Sure, racing fills a need for speed for many drivers and fans. But it also is a family outing.
For proof of that, look no further than the pits on a weekend night. Hundreds of family members are in attendance, supporting their driver or helping turn wrenches to make sure cars are in tip-top shape.
The past few years also has seen a rash of four-legged creatures inhabiting the pits. And each dog is more than at home at the track.
From canines finding shade to youngsters carrying parts or fixing dad's mistakes, the pit area has became a family vacation spot of sorts. Many drivers travel to and from races each weekend with their relatives in tow. Perhaps that makes some of the long nights more easy to swallow.
* Photos by NICK SCHWIEN, HDN