Rock Lobstah? Ayuh, it’s Good
Land of Awes Chapter 15 When Ed and Rachel Barnhart retired in 2004, the intrepid…
NASCAR autos are stripped-down and built for speed. Fans, often in the hundreds of thousands, throng the tracks at Daytona, Talladega and elsewhere to watch drivers push those cars, and themselves, to the limit.
But for fans and drivers alike, built-for-comfort RVs also are a big part of any NASCAR race.
At the bigger NASCAR tracks, “you could walk from one end of the track to the other going roof to roof,” says David Reutimann, a Zephyrhills, Fla., native who drives in NASCAR’s premiere series, the Sprint Cup.
If his race is in the Southeast, there’s also a good chance David’s cousins, brothers Greg and Jeff Reutimann, will be there, parked on the infield in their Lazydays-purchased RVs.
Racing is in the Reutimann bloodline. Both Greg and Jeff did turns around various tracks in their younger days.
“We all raced at one time,” says Jeff. “I raced at Golden Gate Speedway, off Fletcher Avenue in Tampa, where the Big Top Flea Market is now.
“My dad even had to drive me down to the track because I wasn’t old enough to have a driver’s license,” Greg remembers.
Now, though, both are content to captain their homes away from home and enjoy the action as fans.
Race weekends provide an excellent opportunity for relaxation and recreation with fellow RVers, who create a small city in the infield with plenty of food and fun.
“We’ll go in on Thursday night and leave Monday morning,” Greg says. “It’s like a big family.
“After the race at night there’s always a party,” Greg says. “Somebody’s got music blaring and people are dancing, and there’s more good food than you could imagine. That’s half the fun.”
Rivalries are intense on the racetrack. A more light-hearted version carries over into the infield.
“It’s fun to harass somebody who’s a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, since he hasn’t had a win in a couple of years,” Jeff says with an audible smile. “You can definitely tell who people are pulling for by their T-shirts and the posters then put up in their front windshields.”
“What happens on the track is between the drivers,” Weise adds. “What happens in the infield stays in the infield.”
For David, his RV is a sanctuary where he can get away from the pressures of the track.
“I never have to pack a bag,” David says. “I never have to leave the track. I come through the gate once and leave once. You go to your RV and all your stuff is there. It’s close to having a second home, really”
David is a third-generation racer, but the line may stop there. His 9-year-old daughter favors speed of the four-legged variety.
“She barrel races horses,” David says. “She likes to go fast, but it’s only one horsepower.”