Nascar fans are some of the most hardcore, whoop your ass over their favorite driver or their least favorite driver folks I’ve ever been related too. Raslin’ might be the only other sport that could try to take the reins of said slug fest.
There’s more to NASCAR than fast cars, turning left, and Jimmie Johnson‘s 5th Championship. With the economy taking a dump sponsors are taking their money (or whats left of it) and leaving. Plus, Fans can’t afford that umpteenth Dale Jr shirt or that new NAPA hat. If it weren’t for teenagers mixing redbull and vodka then Brian Vickers wouldn’t even have a ride. And you have to set the car up differently for every race track they go to. You can’t drive the same car at every track if you expect to win. And really, the Sponsors pretty much expect that. Or at least a well publicized crash. Changing the car set ups, the rules, regulations, SOPs, whatever you want to call them, that change at least once a season (or so it seems). The new talent fighting against the old skool. Oh and lets not forget Danica Patrick. Hottest thing ON the GoDaddy commercials. Diversity! Nascar is embracing it in baby steps. (Remember Toyota’s entrance into Nascar. Scandalous!)
I grew up in NC where Nascar is what you do on Sundays. Before it was televised we’d listen on the radio. Normally my Step Dad was tinkering around with whatever truck or car he was driving and I, the Tomboy, would be right there watching… proud of myself for picking out the 3/16ths wrench on first site. You had your Pettys, Earnhardts, Waltrips, Wallaces, etc. Shoot even Richard Petty came to my grade school with his car. The only day I ever enjoyed at school. Lol. (Kidding. Sort of.) After high school & some college I worked in the county where Harry Gant lives and owns a steakhouse. I quite literally ran into him there one night at dinner. I was red-faced. He was good-natured and laughed it off. I was then thusly star struck. Lol. I still own the autographed Harry Gant racing card I won at a McDonald’s giveaway. Yep. Awesome day.
I started out with Darrell Waltrip. I can’t remember why I picked him but I figure it had something to do with wanting something in common with and maybe then getting some attention for having the same favorite as my Step Dad. In 1989, right before I was fixing to marry my high school love (last name Wallace) I noticed a cat named Rusty Wallace. So beginning in 1989 I started pulling for Rusty. And he was my only driver until he decided to retire in 2005.
Fast forward to the start of the last season Rusty ran in the Cup series. I needed to find a replacement but not just anyone would do. I watched all of the drivers. Paid attention to their interviews. Read up on a couple after narrowing down the list (pretty quickly I might add) and tried to pick one that wouldn’t make me regret the decision a year or 3 later.
Onto the scene comes none other than Carl Edwards. Yep. The Missouri native who does a freakin’ backflip off the car window when he wins a race. A backflip! Ah-mazing. AND he could drive. He was nice but a little hot-headed. Growing pains are to be expected the first few years of racing. I struggled thru Carl’s drama with Matt Kenseth. I hoot and hollered when he pulled a “tom cruise” on Dale Jr. then immediately admonished myself and him. Then giggled again. Even the crash he caused involving Brad Krashalotski that was well, uncool. Deserved. But uncool. I am a fan until the end once I have decided.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of having the race on in the background while I catch up on email, or play farmville, or read blogs and sometimes nap. Other times it’s about hooting and hollering and screaming and cursing and WTF’ing and Gasping and laughing… (Nascar if just listened to can be construed very… naughty. lol). I may not keep up with it like diehard fans (I cant quote you the # of wins Carl has had for example) but I do know where my driver ended up finishing every week and where he is in the points. I’ve even met Tony Stewart & was less than 5 feet from Jimmie Johnson & his entourage including his wife. Oh and Chad Knaus & his escort. I mean girlfriend. Or whoever she was.
And yes… I do have a sticker on my car #99. I do have a checkered flag in the garage. I do have a “garden” flag with a #99 on it & even a miniature cardboard stand up my Brother bought me. And a few other odds and ends (few collectible cars. Thanks Eddie!) OH.. and an Aflac Duck with the helmet on and err’thang. haha…
In case you are unfamiliar with who Carl Edwards is… here is a picture my Bro sent me today…
Yeah… oh you’re SO welcome! And yeah… the first part of this blog was just fluff so I could post this picture. hahaha!!!