- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2008

 A timeline leading up to the Daytona 500 yesterday in steamy Florida.

 8:15 a.m.: Depart the hotel in Ormond Beach, northeast of the speedway. Veteran attendees told Sir Scribble to be at the infield media center no later than 9:30 a.m. ” six hours before the race.

 9:10 a.m.: No problems with traffic and arrive at the Speedway. The luxury motor-homes are already blaring rock music, and the grounds are littered with aluminum beer bottles.

 10 a.m.: In Kurt Busch’s No. 2 hauler, a crew member says they have to redo some of the decals to meet NASCAR’s specifications. Sort of like when an NFL player has his socks too low or too high.

 10:35 a.m.: On pit road, media members are told each team has about 16 sets of tires for the race. Each tire costs $400.

 11:20 a.m.: Sir Scribble makes it to the front straightaway and stands on the banked tri-oval, yards away from the start-finish line, which fans are free to sign. Sir Scribble thinks getting on the playing surface before the Super Bowl was remote.

 11:45 a.m.: Scrib recognizes a familiar face ” Redskins trainer John Burrell, who is eating a turkey leg. He heads to Indianapolis today for the scouting combine.

 Noon: With a colleague, Scrib goes to the front grandstand and takes the elevator to the seventh floor. The goal is to get on the roof where the spotters stand. The security guard permits Scrib and his pal eight minutes to climb the stairs and take in the view. And what a view it is ” the spotters can see the entire track and even the Atlantic Ocean.

 12:30 p.m.: Since Sir Scribble doubts he will be attending a county fair anytime soon, he scarfs down a foot-long corn dog. Delicious.

 1:45 p.m.: The mandatory meeting for drivers and crew chiefs. For some reason, NASCAR feels the need to tell everybody what time the garage will open for the trucks Wednesday in California.

 2:30 p.m.: An engineer for a team tells Sir Scribble and a colleague that not much will go in the first 50 laps. He ends up being absolutely correct ” no cautions.

 3:10 p.m.: After Messrs. Checker and McDonald and Kool and the Gang appear to lip-sync their way through prerace performances, great country group Brooks & Dunn belts out two songs.

 3:30 p.m. (roughly): The green flag drops on the 50th Daytona 500.

- Ryan O’Halloran

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