IndyCar In The Heart Of Dixie
July was a big month for me with two HUGE magazine pieces. This one is a feature story for Tailgater Monthly magazine, a comprehensive look at a weekend at Barber Motorsports Park during the 2012 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and the Rolex Grand Am 250 March 31-April 1.
If you’re a road racing fan you must put a trip to Barber on your to-do list. The track, located just 10-15 minutes from downtown Birmingham, opened in 2003 and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest road-racing facilities not only in North America, but throughout the world. Many of the drivers I spoke to over the weekend, including Charlie Kimball and Joao Barbosa, compared the track to the Cicuit de Spa, the legendary Formula I road-course in Belgium, even if it was originally designed for motorcycles, a fact that can make passing in a four-wheeler a wee-bit difficult.
However, a trip to Barber Motorsports Park doesn’t require you to bone up on your French and it’s located just 30 minutes down I-20 from another landmark Alabama racetrack you may have heard of - Talladega Superspeedway. That’s right, one of the new bright sports on the Izod IndyCar schedule is just a stone’s throw from arguably the most famous NASCAR track in the land.
Sunday’s main event was won by the driver with the best name in motorsports - Will Power - but for many women in attendance, the real main event was an appearance by Dr. McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, a team-owner and driver in Saturday’s Rolex Grand Am 250. I wasn’t able to score an interview with him, but fret not ladies, I did get a few photos of him while signing autographs. Here’s a sample.