Locked and Loaded in the Infield

They take their 2nd Amendment rights seriously here, at least according to Orlando's NBC affiliate, WESH Channel 2.

The station is reporting that bomb-sniffing dogs are giving RVs and other vehicles a thorough going over before letting them through to the Speedway infield, which sounds like routine post-9/11 security to me.

So far, as you'd expect, the dogs haven't sniffed out any bombs. But what they have found is plenty of personal firearms and ammo -- and, according to the report, they've been letting it all through. It's private property, the authorities say.

Reminds me of the Charlton Heston quote from when he was NRA president, which I'll paraphrase: "They'll get my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers."

Speedway officials, according to the report, say guns are NOT allowed on the premises, though it doesn't exactly say so on my tickets. I guess it all boils down to a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

And then there's the radio commercial I keep hearing for a gun show in nearby Sanford that features two classes on carrying concealed weapons. Nice. But let me steer WAY clear of any stereotypes here. 2nd Amendment, not my purview.

The news report seemed a little alarmist. My guess is that some campers have been bringing guns here since the track opened, and nobody knew about it until now. I'll see if I can --VERY carefully -- substantiate the story in my rounds today and tonight. Or maybe I'll just go buy a .22 to test security. ;-) I KID!

By Mike Snyder |  February 11, 2006; 3:38 PM ET  | Category:  Fans
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How many fans are there so far? How are they coping with the chilly weather?

Posted by: Chris | February 12, 2006 04:58 PM

Go Mike! Go!!! Enjoy the warm weather ... it's freeeeezing here!

Posted by: Ed | February 12, 2006 07:26 PM

I don't ever remember hearing about anyone being shot there during race week. Of course, a little wing here or there might not be reported.

It doesn't surprise me a lot of people carry something in their RV's.

Just be careful around Mr. Cheney.

Posted by: | February 12, 2006 07:39 PM

Mike, As a journalist you owe it to those of us in colder climates to give us the full experience. No holding back!!

Posted by: | February 12, 2006 07:57 PM

United Airlines has non-stop Washington-Daytona service twice daily. Skip the traffic on I-4 from Orlando airport, and fly direct to Daytona.

Posted by: Daytonafan | February 12, 2006 08:17 PM

February 12, 2006
Mike, It might be cold in FL, but did I hear it snowed in Washington, DC! Glad snow was not part of the security issues at Dayton as well. Wonder if they can train dogs to sniff out snow, too! Like your stuff.

Posted by: Pat Z | February 12, 2006 10:23 PM

Mike: Are the fans of any particular driver more armed than the others?

Posted by: 24Rulz! | February 13, 2006 08:42 AM

A gun in an RV is like a gun in your home; protection for you and your family. An RV is a home for many people. I don't think they should be allowed outside the RV though; that could be a problem.

Posted by: Frank | February 13, 2006 09:08 AM

Thanks for the query, 24Rulz! Mostly it's fans of Junior, Stewart, Gordon and Johnson, as one might expect. The loudest cheers I heard yesterday were for when Earnhart made ANY move on the track. The second loudest, when Gordon wrecked. I hope Jeff Burton (pole winner) and Denny Hamlin (Bud Shootout winner) weren't too disappointed by the fan reax.


Posted by: Mike | February 13, 2006 09:29 AM

Sorry, 24Rulz, I just misread your question on fans. I thought you were just asking who most fans were routing for. Who are most fans shooting for? I can't substantiate this, but I'd hazard a guess it's the die-hard Old Number 3 fans, who still carry his memory proudly. Dale was a big hunter, y'know.


Posted by: Mike | February 13, 2006 09:32 AM

Thanks for the tip Daytonafan. I'll give that a shot next year.

Posted by: Mike | February 13, 2006 09:33 AM

Thanks Mike. Another question -- How many NASCAR titles does Jr. have compared to Gordon?

Posted by: 24Rulz! | February 13, 2006 02:38 PM

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