In fact, the only place that seemed to have anything social going on was the bar at Geico Shores, the branded name for the viewing area at the infield lake that looks out on to the backstretch. I bellied up to the bar next to two girls who combined might not have been 30. A fact that was apparently lost on the polo-clad guy from Charlotte trying to chat them up.
“How much for a souvenir cup?” I asked the bartender.
“$15 for a double,” he said.
“What if I just want soda?” I asked.
“I can give you a $15 Coke if ya want it,” he said. "But it’s still $15.”
“What about kids who want a souvenir cup?”
“Shit,” the bartender smiled. “This is Daytona, man. Mom and dad’ll drink enough of them that that kid’ll be giving cups away at recess on Monday.”
From the pier, I watched the swarm of metal and rubber fly by every 40 seconds, stopping every conversation mid-sentence to let the roar have our attention.