A Good Time Was Had By All

By Susan Phillips

On Qualifying Day at Barber Motorsports Park, George and I usually watch qualifying from the stands in the Fan Zone. We climbed aboard the tram and shortly after we got on, a couple with a young child got on the tram and sat across from us. They had a dazed look about them and I could tell the little girl was starting to get bored. The tram stopped at the Museum stop and they looked at each other and questioned if they should get off at this stop or was there more to see.

Naturally, I’m a busybody and jumped right in with “You need to get off at the Fan Zone.” I described what it was like (the MOST fun EVER), they dubiously decided to stay on the tram. I explained some fun facts about the track and told them to watch for the whimsical sculptures placed around the facility and told the little girl to watch for surprises along the way. She immediately saw the butterfly, and their ride to the Fan Zone transformed their “deer-in-the-headlights” look to one of wonder. The little girl was beyond excited as she pointed out the whimsical sculptures along the way.

As we got to the Fan Zone, the daughter spotted the Ferris wheel and all of the colorful happenings going on. The father spotted the vintage cars on display across from the tram stop and the mother looked longingly at the wine-tasting tent. As they got off the tram, the little girl ran excitedly to find the alligator I told her was in the pond, and the husband veered off toward the vintage cars. I told the mom that she might need to make her way to the wine tasting before the day was done. The little girl won and as we walked past the pond, I heard her scream’ “I found the alligator!”

I love showing new fans the wonders of The Barber Motorsports Park. I won’t talk about the beautiful facility, which seems to be the buzzword about the track. This year the race was early, so the grass was not in the full, lush green that we are used to, but the azaleas were starting to bloom which added nice splashes of color around the track.

One of my favorite things to note is the sculptures placed around the track. I love Mr. Barber’s imagination and his dedication to making the facility different every time you visit. We noticed a bear was added near the Fan Zone and I’m sure there were other things I missed while making my way from one end of the track to the other. Maybe we need to rent a golf cart one of these years.

I had my trusty red birthday camera and managed to get some shots that might give you a feel for the weekend. If you haven’t been to this race, it’s one to add to your list.


abig bouncy



ajr bouncy


aperson in lake







bhunter rheay








bPower motor



csato win

csato win 2

csato selfie



8 Responses to “A Good Time Was Had By All”

  1. Kcindyfan Says:

    Great report Susan! Sounds like you are a good ambassador for Batber,. Thanks also for sharing your pictures. I bet that family had a great time and hopefully will come back next year.

  2. Wonderful! Hopefully you made some new racing fans for life. 🙂

  3. Next year will get George to go down the slide in the fan zone with a photo included .

  4. Great report and pictures. Especially good pic of A.J. Foyt, he looks pissed as always.

    • Mrs. Oilpressure Says:

      The next second he actually smiled at me, wish I had gotten that one, but he turned away.

      • Dang, too bad. He ran my Dad and I out of his pit area in the late 90’s at the 24hrs of Daytona during Thursday night practice after he throwed a hissy fit at his crew and he saw my Dad and I laughing about getting the “real A.J.”
        He Pulled all the flaps down all around the transporter and proceeded to go A.J. whack. I love A.J. Foyt. He’s the real thing. Saw him race sprints at the Springfield State Fair in the mid 60’s. Truly a bad A.

  5. Good shot of Simon. Thanks for your coverage and sharing the photos. Barber is on my short list for an away race. Love the whimsical sculptures. The ants are my faves.

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