An iPhone shot from my seat.
By Kickntrue on 4/26/10
So- this isn't going to be so golf related but it doesn't seem right to have a friend tell you I'm losing my NASCAR virginity and then not followup with my experiences. A few of my NASCAR loving friends seemed to think one race would be all I needed to become a die hard racing fan. I can tell you with the utmost certainty that it didn't happen. Still- the experience was everything I hoped it would be and I'm glad I was able to add it to the list of sporting events I've seen live and I do better understand the "culture" associated with racing.

There were a couple really cool things I was able to experience- from 6 lanes of traffic all going one way (on two way roads) into the parking areas to the flyover by F-18's (think they were F-18's but someone can correct me) before the event. I had the single best concession food ever at a sporting event- a HUGE smoked turkey leg. I felt like summoning my court jester and harem while I feasted on it. I was amazed that a sporting even would let me carry all the booze my cooler could handle into the event. In the days of $8 concessions beer it shocked me that the sport was cool with me coming in with $50 of my own fair-priced drink. The race itself was interesting. The force of a car driving by at nearly 200 mph is crazy and the sound of 40 cars driving by at that speed all bunched together was nuts. Still... it was cars driving in an oval... excuse me, tri-oval.

All that was good and all, but here is my philosophical takeaway. On the way home, I was reading on my iPhone about the historical nature of the race. It featured more lead changes (88) than any in Talladega history as well as individual leaders (28). The finish was decided by .011 seconds, one of the closest in NASCAR history. Still- sitting in the stands, there was no realization that we were watching anything remotely historic, and it wasn't just me. A lot of the folks around me were clearly NASCAR veterans, but I got no sense that they experienced anything outside of a good time drinking and eating on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, just like me. For me- an amazing game or match should grab a viewer from the most seasoned to the first time viewer. When you walk out of an amazing football game, you know it. You know when you've seen something amazing. I think you could take someone who has never seen a soccer game- and if they see the right match in the upcoming World Cup they'd know they at least saw something amazing. I don't get the sense that you'd experience that sitting in the stands at NASCAR outside of a terrifying wreck with catastrophic consequences.

That being that- it was fun. I don't think I'd make a trip like I did for this race, but in the future if I'm ever in a situation where a race is in my backyard and the tickets are free- I'd go again. I guess that isn't 100% true. I would go to Dega again, but I'd plan more of a trip around it- because (and to bring this back to golf), I did pass 2 or 3 of the Robert Trent Jones Trail courses... and I was pretty sad to have to drive right by. Race Breakdown
Andrew's Going To NASCAR

[ comments ]
MLONF says:
Completely accurate post. The races are a great time, and there is nothing quite like a pack of stock cars barreling down the tri-oval at nearly 200 mph. You can literally feel the power.

I agree with the non-"edge of your seat" feeling for someone who doesn't regularly follow the sport. One thing that might help with that is to cheer for a specific driver or even an entire racing team (might I suggest Rousch-Fenway) *wink. So long as your not pulling for 48 or 42, you're ok in my book!
Kickntrue says:
@MLONF- I did get a feeling over and over that everyone hates the 48 car- and I'm not sure why. All he does is win- and he does it very unassumingly and vanilla. There is almost no reason not to like the guy. He's not like ARod or Tom Brady where you can at least come up with a reason not to like him. Is it JUST because he wins that people dislike him?
falcon50driver says:
I liked NASCAR a lot more, back when the cars were actually Fords and Chevrolets. Now they are all the same body with different headlights, grilles, and taillights painted on to resemble a stock car of whatever brand engine they claim to be running. I've always preferred NHRA Drag Racing. One top Fuel Dragster has more horsepower than the first four rows of cars at a NASCAR race. Agreed,NASCAR is LOUD, but it sounds like a squirrel fart compared to a pair of those bad boys leaving the scene.
DougE says:
I said my piece in my reply to your previous post on NASCAR last week(end?). Though, I'm disappointed that you didn't get more out of your Dega experience, I'm not that surprised. It really does take a lot more understanding of the sport and the relationships on and off the track to appreciate it...and to get excited about it. Someone who has never watched golf on TV and doesn't know any of the personal or professional backgrounds of the competitors might think it's a little interesting, but will surely not be hooked by one viewing, especially if they are not a golfer. But, follow the Tour for a few weeks and get to know the players and all of a sudden you are on the edge of your seat on every critical shot, while those around you who have not paid attention can't see what all the hoopla's about...(continued next post...)
DougE says:
...Spend just one hour listening to the commentators in the build up to a Cup level NASCAR race on TV, meet some of the drivers and hear about what is going on behind the scenes, and your interest level during the race will surely increase. Like anything else, the more you know about something the easier it is to appreciate the little things. A it's the little things that make the difference. Golf is a perfect example of that.
Clint24 says:
You got a real treat to watch such a good race. For everything that went on down here Saturday, Sunday was an absolutly beautiful day for racing. I always say, its just like golf or baseball, you have to know how to watch it. I can't watch golf, and my dads a PGA pro, but I can watch a race all day. I hate that you didn't enjoy it more, but thats fine. I wouldn't enjoy going to a Yankee game as someone else, just not my thing.
DeeZee says:
I'd advise a trip to the Indy 500 be on your list.

Along with the Masters (since 1934) and Kentucky Derby (since 1875), the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) is in the top three of historic single-day sporting events you will see in this country. I've yet to make it to the Kentucky Derby, but I hope to soon.
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