Sorry about the photographs. They’re not mine. They were scraped with bleeding fingernails from the internet. Maybe it’s just my lack of net-savviness or maybe it’s NASCAR’s lockdown on everything NASCAR but this is what I was stuck with once I found it, given the ten minutes I spent searching.
If I hadn’t been so lazy I would’ve brought my own camera on Saturday. But I was lazy.
Saturday arrived and we arrived at the track not really ready for the onslaught. It was AMAZING. Overnight the crowds had tripled and quadrupled and NASCAR NATION was throbbing and hot and ready for the race.
The sheer numbers of fans was mind numbing, but and yet, kinda comforting?
We went up to the sky suite and ate and drank some more and went down to the Midway which is the most amazing marketing thing I’ve ever seen, complete with the drivers themselves in person signing shit. What other sport has the talent in full access mode? I’m starting to love NASCAR.
After that was the pre-race obligatory pit-row visit. It’s kinda like staring at things that kinda look like cars, but aren’t?
Back to the sky suite where the beer was cold and the food was hot and ever-changing. More munching and chugging, and then finally it was time for the big race.
Ya gotta hand it to NASCAR, they make an event an EVENT. After the blessing and after the national anthem and after the fly-over and after the para-jumpers and after the salutes to God and country the big boys of NASCAR cranked it up and wheeled onto the track.
The excitement was palpable and went up a coupla hitches. As those roaring cars circled the track, warming up, with the flags fluttering and blowing everywhere and NASCAR NATION screaming its want and need and all of it building to a wildly exhilarating crescendo I couldn’t help but get caught up in it.
And then the start.
(and again, sorry for the shitty photograph and my inbred laziness)
Honestly, I think it’s what welds NASCAR fans into a NASCAR NATION and maybe me into a NASCAR maybe-fan. The Start makes you stand and whoop and holler knowing at that instant you’re solving all the problems of the world with your mightyness and the mightyness of all your buds around you. And you’re drunk with the power of it all. It’s that strong.
But then? After that high? The race goes on.
And on. And on. And, um on?
And even though it’s brutally loud and the smell is a thick soup of burnt jet fuel and burning rubber the circling and brutally loudness is trumped with the all day drinking and eating and all the sudden? You’re asleep.
And you wake up and you realize the race is over and the guy that had been leading, like forever, somehow lost on the final lap or something which has gotta just suck.
(and again with the crappy photo)
So you clear the thunder from your ears, suck down another beer or two and head out.
Would I do it again?
On Sunday driving home I was thinking maybe that’s enough NASCAR for me, but ya know what? after a week to think about it, I think maybe I need it?