Jul 17, 2012

Nick's NASCAR Post

These girls weren't there
It's been awhile since I wrote a personal blog, and some of you might not like this. Though you could always look at this as a review of seeing a NASCAR event live, This is just my opinion, and story of what happened at the event I went to.

On Sunday, July 15, 2012 at the New Hampshire Motor
Speedway I saw my first NASCAR race. I've never seen a NASCAR race on the T.V. because it just looked boring to me. So why did I go see one live? Well, just to get off the computer for one day and experience something new. Also, I didn't have to pay for a ticket, which helped in making my decision to go.
I thought I was smart enough. I was going to bring some water, ear plugs and sunscreen. My friend was bringing the food. Turns out I'm not smart at all. According to my girlfriend there's a checklist of things to bring. I ended up bringing a cooler backpack filled with drinks, sunscreen, ear plugs, washcloth, a towel to sit on, and a hat. A hat? I never wear a hat! In fact, this was the first time I've worn a hat for non-comedic purposes in over a decade. I look stupid in hats! I'm not sure why, but I do. People even say "I'm sure you don't look stupid," when I say that, but once I put it on people start rethinking that comment.

I'm glad I brought all that stuff though. The hat really helped, and I'm not sure how I would have sat there for hours without the towel for a cushion. What is it with these racetrack seats!? THEY'RE SMALL AND HARD! When I was walking around I saw some pretty heavy people, and I could only think, "How are they going to fit in the seat? Did they buy two tickets? Are people going to complain that they're there? If they can fit in the seat, how are they going to last three hours of just sitting there?"

Right before the race we heard the American National Anthem and saw the two jets fly by, which was awesome. Canada was probably jealous since their anthem was also sung before but lacked jets. Also, we had a 13 year old sing the American Anthem, and they made a big deal out of that. I'm not really sure why a 13 year old singing the anthem is all that important, but I guess we view any person under 15 that can do something really well as amazing. Remember that 9 year old that was good at Guitar Hero? There were tons of adults that could do that, but we couldn't care less.

After the anthem - "DRIVERS START YOUR ENGINES!!!" VROOM VROOM VROOM! Then this little white pace car drove the race cars around the track, which started building the hype. It worked because I started getting into it, and I was like "maybe NASCAR is much better than I expected!" Then the race begins as that little white car drove off. Things got loud, things got fast, people got drunk, and I was enjoying NASCAR.

Me enjoying NASCAR after all these years of making fun of it? Is it true that you need to try something before you judge it? That feeling was until lap five when I noticed no one was passing anyone. I started thinking, "Do these drivers not bother passing anyone until the later laps, making these beginning laps a waste of time? Can't they just race like I do in video games? Am I sick in thinking they should bump into each other?" Finally, people passed each other and I had hope again.

I decided to pick some cars to root for: Number 5, 87, and 83. Number 5 because Kasey Kahne is someone my girlfriend likes, and I figured I needed someone to pick. Number 87, Joe Nemechek, because he started in last, and I wanted him to be an underdog, and NOT SUCK LIKE HE DID! Then number 83, Landon Cassill, because there were two Burger King cars: 83, and 93. Number 83 started behind 93 so I wanted him to beat his "burger brother" and win while his brother came in last.

I was keeping track of my three cars until these top cars started over lapping the cars in last! Then I got confused where people were. Luckily, there's a leader board that tells you at the racetrack. I started thinking, "If I'm confused, how are these drunk people going to understand this race? Am I dumber than the redneck stereotype? What lap are we on? When should I stand and awkwardly ask the people at the end of the row to stand so I can get by? I'll do that on lap 100 right?" My mind is a wandering, anxious, awkward-filled place. I noticed that five laps have passed without me noticing because I haven't even been paying attention to the race.

The race got to the 200th lap, and I still hadn't got up to walk around. My anxiety of bothering people to stand outdid my physical pain of sitting in these bleachers. A personal defeat on my part. That's when I noticed my friend texting, and yawning. Also the guy in front of me was playing Angry Birds! I start looking around, and noticed people look bored. I start thinking, "Do these people even like NASCAR? Why would they pay for seats? Especially why would they if they're on the heavy side? I really want one of them lemon ice cups, but should I pay $6?"

The race ended, and yeah, I didn't get up once. I am ashamed my personal awkwardness overcame my physical pain. Maybe I'll win another personal battle some other time. Though Number 5 Kasey Kahne won the race and I like to think it's only because I showed up to cheer him on. My girlfriend thinks otherwise.

When my friend and I made it back to our car we cooked us some burgers, which was awesome. NH Speedway even had a porta potty, which I had to use, and when I went in there was no one waiting behind me. I'm done doing my business and fixing my belt when I hear a guy outside angrily complaining about how long I'm taking. I opened the door and he gave me a dirty look before taking my place in the John. This guy waited twenty seconds, and couldn't wait any longer? I guess that's what happens when you drink 24 Pabst Blue Ribbons.

Final Say: It felt good to get out of the house and spend time with my friend. My friend said it was kind of a boring race since no one played dirty, but oh well, I had a good experience. I wouldn't pay for tickets to see another race, though. I'll add for the uninformed that the NH race is only 300 laps while other races are 500. I think if this was a 500 lap race I would have walked home. Ah, who am I kidding? I would have stayed until my spine was a brittle as old paint since I don't want to bother anyone. I think these cars need to do 3 trials of 100 laps 3 times, then add each driver's race finish times leaving the driver with the lowest time the winner. If there is a tie just cut the trophy in half. I'm sure there's a redneck with the right tools in his truck.

*Not everyone there was a redneck, but there were sure a lot of them.