walk around and see the pit crews and drivers and I did catch a glimpse of Danica Patrick riding a scooter!

We rode down to the Race on the city bus with a bunch of other race fans and walked right into where our tickets allowed us. My brother has this new saying that whenever you are drinking beer, and doing something it becomes ‘American.’ Say, when he did the yard work the other morning at 9 am and decided to drink beer, it made it okay since it was American. The mind of a 21 year old boy. So this whole event was pretty hardcore American in my brothers vocabulary. We all had cocktails and beers in our hands by noon.

This is Danica Patrick’s Car and her little area with the GoDaddy Tent. There were hands down the most people at her tent and it was the most exciting place to be and she wasn’t even there! We waited for about 10 minutes for her to come out but she didn’t. At least I got to see her on the scooter! That was a highlight. She is so tiny in real life.

Here is another side of her trailer. The trailers are so big insides, it’s crazy! Everyone was getting ready and getting the cars ready to go to the track since we were there only like 30 minutes before race time. The cars, once they were ready, then got put on these leash things and pulled out to the track!

Here is a video of the GoDaddy car going out to the track on it’s leash. Still sadly, no sign of Danica!

Even better than a kid on a leash, a car on a leash! It was crazy how small the cars were and how much bigger they look on the track when they are racing by you. I couldn’t believe their true life size, they are tiny. They just pulled all the cars through the crowd and beeped and honked their way through.

That is not the driver in the car but just a guy from the pit crew. They were pulling this car out for the race so that it would be on the track! It is crazy how loud they are and how much it smells! Yucky.

These are the Indy Lights Cars, their engines are smaller and the cars are overall smaller too. It was the first event on the track yesterday and it was pretty cool to watch them go out first. After the race the cars that crashed just get towed around through the air! This is a picture of one that was flying around through the crowd. I have never seen anything like it.

Shea and I and another friend of ours from high school that we randomly ran into outside the car paddock. It was such a nice day out and we remembered to wear sunscreen on our shoulders to not get burnt. Please notice the giant hamburger in the background.

We wandered over to the Danica Merchandise trailer where there were so many things with MY weird name on it! :) I had to get a little something, come on, I can’t ever even find my name on anything else! Shea and I both got lanyards with the Danica and her number, 7, on them to be more official and we put our tickets in them.

Then into the expo we traveled. When the Grand Prix comes to town it takes over all of town. The sheer madness and how much effort and work goes into it amazes me, especially since it’s the streets I drive on to get to work all the time. I love the downtown area and seeing it in this mode was so exciting. It made me love Long Beach even more! I am a proud resident!

We went into the Expo as well to check everything out where it was pretty much filled with Boy loving stuff. Car wax, cars, girls in spandex and lots of Cholula. We got free bottles, but hello, please tell me you don’t laugh at their motto? That was pretty amazing in itself. There were lots of fun things to look at in the Expo so that was fun as well. The last time I was in that expo area was for the Long Beach Marathon Expo, which is quite a change to a Car Racing Expo!

We were back out walking to the track to watch the race. Another car that got in a crash during the Indy Car Lights Race. Also, please notice the side of the car and their sponsors. Crepes and Waffles? Is that a racing term or is that just amazing? I need to be sponsored by Crepes and Waffles!

After walking around we realized the cars were on the track and ready to go! We got settled into our Grand Stand seats and it was awesome! I have never been to anything like this before and just seeing the cars going around and around so fast was pretty exciting. We sat down when they were around lap 10 of 85 and we stayed there the entire time. I was NEVER bored and loved every second! It was so fun to see the cars racing on the streets I run on all the time! I never expected it to be this fun.

It was crazy how fast they took the turns and watching it on the big screen showed us a lot of other parts of the course and where other drivers were. Even though I know nothing about car racing, it was easy to follow and I knew what was going on at all time. It was so loud though! Here is a video after a yellow flag which means someone crashed so all the cars caught up and got lined up behind the pace car again. It was crazy how loud it was!

We had really good seats to see what was going on and they couldn’t race by us too fast since there was a lot of turns where we were sitting. There were so many people in the buildings watching too from all floors!

Not going to lie, all the checkered flags were super cute! I love things checkered, when I was in high school had a room with red walls and a checkered border. It was crazy people watching as all walks of life were out at the race track. It was also crazy to think about going that fast and controlling the car. I couldn’t even imagine!

Sporting the LB Transit checkered flags we got from the expo! We also got little bus banks from the LB Transit as well, which are radical. It was fun because it’s how we got to the race!

Little day drinking. It was so much fun, though drinking there is expensive, not going to lie. I tried to be prepared for it but dannnng 12 dollars for a margarita, on the bright side it was at least 20 ounces. The race is sponsored by Tecate so that was basically all you could get beer wise. I opted for a 12 dollar Margarita that was delicious!

Thus leading to the weirdest picture/event of the day.

Then there was a Swiss Army booth that had you take a picture against a green screen. The guy was looking for people to take pictures of and most people just passed him by but Shea and I thought, we’ll we only live once, we might as well. Shea’s motto is, “If it’s free take two,” so we got sucked in by the free picture and I’m so stoked we did! We opted for to go big and put on these huge jackets. Little did we know the picture would turn out AWESOME!

I am still laughing about this one. It seriously cracks me up.

So all in all, I had a fantastic time at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach! It was so much fun and I would totally do it again! I can’t believe how easy everything was to find and how much fun I had! It was something I never thought I would like to do but man, great times in the LBC. Can’t wait to throw another great event in October, ya know, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, but then it won’t be cars racing through the streets, but people!

xoxo

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26 Responses to Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!

  1. Jose says:

    One of my favorite entries!
    As a die hard race fan (I have been to several Indy Car events up here in nor cal) I love seeing how non-fans and casual spectators view ‘my’ sport!
    There are so many similarities in motorsports and running (splits, lap times, pit stops, aid stations, pacing, teams vs individual effort etc)
    Danica is THE face of IRL the way Dale Jr is the face of NASCAR, but if you get a pit pass you can pretty much go up and talk to any other driver without any wait or worry!
    We’ve taken photos with everyone from Team Owners like Chip Ganassi to the current points leader Justin Wilson (who was SO cool and so gracious to fans)

    Awesome post! I’m stoked you had fun, it’s a really great deal money wise to go to an IRL event vs a NASCAR event. The access to the drivers and pits is unbelievable.

    PS not a big deal at all, but if you want to use motorsports lingo, the trailers are called ‘haulers’, bonus! mention the champ car for uber cred :P

  2. Sheila says:

    LOVE the Switzerland postcard photo. It is AWESOME.

  3. that’s so cool! I have never been to anything like that either. I saw that pic on your twitter and couldn’t wait to hear the story behind it. too funny!

  4. Kristen says:

    I completely agree with your brother on the whole American thing!

  5. Billy says:

    Fast cars, cholula, beer…all my favorite things!

    Good times in the LBC Danica.

  6. Elle says:

    What a super fun day ya’ll had! and girl your hair looked so great in all those pictures!

  7. David says:

    your brother’s got some pretty awesome ideas. keep an eye on that one…he might be a nuclear geophysicist or something crazy one day!

  8. Marlene says:

    Sounds like a pretty fun event! Awesome that you picked up some cool swag with your name on it, and love the Swiss Army pic!

  9. Patience says:

    I am so jealous. I love the Grand Prix. Can’t wait to go to the Indy races this year.
    Love the postcard pic, too funny!

  10. Kelly says:

    you guys are too cute! Love it!

  11. Molly says:

    Where are your shoes from? Cute!

  12. nicole says:

    ha ha ha ha i LOVE the picture of you and Shae! You guys are so cute!!

    Looks like you had tons of fun! I cant wait for october either!!! :) :) :)

  13. I LOVE the Swiss picture!

  14. Jessica says:

    As a huge NASCAR fan, I can honestly say that one of the best sounds in the world is all the cars taking the green flag. Hearing it on TV does not compare to how it sounds in real life.

    I think you and Shea found your Christmas card:)

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  16. John G says:

    Love it! Looks like you had just as much fun as I did at Barber. As a die-hard race fan, I have to say you did an excellent job of explaining the event/race to non-race fans! I think you even wrote IndyCar correctly – not Indy Car. For your earlier poster, Will Power is the points leader, not Justin Wilson and the series is really trying to get away from using IRL and trying to promote “IndyCar Series”. The IRL is the governing body for IndyCar and Indy Lights. If you used the term Champ Car, you would totally confuse everyone – as that series no longer exists. Great work!

  17. Jacklyn says:

    So fun! I love those things that you’ve never done before/never thought you’d like and they’re just a BLAST!

    And in other news…I think I would like to ask you a question. It’s a fun one and involves food which always makes this little runner happy haha. The crepes and waffles brought it up. If you could be sponsored by anything/company, what would it be?

  18. Jacklyn says:

    So fun! I love those things that you’ve never done before/never thought you’d like and they’re just a BLAST!

    And in other news…I think I would like to ask you a question. It’s a fun one and involves food which always makes this little runner happy haha. The crepes and waffles brought it up. If you could be a sponsored runner…who would you want to be sponsored by?

  19. Hahaha! That Switzerland picture is SUPER cute!!!

    Funny thing is I’ve been to Switzerland and I have real life pics that look just like that one! :oP

  20. Glenn Jones says:

    Ha ha ! Love the “Good ‘Ol Burger” for the “Good ‘Ol Boys”. Someone needs to clue the vendor in that this is Indy car and not Nascar….

    Looks like a fun weekend!

  21. J says:

    haha you and shea are hilarious in that winter picture! I love it! I totally have done that before! Those pictures always make me laugh!

  22. Stuart says:

    Yep I would say you qualify as a Swiss Army Knife!

    Compact, handy, versatile and there in a pinch!

  23. Lori says:

    So happy you loved lbgp. My hubby has been a race fan all his life so when we married I married into loving racing as well. (he grew up in LBC and that is ‘his’ race) I do love the live races and getting to go in the paddock and meet different drivers. They have turned into real celebrities for me (yeah, call me a geek lol)
    The dream of my husbands life came true two years ago when my boss/friend became a race car owner. That is his car …. the blue one you have a picture of them pulling the car out to the track. The HP number 2 car driven by the super good looking Rafa Matos.
    Our exciting weekend consisted of dinner with them Sat. night and then after we got back to the Westin, Danica came walking through the lobby. (thought you might like that)
    Just happy to hear you loved it being it was your first time.

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  25. Es says:

    You have a great smile and your teeth are so white. What toothpaste do you use and do you use any professional or drugstore teeth whitening kits?

  26. Pingback: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Remix! | Chic Runner

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