They love to herd us like cattle…
They love to shut us off from the “racing world” and make our lives miserable….
It’s NOT the security of the track – I’m talking about the security guards at NASCAR sanctioned tracks.
The dreaded guys in blue, with attitude….
And those whistles…. oh gosh, THOSE WHISTLES….!!
If you have ever been in the FanZone, garage or pits at any NASCAR sanctioned track, you have encountered the dreaded security guards, also known as the “Gate Warden” as seen on the social networks. I think they had a convention during the off season for the meeting of the “annoying minds” to see what they could come up with to irritate fans this year. Now mind you, it’s not just the fans, but it’s team owners, crew members, sponsor guests, media, etc that end up getting ticked off.
Last year, as long as you had the credential required to be in the pits during qualifying or a race, you were able to stand against the wall. Now mind you, during the race, one would not be in a pit where the team is. It is their work place. What I’m talking about is if a car wrecks and is done during the race, their pit stall becomes empty after the team has packed up, and pulled out. This is normally where I would stand for a while. This year, you were not allowed. In order to stand up against the pit wall, you had to have a hard card or be with someone that had a hard card. Ok, so what exactly is a hard card? A hard card is the badge that someone who’s employed with a race team, the hosting track, sponsor, NASCAR, or one who once involved with NASCAR and has to pay big bucks for it…I’ve heard in the range between $4,000 and $6,000. If you’re in the garage or pits, you would have either a hard card, hot pass (can be in pits/garage while cars are running on track) or cold pass (not allowed in pits/garage while cars on track).
I can understand security handles a lot of fans, team members, etc, but it doesn’t give them the right to treat you like a criminal or to yell at you if you ask a simple question. The things I witnessed last weekend at Daytona International Speedway was uncalled for and unprovoked. Being down on pit road during pre-race activities, I witnessed, as well as being part of, being pushed by security while using a rope to keep fans away from the race cars lined up.
Another example i witnessed right after the race as I was heading out of the pits to leave, along with everyone else…including girlfriends, wives, crew members, owners as well as other fans. The security guard quickly slid the gate closed on us. These people need to get back to the garage area and the crew members were trying to have him open the gate to get through…. “Hell no! You ain’t going no where!! They told us to close the gates, so I did,” yelled the security guard. The poor guys pushing the pit wagons, gas cans and tires all had to turn around and try to find another way out. At this time, there was no reason for the gate to be closed. They also had other gates closed as well.
I understand they are doing their jobs. However, my point is why do they have to be so RUDE and CONDESCENDING to people? Daytona International Speedway is the “hosting” track and should train their security guards to treat people with a little bit more respect.