Sunday, September 09, 2007

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

Nascar Richmond 400! Via mlovitt

I saw my first NASCAR race at the NEXTEL Rock & Roll Richmond 400 this Saturday. We arrived plenty early for some tail-gating, but somehow failed to get things set-up in time to cook up the hot-links and bratwurst we had brought along…

A ticketing snafu meant that we ended up in slightly different seats then planned. We found our spot just above turn 2 and joined 110,000 people in pledging the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, a prayer for the safety of the drivers was prayed. Then, the National Anthem was sung. Finally, a C-130 cargo plan went “streaking” over the stadium. Oh, and also a couple of dudes parachuted down to the track.

The race started around 7, and 4 hours later it was over. Yes, I watched cars go around in circles for 4 hours. I would say that the first 40 laps and the last 40 laps (of 400) were the most interesting. The first 40 laps were great because it is undeniably awesome when the cars start up (it is so loud that most folks have ear-plugs) and start blazing around the tracks at 120 m.p.h. It is truly fantastic to see the brakes spark as the cars come into a turn. It was super thrilling to witness a bump and spinout as millimeter jockeying goes awry…

The last 40 laps were great because one could focus on an all-out battle between crowd-favorite Dale Earhardt Jr. and eventual second place finisher Tony Stewart. The two swapped 2nd and 3rd place a half-a-dozen times and before something on Earhardt’s car blew out…

I also have to be truthful and say that the last 40 laps were great because it meant that race was finally, finally coming to an end.

After the race, rather than wait the 2 1/2 hours it took cars to start moving out of the parking lot, we set up the chairs and grilled up the sausages in a grill our tail-gating neighbors had left behind.

All in all it was a fascinating, exhausting experience.

3 comments:

Amber said...

So, basically, what you're saying is that if it had been 80 laps, rather than 400, it would have been perfect?! I don't know how you sat through that for 4 hours -- the stamina!!

colin said...

I have been rolling the possibility of going and seeing some local races since I am in the heartland.
I love the Picture.

pablo said...

I think you should definitely go. It is a very interesting experience. And if you ever get a chance to go to a "big" race, I would do that too. I mean, there were 110,000 people at this race! That is some energy!