September 27, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:21 pm

Dover speedway2.jpgI’ve been giving some thought to NASCAR fans. Of course, all sports have their diehard fans. Who hasn’t seen the nutbar football fans, who attend games in sub-zero weather, bare-chested and painted up in Vikings purple or Detroit blue as they pump their frostbitten fists in the air and screams like banshees? Certainly, they are extreme examples of football fans who show up and, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, root for their team.

NASCAR fans, at least what I saw of them, are different. They don’t root for a team; they come to cheer on their chosen paladins – their champions. Their champions dress the part, what with their elaborately adorned twenty-first century suits of Nomex armor and headgear that any Knight of the Round Table would envy. On race day, the champions mount their garishly decorated, high performance steeds to do battle with other NASCAR Knights. And, their fans are positively captivated by it all.

One particular lady comes to mind.

Take a look at the photograph of the Dover International Speedway up there, focusing on the grandstand on the left side of the picture (blurry, I know). I was sitting in the center of the grandstand, way up there — approximately a dozen rows from the top. The lady in question was sitting a mere four rows or so in front of me. She wasn’t exactly the picture of a “fair maiden”, as she was not too far south of middle age and, like many of us mortals, could stand to spend a tad more time at the salad bar.

Her paladin was Tony Stewart.

How do I know this? The tip off was her Tony Stewart hat, Tony Stewart tee shirt, Tony Stewart ticket holder lanyard and her Tony Stewart seat cushion.

Now, take another look at the picture and try to imagine where this lady was sitting. Got it?

Her deal was that about every five or ten laps of the four hundred lap race, she would stand and wave at Tony Stewart’s car as it zoomed through the turn. I would love to have asked her, “Yo, lady. Do you think Tony Stewart can pick you out in the grandstand as he drives around the turn at something like 100 miles per hour, three inches behind the car in front of him, and both his car and the car in front of him are in a pack of 43 similarly speeding cars? Do you expect him to wave back?”

Of course, had I asked such a snot-nosey question, she would have instantly recognized me to be a rookie NASCAR fan. I figure she also might have strangled me with her Tony Stewart ticket holder lanyard.


  1. Jim….sorry, but if you had, indeed, questioned the Tony Stewart fan…..she would not have bothered to lanyard you……she would have flat-out decked you!…
    and, then resumed her waving…:)

    Comment by Jean — September 27, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  2. Wow. Next thing you know, you’ll be trading in the House by the Parkway for a compound in Western New Jersey!

    It just goes to figure. I first noticed NASCAR during the baseball strike of 94. I figured I had wasted too much time watching a bunch of highly paid chilren who never really grew up run around a baseball field. For me, NASCAR was a chance to watch a bunch of highly paid adolecents who never grew up drive really fast in circles. The way I figure, someday I’ll eventually move up to watch a grown-up sport (maybe golf. Nah, way the hell too boring).

    I went to my first race a Pocono and came away convinced that there was alot more inbreeding going on in them thar hills than I had ever anticipated. But I pretty much agree with your assessment – It’s a good thing they serve alchoholic beverages, or the draw wouldn’t be nearly as large.

    Best bet – watch the races from Mr. Recliner. That way your comfortable when you fall asleep.

    Comment by Dan — September 28, 2006 @ 12:29 am

  3. I know a lot of Nascar fans — even up North. It’s not a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

    Comment by Libby — September 28, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

  4. Gotta love a sport where instead of goign back and forth across a field/court, you go in circles, and at some tracks, even get to make left hand turns! I love watching the races and spending the three days in an RV at the track when it is here at PIR in Phoenix twice a year. Go Jr.! He drives my Bud car…

    Comment by ralphd00d — September 28, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  5. Ahh yes, it is a lifestyle indeed. I am an unfortunate redneck, lover of all things nascar and Mark Martin in particular. I can be seen at said races waving aimlessly when Mark Martin’s name is mentioned. When in my home I yell at the television and give Mark encouragement from my vantage point.

    I can see from reading the above paragraph that I am in serious need of a trip to a museum for some culture . . .

    Comment by oddybobo — September 28, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  6. .. if you had spoken to her and her accent was Southern, she would probably have been one of my Aunts…

    Comment by Eric — September 29, 2006 @ 7:56 am

  7. I guess the finer points of NASCAR eluded someone.

    Comment by jamesoldguy — September 29, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  8. I’m a transplanted DC denizen and never gave a thought to racing. Since I’ve been in Florida almost a year I’ve attended nearly every biweekly race at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, and I can’t imagine never seeing a race again. Granted, it’s not NASCAR, but the Blizzard series run several times a year is only a few steps down.
    I still can’t watch racing on TV. It’s definitely a “you have to be there” thing with me.
    I can’t wait for the Snowball Derby in November/December. Among others, Darrel Waltrip is a former winner. I think of it as a “farm team” venue.
    And if you’ve never seen Cajun Sprint cars on a dirt track, you’ve missed one of the finer things in life….

    Comment by Horrabin — October 1, 2006 @ 7:17 am

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