The Mind of Matt: Phoenix and NASCAR | Rock Candy

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Mind of Matt: Phoenix and NASCAR

Posted on Tue, Nov 14, 2006 at 4:48 PM

Matt's really racing with the big boys this week:

What a wonderful weekend for sports in America’s sixth largest city. The temperature was a perfect 72 when we got in to the Phoenix airport.
Everything went smooth, including the flight change in Dallas. My friend of at least 12 years, Jeff Salisbury, the racecar fanatic, picked us up.
Jeff continues to soldier on, even though he recently lost his brother to a heart attack. Jeff, of Pettit Racing fame, is here for NASCAR week. I am a road racing and drag racing fan. But, when Jeff says,“get over here for this gig” I go. The events kicked off with Thursday's
Konica 125 followed by Friday's Truck Series 150 and Saturday's Arizona 200.
We hang around the track. It’s great, but a little strange. You don’t see the IMSA and GT2 crowd just chillin’ with the NASCAR faithful very often.
These people are really separate breeds in the racing world. The track is impressive and the crowds are massive. This has got to be the only sports event where ALL of the stars are at the same place each weekend.

We finally slip away from the boys at the track late on Saturday. I have never been a one team or one sport fan. The motorheads couldn’t believe it, but I head into downtown for the NBA Sun’s game. There is a little traffic problem, due to the light rail construction, but overall not an unpleasant drive. The Suns play in a nice new facility, which shares a parking area with the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. These arenas are as nice as any sports venue in all of America. They have a Hard Rock Café right across the rail line. What else could you ask for?

The Phoenix Suns just put a beating on the Memphis Grizzlies. The plush basketball arena is jumping. The team has great fan support. Suns win! Check out this team and arena @

After the game, we hit a few clubs with the Pettit Racing crew. I didn’t stay out too late because I planned to drop by the race and the football game on Sunday.

More from the desert this week. -- Matt Smith

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