If you dropped $899 before Friday for a Pit Box Lounge package to this weekend’s NASCAR races at Auto Club Speedway, then you’re likely enjoying, among other things, delectable buffet meals, pre-race pit passes — and a two-story slide.
The 40-foot, curly-q slide starts from a rooftop suite located at the entrance of pit road and drops riders at the Victory Lane Bar, where fans can get unlimited beer and wine that comes with the price of the ticket package.
It’s all part of a trend in NASCAR that revolves around premium packages that go far beyond just getting you past the gates. As Louis Brewster of the Los Angeles Daily News reported earlier this week, multiple other tracks along the circuit have created their own high-dollar fan experiences that combine standard aspects like unlimited eats and drinks with more unique elements such as Daytona’s Victory Lane seat and Phoenix’s hand-rolled cigars.
“We’re always looking to create out-of-the-box experiences for fans and partners that are unique; there’s no doubt a 40-foot slide is just that,” ACS president Gillian Zucker told Brewster about her track’s signature premium feature. “It’s fast too. It’s no kiddie slide.”
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.