Looking for a different experience this weekend?  Check out the Auto Club NHRA Finals right here at Fairplex.  Now for a step-by-step guide to looking like a die-hard fan this weekend.DSCN1608

  1. Arrive early!  The best time to get autographs and enjoy the pits (not to mention finding some prime parking) is before the racing starts.
  2. While wandering the pits, feel free to chit-chat with people like you know what you’re doing.  “Hey, did you see John Force’s qualifying run last week?”  Simple statements like that make you seem much more knowledgeable than you are.
  3. Before walking up to a driver to get his autograph, make sure you know his (o her) name.  Their faces are huge on the sides of their trailers and their names are always there too.  You have no excuses for not knowing who Brandon Bernstein is when his face is plastered about 12 feet high.
  4. Now this is one decision you get to make: Do you buy a t-shirt or just ask the drivers to sign the cards they provide? If you buy the t-shirt, be sure to put it on so they can sign your back (this is the ultimate in pit groupie cool).
  5. Find a good spot to sit.  Now, depending on which tickets you purchased, you may have a reserved seat or you may not. If you do, come and go as you please, but if you don’t, you are going to need to camp out in your spot for quite some time.
  6. Earlier, I mentioned Brandon Bernstein. If you do see him, wish him luck in his new ventures.  Budweiser is pulling out of NHRA at the end of these races, and he has found a great new team.
  7. Drink water and wear sun-block!  You are sitting outside all day. I don’t care if it is overcast, the UV rays still come through and you can still get dehydrated (sunstroke is definitely not pit groupie cool).
  8. And, the most important one…HAVE FUN!  The Drags only come twice a year and they can be a great experience.

If you follow all my steps you are sure to have a great weekend!  The Auto Club NHRA Finals run now through Sunday at Fairplex.

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