TMS, 2007 Dickies 500

It’s been a week or so, but I got some cool pictures at Texas Motor Speedway at the races last weekend. This is going to be a ridiculously long post, so I apologize in advance, but there are far more pictures you can look at. Check out my galleries from practice and happy hour, as well as the actual race on Sunday.

Dave Blaney’s CAT Toyota, coming out for his first practice session.

You’ll see a lot of the 43 car, as it’s my uncle’s favorite. When someone gives you 700 dollars worth of tickets, you take pictures of what they like.

Elliot Sadler, headed back into the garage to make some adjustments during the first practice.

Drivers come in and get the temperature of their tires checked. In this case, David Gilliland in the M&M’s car.

Kevin Harvick headed around the track. Again, it’s almost impossible to describe how fast these cars are, or how hard it is to take pictures of them.

Bobby Labonte drives the number 43, though it was made famous by Richard Petty, the driver with the most wins in NASCAR history.

This is a shot down pit row, where teams are getting ready for the Busch series race that starts in a couple of hours.

Behind one of the buildings is a sea of tires – thousands of them. Each set of tires costs 1600 dollars. My real question, though, is what team 36B knows about wheels.

Bobby Labonte cruising around the track.

Tony Stewart, in front of some of the “TEXAS” letters.

A crew member from the number 24 Busch team relaxes and watches the cars during happy hour. I wonder if this job pays well.

Gilliland’s M&M’s car going around the track. Happy Hour is the last time teams can run around the track before the race, and they try to learn as much as possible so they can make adjustments for the next day’s race.

This is Dale Jr’s last year in the number 8 car. Tattoo parlors everywhere are already getting ready for the 88’s they’re going to have to draw.

Juan Pablo Montoya is one of the newest drivers to NASCAR, and is a former F1 champion.

Kasey Kahne is another young gun, and the personal favorite of old women everywhere.

Jimmy Johnson has the highest winning percentage of any driver with 32 wins and 132 top 10’s in only 6 years of racing. The guy is a beast, and incidentally won this weekend too. As of today, he’s won 4 straight races.

Tony Stewart. These cars are going so fast that I took a wider angle picture @ 1/250th of a second, which generally can stop anything, but they were still streaked. I don’t think there’s anyone alive who could take a picture of them without panning.

There are a ton of people out there working the event. Here’s one of the firemen.

Not many people like Kurt Busch or his brother Kyle. They do like Miller Lite, though, which is incomprehensible to me.

This is a wider view of where the cars come in to get their tires checked.

The people at DuPont Motorsports were somewhat protective of Jeff Gordon. Probably not the worst idea at TMS.

Elliot Sadler is possibly my new favorite driver. Maybe because he’s nice and I got this picture.

Matt Kenseth is a fairly cool guy too.

He helps push his car in, for instance.

Dario Franchitti was driving in the Busch race. Go show your mothers, they’ll be interested. I promise.

Before the start of the race, the cars are all lined up on the track.

Red Bull give you wings.

One huge difference between NASCAR and other racing is the distance the cars get from each other, especially in the corners. Going 70 a few feet behind a car is scary. Going 200 a few inches behind a car is insane.

Does anyone else see an issue with Jack Daniel’s sponsoring a NASCAR team?

We had a great view of the pit work.

But only one accident. The rest were on the backstretch.

Turner isn’t paying attention.

Races races are won and lost on pit row.

More often lost than won.

Due to time changes, the race finished under the lights, which was rather cool.

Note the wheel on fire.

Kasey Kahne.

Greg Biffle spun through the grass. Then a few laps later his car caught fire.

While it BBQ’ed, the rest of the field is coming around the track.

Tony, under the lights.

Paul Menard’s high-visibility yellow car was aptly painted, since he got lapped so many times. Maybe he needed a yellow triangle on the back too.

Matt Kenseth led the race near the end.

Then Jimmy Johnson caught up to him.

They raced around the track side-by-side for the last 15 laps or so.

Though Johnson eventually won.

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