Bees take over flag stand

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 18: The flagstand sits abandoned after a swarm of bees took it over prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
FONTANA, CA - MARCH 18:  The flagstand sits abandoned after a swarm of bees took it over prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
FONTANA, CA – MARCH 18: The flagstand sits abandoned after a swarm of bees took it over prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

FONTANA, Calif. – When NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice started on Saturday morning at Auto Club Speedway, there was a flag man on his usual perch atop the flag stand at the start/finish line.

That was noteworthy only because an infestation of bees had driven the flag man from his usual station on Friday, forcing Sprint Cup qualifying to be flagged on a temporary platform behind the grandstand fence.

Bees are an important part of the ecology, and in California, invading swarms must be relocated rather than killed. Accordingly, the speedway called in a beekeeper who immobilized the unwelcome visitors with a spray and collected and removed the swarm.

So when Sprint Cup practice began at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, the flag man was back in his usual spot – with no bees in sight.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.