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  1. #1

    Default Chasing Cars: Daytona (and Florida)

    Not really a roadtrip as such - I'll be spending the duration with friends and also doing a bit of business in the area. But... the Daytona 500 on the 17th Feb and Shuttle launch on the 14th Feb just have to be done!

    What can you tell me about seeing a Shuttle launch? Where should I be watching from? Am I too late to book a place? What chance of it actually getting away on time? Any tips???

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2


    Okay, had a brainwave. One of our old drivers used to live in Titusville when he was training for his helicopter instructor licence thingy. I finally tracked him down to an oil rig in the North Sea (somewhat different weather out there to Florida!) and he suggested that it's not really worth the effort of getting a permit to be out on the causeway and you're better off watching from the northern shores of Titusville itself. I will report back afterwards on how succesful (or otherwise) that is but he said he saw three launches whilst he was there so I guess he should know what he's talking about?

    Hopefully that info should help someone at some point but I also found this page which seems to offer some very good independant advice on where is a good viewing place.

    Flights are booked, my friends in Sarasota are expecting me (and claim to be looking forward to my visit (they must be mad! lol) and I have literally just booked my ticket for the Daytona 500 as well. So I am very much looking forward to it!

    I was thinking of visiting the Canaveral National Seashore whilst I was in the area but this seems like it may be closed due to the Shuttle launch. Presuming it was open, worth a visit?

  3. #3


    Me again. Question to anyone in the know with the Shuttle as I've been unable to find details anywhere.

    With the Dec 6 launch being put back to sometime late Jan - early Feb, how will this affect the Feb 14 launch? Presuming it goes at all, of course. Do they wait for the delayed launch to return to Kennedy or would they just go ahead and launch the second one on the original date? I'm thinking not as a) it takes time to get the vehicle out to the pad and checked over and b) they probably don't have the facilities to manage two missions simultaneously except in emergency conditions?

    Any ideas folks? Obviously I need to come up with some sort of fall back plan of potential places to visit presuming I miss the launch...

  4. #4

    Default Back home

    Well... I went, I saw, I drank lots of beer! Didnt' do much driving this time, which is odd for me, but the car (get this -- I booked an economy car for $200 and they gave me a Mustang convertible which was nice of them) didn't do any more than 800 miles. Therefore no report this time...

    Have just uploaded a few photos which didn't come out all that bad. Annoyingly my camera batteries died whilst on the infield at Daytona so I missed out on some cool photos including of me meeting Paul Sr from American Chopper!

    Here's to the next trip!
    Last edited by UKCraig; 02-24-2008 at 12:51 PM.

  5. #5

    Default I was there, too

    Hello Craig,

    I wish I'd have recalled you were headed for Daytona, as I was there, too, and would have enjoyed meeting you in person.

    The wife and I had only pit/garage credentials and no grandstand seats. As a result, we were among the "civilians" wandering around inside the garage and pit road areas, periodically ducking out to the "Budweiser Bistro" for a cold beer, as bringing beer into the pit/garage area is forbidden. We watched the races from the pits, too, essentially standing behind one pit box or another, seeing the cars come by on the frontstretch, and watching either the Jumbotron or the flatscreen monitors on each pit box for the turns and backstretch action. All in all, I like watching from the pits at least as well as watching from grandstand "seats" which are designed by the same sadists who design airline coach section seats.

    Perhaps next time we can meet and hoist one, or two. I'll be in Bristol in 3 weeks, then Talladega in late April.

    Best regards,


  6. #6

    Default Nice!

    Why, you lucky sausage! It's one thing that I miss now that I don't work in the sport anymore. The pits and paddock is easily the best place to watch a race -- regardless of the view/lack of view.

    Ahh... the good old Budweiser Bistro! :) A little over priced but nice sandwiches so we'll let em off!!

    I'm somewhat jealous of your visit to Bristol. I've done Daytona (x2), Talladega (x2), Homestead and Bristol now and the latter was the best by a country mile. Absolutely ruined everywhere else for me!!

    My only other race in the US this year is going to be the Sprint (almost said Nextel!) Cup at Sears Point. But next year I'm fully intending to do the Indy 500 :) Can't wait!

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