Sunday, September 13, 2009


If you're planning on living in the South, you gotta know a little about NASCAR Auto Racing. NO, not just any racing of motorized vehicles, it has to be NASCAR. Fer instance: What do those letters mean? NASCAR stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Like some religious cult with several charismatic leaders vying for supremecy, NASCAR has fans who follow their respective favorites with a fervor not unlike the followers of Jim Jones only instead of Kool Aid it's gasoline. They intone the names of their favorites like catholic saints: Gordon, Waltrip, and of course Earnhardt (No. 3).

This picture is all over the internet. It shows a true fan. He's got his girlfriend/wife/significant other to carve the number "3" into the hair on his back. But it shows even more than that. Look at the track. It's like they are in a plane flying by overhead! They are in the 'nose bleed' section but that doesn't dampen their enthusiasm for the event. I imagine they truley enjoyed the experience, too. Me? I'm afraid to say I get bored watching car races. Any car races for that matter. I mean, what's to see? The cars go round the track. The cars go round the track. The cars go round the track The cars...zzzzzz

I'm amazed watching the races on TV. Amazed at the true intensity of the fans. I find myself watching the crowds in the stands more than the cars on the track. Fueled with beer and the exhaust fumes, they can get rowdier than a Manchester United Football match. (Look it up...) They cheer as the cars go by, hefting their drinks in salute and then they compare notes, knowledge and place bets while the cars go round the far side of the track, only to do it all again as the pack screams by again.

Some will say that the fans only go to see the accidents. Not so. Ok, so there are a few who do go hoping to see a bit of blood and oil on the tarmac, but the true fans, TRUE FANS go to cheer their favorites, tracking the standings like wall street investors and trading stories of the pit crews with those who they find around them in the stands. True Fans hate to see the accidents. They want to see every car in that last lap, vying for the finish line the roar of the engines drowned out by the cacophony from the stands. True Fans go for the race.

Nashville recently got a new Super Speedway so now I can avoid going to Local NASCAR races as well as those out of town. Someday, I know one of my 'truly' southern friends is going to invite me to a race and I will have to go. Maybe then I will truly understand the excitement, but until then, I think theres a race on TV and I've been a hankerin a nap.

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