WHAT…HUH…DID YOU SAY SOMETHING???
My hearing acuity has diminished greatly as a direct result of my fantasy, I mean, interest in seeing a racy Danica Patrick wearing a supple skin-tight leather body suit, I mean, seeing my first thrilling NASCAR car race.
To read the remainder of this post, please listen to the following words as if spoken with a southern drawl, which apparently is the official language of the NASCAR circuit.
The wife-person and I are on our million-mile road trip—or at least it’s probably how it feels to her, having to sit in the car with me over those long miles across the Nevada desert—headed towards baseball’s popular spring training in the wonderfully warm and sunny Scottsdale, Arizona.
As we spent a couple of nights in Las Vegas on our way to AZ, we decided to take in the Nationwide NASCAR car race held there every year at this time.
The only other car race we have ever attended was the Indy race held at Infineon Raceway a few years ago, when—purely coincidentally—Danica Patrick happened to be there, racing those open-tire speedsters, before switching to the more stockcar-ish NASCAR racing.
When we got to the Las Vegas track last Saturday, we made our way through the gazillions of fans, who jammed themselves along dozens of vendors hawking everything from hot dogs and cold beer to brightly colored, over-priced NASCAR apparel.
When we got to our seats, high up in the stands, I wandered down to the fence along the track—which is the only thing between the fans and thousands of pounds of steel racing along at 200 miles per hours—to watch the cars during their warm-up runs.
I suggest you turn up the speaker volume all the way up as you view this video, which still does not even begin to demonstrate the unbelievably, eardrum shattering sounds as they race by, only a few feet away.
Even with earplugs in place, I could not comprehend how the fans sitting this close during the entire race can endure the piercing noise. It literally hurt my ears, causing considerable discomfort.
Before the race, the drivers have, what I find to be, an interesting tradition of parading around the track, standing up in the back of pickup trucks, like Roman soldiers riding on chariots into the coliseum prior to battle.
As the cars drive up to get the green flag, signifying the start, the fans come to their feet, anticipating the first, of what is expected to be numerous car crashes when these powerful machines collide in a cacophony of screeching tires, billowing smoke, the smell of burning rubber, flying chunks of car parts, and sometimes open flames.
The only thing missing is the emperor signaling with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, whether the car (or driver?) should be “finished off.”
But, the good news is that the modern design of the cars and race tracks, while not doing away with the crashes, have all but eliminated severe injuries to the drivers. They often hop in a back-up car and return to the action to await the next carnage.
And, yes, one of the drivers is the very attractive, and favorite of many male race spectators, Danica Patrick (although, not so much of the serious NASCAR race enthusiasts). The same one that appears in the provocative GoDaddy Superbowl commercials.
I finally got up close to her, but she was not very responsive to my
suggestive advances requests for an interview.
With that kind of response, I’m not sure I will be back. Personally, I can only watch these cars go around in circles for so long. I think the best description of this event was in a recent NPR “Wait, wait, don’t tell me” radio program discussion.
Imagine if the drivers had Garmin GPS devices in their cars, with the female voice in the English accent giving directions as,
“Turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left…turn left……………”
O.K. We’re off across another long-ass stretch of the rural southwest as we make our way to Arizona.
Maybe my hearing will return by the time we make it there.