NASCAR : The Fanshield 500

Mark C. Bach
If you follow the NASCAR races you know that if a driver crosses the fine line of competition, after the race he (along with his crew chief and owner) might be summoned to NASCAR's "hauler" for a conversation. That is never a good invitation to get for a racer.
Actually the "hauler" isn't just one big rig trailer. NASCAR hauls a fleet of trucks to bring in all the gear they need for racing supervision. Typically just 3-4 of the trailers make up command central for the weekend. These black beauties take up a spot near the garages and the racers' own rigs. But there is no mistaking these jet black rigs from NASCAR. But fortunately the hauler is also a focal point for the media during a NASCAR weekend.
Typically after qualifying, the driver's saunter over to the NASCAR trailers and provides a few quick minutes of interviews and quotes for the press. Depending on the qualifying outcomes, some interviews are shorter than others (if you catch my drift).Probably the hardest working red vested security guard is the one assigned to this area. He faces the task of telling fans that are approaching the area that the racers are there for the media and fans can't get that close. But if the fan is clever they'll stake out a position in the path the driver takes from his garage spot to the media outpost. That way he can snag their selfie or get an autograph.
At the Fanshield 500 NASCAR race held in Avondale, AZ on March 8, 2020 we had the chance to set up shop and snap a few shots. This race track, now called the Phoenix Raceway, will be the site for the NASCAR championship weekend in November, 2020. At the end of qualifying the pole winner comes back to officially snag the qualifying flag. This race it was Chase Elliott who won the honors with a lap time of 26.065 seconds. Unfortunately that success didn't carry over to race day for Elliott as he finished seventh.
Before the Sunday race kicked off country singer and The Voice coach Blake Shelton showed up to help out Pitbull with a pre-race concert. Shelton then took advantage of the time and met several of the racers as they were preparing for the race. Who knew that the boy from Oklahoma would be such a fan? The race was won by Joey Logano who drove up into the winner's circle for some cheers and Gatorade showers.
Cannot wait for the return of NASCAR here for the Championship weekend. Instead of holding it in Homestead, FL it will be here in the Phoenix, AZ region. But in the meantime we can check out these photos. Maybe your favorite driver was included?

(c) 2020 Mark C. Bach
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