To my family and friends: this is a blog about NASCAR. If you aren’t a fan, you might as well stop reading because it will mean nothing to you.
Now, for the 3 of you left…
There’s been a lot of Twitter talk since Sunday’s race at Bristol. The stands were not full, and it’s been said that the racing was bad. I was THERE and here’s my opinion…
The stands were not full. The stands were not 80% full. They were maybe 60% full. Maybe there were more tickets sold than that, but all those ticketholders did not show up. I don’t know why – Economy? Maybe. Gas prices? Could be. Bad racing? Possibly. Dale Jr hasn’t won since 2008? Hmmm. All I know is that it makes me sad to be at the most exciting track on the circuit with empty seats all around me.
I can also tell you that this was probably the least exciting Bristol race I’ve seen. Yes, there was some side-by-side racing, but there were also a lot of cars getting lapped. When you’re running 12th and in constant danger of getting lapped, the field is too spread out.
Having said that, in my opinion, a day of “bad” racing is better than a day of no racing. I love everything about it. When I get to choose where we go on date night, do you think I choose dinner and a movie? Nope! Take me to the dirt track!! If I didn’t have a husband, a job, and six kids, I would be a NASCAR groupie and follow them from track to track. Surely I could get a job washing motor homes or something.
Part of the reason I enjoy the race even when the race may not be exciting to everybody else is because I am interested in the stories behind the driver. I love the story of Brian Vickers, the guy who missed most of 2010 because of blood clots in his legs and lungs, started 2012 without a ride, and then led a butt-load of laps at Bristol on Sunday. I loved watching Kevin Harvick (who has been married to DeLana 11 years and is awaiting the birth of their first baby in July) get caught up in a wreck and battle back from 30th position to finish 11th. He drove every single lap like his life depended on it, picking off positions one-by-one. I love hearing the vast majority of fans boo Kyle Busch. I know, I know… he’s talented and like him or not, you have to respect him. Blah, blah. I just feel bad for his mama. If 100,000 people booed my baby boy, I’d go postal.
And Dale Jr… don’t get me started. If that boy would just win one race, Junior Nation would be revived and empty seats would not be a problem. I thought he might pull it off on Sunday, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m a closet Dale Jr fan. Call me a snob, but I don’t own Mardi Gras beads or a beer funnel, so I just feel like I can’t openly be a fan-- but I do like him. By the way, note to the dude at Bristol with the beer funnel: I saw you stick that hose in at least 50 different mouths. Germs, people, germs.
It’s Bristol, baby. Maybe not the old Bristol with the bumping and rubbing and wrecking, but I understand that there’s some influential big man who is listening to complaints and considering making the track like it was prior to 2007. That would be awesome, but even if it doesn’t work out, I’m a fan. Now and always.