HomeCar CultureMonterey Car Week: Day Three “A day at the track"

Monterey Car Week: Day Three “A day at the track”

A sunburn couldn't dampen a great afternoon at Laguna Seca


Our content manager is on the road covering Monterey Car Week. Part two of his opus is available here

You meet a lot of good people at collector car events or classic motorsport races. Our collective passion will have us chatting with a stranger like an old friend. Anecdotes and opinions are shared and the conversations are natural and freewheeling. The people make the events memorable, but the cars help too.

I spent Thursday at Laguna Seca to take in the sights and sounds of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. I am a longtime motorsports fan, I’ve previously worked as a credentialed NASCAR and IndyCar reporter, and have what borders on obsession with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This passion led me to think it was a good idea a couple of years ago to watch all 24-hours. I stopped after 18-hours due to fatigue that could not be suppressed by espresso.

With the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans being center stage at Laguna Seca this week it was some funky form of destiny that had me at Monterey Car Week walking through the paddock all afternoon with a fellow gearhead. It was the perfect day at the track, except for the extensive sunburn that gives me a vague resemblance to a lobster.

Kremer Racing Porsche 936
Kremer Racing Porsche 936

Rolling through the numerous rows of the paddock I got the privilege to see so many vintage racecars that I had only read about or seen on TV. Mechanics worked on the cars, getting them ready for qualifying, and despite the somewhat hectic nature of prepping for the track everyone was free to check out the racecars and chop it up with the owners and mechanics.

My friend let me know that every car was the real deal. No re-creations, tributes or homages to the iconic vintage racers. It was like being in a museum, but with a more visceral emotion and cooler background noise of unfettered horsepower.

Each aisle in the paddock led to another new friend and car talk. Even if you were a stranger, and I definitely am as this was my first trip to Laguna Seca, there was no awkwardness when riffing with someone new. Ours is a welcoming community because ultimately we love cars.

As a community of car people we all have our personal differences. This is not a shocking statement by any stretch of the imagination, but we ultimately share a common passion and that squelches any inclination to treat someone different and/or poorly due to some preconceived notion.

Mazda 767B
Mazda 767B

It was an ideal day at the track with great people and good cars. Even the sunburn and weary calves from a lot of walking can’t damper a nice afternoon in a welcoming community. I made some friends, learned a lot about cars, and felt the true automotive passion in our community of gearheads.

David P. Castro
David P. Castro
The Santa Rosa, California native is an experienced automotive and motorsports writer with a passion for American muscle cars. He is a credentialed automotive, NASCAR, and IndyCar reporter that graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno. A devoted F1 and NASCAR fan, he currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, Siberian Husky, Mini Cooper, and 1977 Chevrolet C10.



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