Episode Transcript

Julia Landauer 0:04 Hello, everybody and welcome back to another episode of if I'm honest with Julia Landauer. I hope you had a good weekend and a good start to your week. This weekend was my last on crutches and with my boot after having foot surgery a few weeks ago, I got my stitches out yesterday, life is already so much better and I'm thrilled. So that was good. One PSA though on a serious note. If you are not handicapped, either temporarily or long term, please, please, please do not stand Wait, park in the handicap parking spots. Those are there for a reason. I think this is underappreciated if we don't ever need to use them. But people who need those spaces either because it's exhausting to crotch a long distance or because they need the ramp associated with a handicap parking spot so they can get their wheelchair up the ramp and so they have enough space to get out of their car. Everyone depends on those right. And so it was really frustrating to see food delivery service people who didn't have a nearby parking spot to just sit and have their car on idle without them in it while they went and picked up their food because it meant that I had to wait for them to get back or I had to yell out of the car. And look, I was just on crutches and I could put weight on my foot. I just couldn't easily walk. And like even that was annoying enough. And so yeah, the PSA here, please don't go into that parking spot. It's good to get steps in any way. I know that parking is frustrating, but it will be a lot more frustrating to the people who need the handicap spots who aren't able to pull into them because other people are just waiting there. So anyway, thank you in advance for respecting those spaces. This weekend was also the Daytona 500. And if you have not been to the Daytona 500 Or you don't know what the Daytona 500 is, but let me set the stage for you. The NASCAR season starts in February and the Daytona 500 is like our Super Bowl. It is the biggest race of the season. It has the biggest prize money purse, it kicks off the whole season. It's a big spectacle and a big like week long celebration where there are a lot of celebrities and there are a lot of guests that come out. There's a lot of visibility. It just has the reputation and the history of being our biggest race of the year. I'm not entirely sure why we start our season with the Super Bowl but that's okay. It works. And there are a lot of affiliate races going on at nearby racetracks for more grassroots level racing. They have the the on track events really spread out Wednesday is qualifying Thursday is the last chance qualifying races called the duels and then they have the Arca racing truck racing and XFINITY racing on the Friday and Saturday. They have the Daytona 500 On the Sunday. It's really cool. Lots of great guests, lots of fun grand marshals. And this year, unfortunately, it rained for majority of Saturday and Sunday, they had to postpone the races until Monday, which is never fun. And if you think of it just from an event management standpoint, you know all the time, energy and money that goes into setting up the weekend and having the performances and the fan zones and when the track is operating to have that all messed up is annoying. And this is the second race in a row and we're two for two now of having rain outs on us planned racing days because the clash that was the beginning of February was our exhibition race and that also had the torrential Southern California weather come in and force the race getting to get moved up a day earlier. But anyway, back to the Daytona 500. There's so much hype. It's really exciting. It takes place at Daytona Beach, Florida. And typically there are more cars that are trying to qualify for the races then are able to make it so in cup 42 cars tried to qualify for the 40 spots, which I'll talk about more but in terms of the atmosphere. So daytona international speedway is a super speedway, meaning it's over two miles. And that means it's the really big facility, it means there's a lot going on on the infield, it means that you're going to see the iconic classic NASCAR racing shots where it's big groups of 1015 20 cars that are too wide, sometimes three wide, sometimes four wide, although that doesn't work for very long. And this big, what we call pack racing because there's so much speed because you're flat out for most of the lap or if not all the lap that you're there's a lot of air resistance. And so there's a lot of drafting, which is where the car in front will cut through the air resistance and then all the cars behind them won't have that same resistance so they're able to go faster and in turn, they push that front car faster. So at these big superspeed ways. If you have one car is driving by itself, it will always be slower than the pack of cars together. There's so much to Engine and they're moving so fast within inches of each other. It's just it's really exciting. Sometimes that tight racing leads to pretty spectacular crashes. Most recently, Ryan Preece had a pretty bad crash at Daytona last year, not for the 500 for a second race they had during the year, but he did quite a few barrel rolls hit the grass went up in the air down and was able to walk away with just some black and blue eyes, which looks pretty scary, I'm going to be honest, but he was otherwise pretty well off. Ryan Newman a few years ago had a pretty nasty crash at the Daytona 500. And he barrel roll was on fire, an oncoming car hit his door while he was upside down. And so it went right into the driver's side door. And we didn't know how he was for about two days afterwards when he walked out of the hospital. So luckily, that ended a lot better than we were all worried it would. And I think this is a testament to the safety associated with these stock cars. And there has been so many improvements not only to the cars, but to the racetrack. So for example, if you think about racing and the high level physics involved, these 3400 pound machines are going really fast around a track. And so when we crash, there's a lot of kinetic energy in the crash. And so back in the olden days, you know, it was a concrete wall and the car and if the car didn't crumble, then that kinetic energy was passed on to the driver. And so the impacts were really hard. And so what they've done is that NASCAR worked with the University of Nebraska to develop these SAFER barriers. And what it is, is you have the concrete wall on the outside of the racetrack. And then on the inside, there's a combination of densely packed foam, and then hollowed out steel so that when a car crashes into that, they hit the steel than the foam and then the concrete and so there's a lot of kinetic energy absorbed by the wall so that doesn't hit the car. And then the cars are built to crumble when they crash. So that again, that crumbling absorbs the kinetic energy, so the driver absorbs the least, which that isn't to say that there aren't some heavy hits that result in high G forces on the driver. It was reported that Ryan Blaney who crashed this this weekend, he had a 55 G hit on impact. And last year, he also crashed and had a 70 G impact. So it's still pretty substantial. And it emphasizes the importance of really working on the physical strength and neck strength so that we can withstand those heavy hits. In terms of the atmosphere. I think this is really fun to talk about. Because if you haven't been to a NASCAR race, it's really hard to kind of picture what it could be like so I'm going to do my best to describe it. Because it is so electric to be at the racetrack. It is so energetic. It is intoxicating. I love being at the track. And Daytona is situated on international speedway Boulevard. And it gets packed with people trying to get into the race. It's it's a really chaotic scene. And if you're driving to the infield, the entrances underneath turn four. So there's a term for tunnel where there's one tube going into the track one tube coming out, you drive downhill into the tube underneath the racetrack and you come out and you just come out to blue sky and the high bankings of turn three, and you see the campgrounds full of people and you see all the golf carts driving everywhere. And we have to we have to make our way through different roads to go through the campgrounds through the parking lots. Get to the infield. If you don't have a hot pass, they have a fan zone where they have concessions and concerts and interviews with drivers and you can get kind of close to pit lane. And then if you have a hot pass, you can get into the garages which are fenced off the whole pit area where the haulers are set up, which are near the garages there are fenced off to those who are properly credentialed. And it's bustling. Let me tell you people are walking around so quickly. Sometimes crew members are running back and forth from pit lane to their garages. You're seeing these teams of people pushing the race cars to tech and through tech and there are fans asking for autographs. It's usually pretty hot during the Daytona 500 day itself and so people are sweaty and they're a little stinky, but everyone's excited to be there and pit lane is really busy and really crowded and you bump into people that you've known in the industry for decades and it's it's really cool. You feel the energy you feel the energy of the fans in the stands, you feel the energy of everyone around you. And the best analogy I can give is that it's kind of like an ant farm like things are just happening so quickly. You smell the rubber you feel the vibrations of the cars going around the track. It is so loud you hear how sound travels slower and it is so much it is a sensory overload for sure. But it's really, really exciting and I highly recommend to Trying to get to the infield of a racetrack. And if you're going to the stands, it's also super awesome. So when I have watched from the stands at Daytona, I typically park a little further away because parking like most sporting events is just messy. And there's a pedestrian bridge that takes you over international speedway Boulevard. And so you just see everyone in their shirts and in their team gear and you know who they're rooting for. And you walk over and you get to the racetrack side, and you see the concession stands and the merchandise, trailers and so much color. And you make your way to your seats. And you know, when when the cars are driving, you feel the vibrations in the grandstands. And the whole thing rumbles and the people are excited, the fans are excited at night, if you're watching a race, it can get kind of cold, so got to be prepared for that. But it's just overall such a wonderful experience. It's loud, it's exciting. It's adrenaline filled, it's unpredictable. And it's a really fun weekend. So let's talk about this year's Daytona 500, which was unfortunately, rain delayed. But for some highlights of some of the cool stuff. Dwayne The Rock Johnson was brought in as the Grand Marshal, and he was actually able to stay from the delay on Sunday to Monday to be able to be the Grand Marshal. And that is just such a stud move. You know, like celebrities are busy people, they've got a lot going on. But the fact that he was able to stay and be there and go to a media appearance and meet some, some of the folks associated with it was really cool, I thought. So let's talk about this year's Daytona 500, starting with the duals. So the duels were on Thursday, and they were that in between from qualifying to the race where it sets the starting order for the race. And then also the two people who aren't going to qualify are finalized. So this happens on Thursday night. And they are to 60 lap races, which if I'm honest, I love a sprint race. I think they're punchy, I think they're exciting. I think it means that the drivers are all out all the time, because there's just a short amount of time to do things, they don't have to kind of bide their time as much as you do in a longer endurance race. And it's an interesting balance with the duels because you have to be aggressive enough to really maximize your starting position. But then you also have to be careful enough so that you don't crash or go all out or get into an incident that one could either prevent you from making the race if you're one of the back end cars and has to qualify in with these races. Or that means you have destroyed your car so badly that you have to go to a backup car and start at the back of the pack for the Daytona 500, which is one of the rules. And so it's this fine balance for the drivers. And I want to go through some of the quick highlights from dual one and dual two. So for dual one, Jimmie Johnson, who's a seven time Cup Series Champion who's now racing part time for legacy Motor Club, he did not qualify very well. So he was one of the drivers that was not guaranteed a starting spot. And so he had to finish ahead of one of the competitors JJ Yeley in order to make the Daytona 500. So throughout the race, it was a pretty good race. It was pretty, pretty eventful in a clean way. Like I'm a big fan of Tyler Reddick. And he had this massively impressive save with 20 laps to go that kept him going. And he actually ended up winning the first duel, and jimmie johnson and JJ Yeley, we're kind of right near each other near the kind of back end of the pack for most of the race. And with two or three laps to go. They were right there kind of jockeying back and forth who was in front and who was behind. And for me, it looked like for a while that JJ Yeley was going to get that spot. And Jimmie Johnson was able to pull off the finish ahead of JJ Yeley he got in by the skin of his teeth. So that was pretty lucky. I think he'll he'll agree with that, and not that I'll ever be able to confirm with him. But it was it was pretty, pretty dicey there for a bit. And then in the second tool, Kaz Grala and BJ McLeod, were fighting for that spot, whoever finished ahead of the other one was going to make the race and they had a really big crash early on in the in the duel, and we like to call the big crash that takes out 10, 15 Hopefully not 20. But a lot of cars, we call it the big one. And they had a really big one. And as I mentioned, Ryan Blaney hit really hard into the outside wall, and then his car was on fire for a little bit. And he was understandably quite upset and frustrated with the poor quality of the drafting and the pushing that was done. So he was really frustrated. But the other thing that they talked about on the on the broadcast was just how important it is to be strong enough and to do that work with training so that in that instance, you can get out of the car and he was able to be immediately released from the infield care center where they do check you for concussion like symptoms. Ryan Blaney was able to walk away he was released, he was fine. And it's pretty impressive. Side note that before every season in order to get your racing license, NASCAR requires that drivers go through a physical drug test, and neurocognitive baseline testing. And so what this is, is it's using the Impact System, which is immediate post concussion assessment and cognitive testing. And it's a computer based assessment tool that allows us to create a baseline as to how quickly we react to things how quickly, we're able to take in information so that in the event of a crash, we can test ourselves to see how we compare to this preseason baseline testing. So in the three NASCAR national series, every time you crash, you have to go to the infield care center, you have to be physically evaluated, you have to be neuro cognitively evaluated, and assuming that you're within the tolerance level that they have, which I don't know what that is. They release you and if not, they keep you for further testing. So Kaz Grala ended up finishing ahead of Bj McLeod. And so jj Yeley and BJ McLeod both went home and unfortunately did not make the Daytona 500 race. But a small side story about BJ McLeod. I don't know him very well personally. But my first time ever in a stock car. So in a NASCAR stock style stock car was in February when I want to say I was 15 or 16. And Lyn St. James had invited me along with a handful of other women down to Florida to get experience in the stock cars. And she knew I was interested in moving over to NASCAR style racing. So we go there and BJ McLeod was one of the instructors at Finish Line Racing School. And I'm very impressed with myself for remembering that name in this moment. So finish line racing school, we learned how to drive stock cars on ovals, and BJ McLeod was one of the instructors. So that was kind of a cool little tidbit with him. I also remember for that trip, that was supposed to be a two day test because it was in February in New York, we had a snowstorm and my flight was canceled. So I missed the first day just went down for the second day, and ended up being one of the faster drivers there. So that was pretty cool. So those were the duels, I'm not going to get into the Arca truck or XFINITY race. And truth be told, I'm recording this before the Daytona 500 has taken place because I'm working woman and I have to do this on the weekends. But I am looking forward to watching the Daytona 500 and coming back and giving my report so if the next segment of this podcast sounds a little different, it's because I recorded it in a different setting. And so this next little bit will be my thoughts on the race. Okay, guys, I am back from watching the Daytona 500. I just walked upstairs from watching it. Let me tell you, that was a great race. I thought it was super good. It was really impressive. There was so much talent. I'll get into more specifics in a second. But going back to the beginning, The Rock did an amazing command to start the engines. He really leaned into it he embodied the enthusiasm that all the fans have. I really loved it. I was also super impressed because there was a huge crowd on site in the stands like it was looked like it was pretty much the sold out crowd that it was going into the weekend. And that's despite the weather delay. So that is super cool. So for the flow of the race by five laps in, they were running three cars wide, which is a lot right that's that's aggressive racing that early, but they were clean. They were smooth. But they did have a big crash where Harrison Burton got hit multiple times. And he was an early victim of Speedway racing. And on top of that, a nother element that they had to deal with today was because it rained all weekend, the grass on the infield was wet and soggy and muddy. And so cars had to be careful because when they spun out, they ran the risk of getting stuck in the grass just like Carson Hocevar did, which was really upsetting because in a normal weekend, without the rain, he probably could have kept going. So that's always tough. After that the racing was really really impressive. In my opinion. There was lots of passing there was lots of hard, clean, respectful racing at almost 200 miles an hour. These drivers are extremely talented, they are smart, they are respectful, they were aggressive. It was really a pleasure to watch them do their thing because again, they're maneuvering 3400 pounds of machine that don't have a ton of downforce, with cars, bumping them lightly, you know and going almost 200 miles an hour and dealing with all of the aerodynamics involved with that. It is so impressive that they were able to save the little wiggles to make these amazing block moves to prevent people from passing them. It was really cool. So for the last 20 laps or so they were getting a little more aggressive and they were going through vied for like seven or eight cars deep, it was really impressive. And they were wiggling, they were moving around like there was on the edge of my seat moments because it looked like they were about to crash and they didn't. And they were able to keep going for many, many laps like 15 ish laps with that like three wide. And then with about eight laps to go, they had the big one, they had the big one that took out a ton of cars. I think that someone someone got into someone else, and they just push them a little too hard. So then they got sideways and took out a bunch of other people. And then you just get collected in it. They got the race going again, and they were coming down with about three or four laps to go. They're racing hard, they're racing clean, it was really impressive. And then as they took the white flag, which meant one lap to go, they started crashing, and they pulled out the caution after the White had gone. And so the rule in NASCAR is that if you take the white flag if the leader passes the white flag, want to go marker, then whatever the next flag is, ends the race if it's the checkered flag, great if it's a yellow flag caution, fine, the race is still considered complete. So because of the caution came out like milliseconds after the white flag came out. William Byron was our winner of the Daytona 500 William Byron races for Hendrick Motorsports and today, apparently to the day marks the 40th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports being in NASCAR at the cup series. They are at the home of seven time champion Jimmie Johnson super impressive team. So it was really fun to watch. And overall, I think it was a great Daytona 500 I am getting ready to wrap up this recording and go watch the NASCAR XFINITY race which is taking place later this evening. Busy Monday for racing. And I would love to know what you thought of the Daytona 500 If you watched it, so please leave a comment guys. That is our show. Thank you so much for letting me be honest with you and my thoughts of the Daytona 500. If you liked this episode and more support me please go ahead and share the episode share the podcast, rate it review it, send it you know all fun things. I look forward to seeing you next week.