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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, May 17, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

(John Grafman photo) You might be surprised to learn that of the 180,000 or so attending the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach some will never even see the auto racing. With all of the off track activities it shouldn't come as a shock. Just poking around the Long Beach Convention Center, the track attendees find all manner of distraction, even for those that love racing.

(John Grafman photo) Inside the lifestyle exhibit is everything to keep a car junkie happy. With money tight these days, a race car or green machine might be out of the question. The RC car companies on display have the solution. These are great to race, run on batteries, and don't cost an arm and a leg. The Speed paddock inside the convention center has several distractions posing alongside the cars. Several racers have flag girls to give their team a winning edge. Who needs STP? It's hard not to spend time hanging around at the outside areas like the Tecate pavilion with both mariachis and the Tecate girls. Life is good.

(John Grafman photo) The boats just outside the race gates provide a flotilla of parties for those who prefer their action on the water. Several of the more clueless don't even realize what is going on in spite of the crowds and thunderous sounds invading their docks. Adjacent to the Aquarium of the Pacific, just past the end of the straightaway, are numerous restaurants and bars. A few laps around the bar and one might not find the way back over to the track just a minute away.

(John Grafman photo) Well, whether the excitement is on track or off, for a few days each year this becomes the greatest show on earth, or at least in Long Beach. - John Grafman

(John Grafman photo) LA Car's Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: LBGP 2009: The Circus Comes to Town LBGP 2009: Pro/Celebrity Race LBGP 2009: The Molly Sanders Interview LBGP 2009: Drifting LBGP 2009: The Tanner Foust Interview LBGP 2009: American Le Mans Series LBGP 2009: IndyCar Racing LBGP 2009: Speed World Championship LBGP 2009: Racing Goes Green LBGP 2009: The Grand Prix Lifestyle

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