I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that roughly 100% of you don’t want NASCAR and have never been to a race… nor would you ever go to a race. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this post will go Pinterest-famous or I’ll be a Twitter sensation and everyone will flock to this post and drink in the knowledge of this avid race fan.
Either way, I write what I write because I like it. Hopefully you read what you read because you like it.
There are multiple races driven on a race weekend, but I’m going to limit these tips to the Sprint Cup series (a.k.a. the one you’ve heard of that Jeff Gordon used to race in). Also, for the sake of time, I’m going to assume you’re at a day race. Sometimes they race at night (and it’s awesome), but most of the races start around 1pm. So let’s do this…
| 1 | Pick a driver.
If someone has dragged you against your will into a race track and you could not care less who wins, then you’re going to have a crappy time. Even if you don’t know the names of the men (and woman) in the cars, you need to pick one. The excitement comes when your guy is flying around turn four and passing all the cars. If you really absolutely don’t care, allow me to suggest a few drivers that tend to pass others (verses be passed): 48, 18, 4, 30, and 22.
*I am not a fan of most of those guys, but there’s no denying they win a lot.
| 2 | Wear sunscreen like it’s your job and RE-APPLY often.
Most seats are in direct sunlight for the entire +/- 4 hour race. You’re essentially on an aluminum baking sheet for the hottest part of the day with no shade. I guess if you like to tan this is great news… but if you belong to The Proud Pale People of America Association like I do then this is what you’ve been training for. Last weekend I reapplied 50 spf every 20 minutes to my legs, chest, and arms. I had it on my face, too, but I never attend a race without a hat. (The sun bleached and ruined my hair once- ugh.) I’m proud to say that after two 6 hours days in the sun I am still borderline ghostly.
| 3 | Pack all the good (light-weight) snacks.
The hands-down best part about a NASCAR race is the fact that you can byob. And byof. As long as it’s not in glass, you can bring your beer, pop, water, chips, trail mix, pb&j sandwiches, etc. into the track via cooler. Usually we consume lots of adult beverages (as do those around us), but this weekend was SO HOT and we inhaled the water bottles.
| 4 | Go shopping between laps 1 and 100.
Once you pick a driver it’s time to fully commit. NASCAR has recently changed their merchandise set up. Once upon a time the different drivers/teams had trailers that were set up similar to a fair or street festival and your bopped from one to the next buying t-shirts and koozies. Now they have a large roped off area where there are different driver/team sections under a tent (similar to a craft show) and you collect all the gear you want to buy and pay for it all at once in the cash-wrap tent. The new set-up is easier, but I bet it’s crazy crowded when +30,000 people are scrambling for a Jimmie Johnson shirt before the race. That’s what I suggest shopping after the race has started; it’s a ghost town.
| 5 | Be ready for anything.
One year it rained and we had to go home and miss the race. One year it rained and they didn’t start until 8pm. One year it rain halfway through, they red flagged the race (paused it), and picked it up once the rain quit. One year I had to buy a sweatshirt and a blanket to stay warm and this year I was in a tank top and shorts. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to clean up a wreck and sometimes it takes 20 minutes. Honestly, you never know what you’re going to get when you walk into that race track.
Items you will definitely need: ear plugs, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen.
Ok, I know this post won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’ve made it this far, I thank you 🙂 I promise I’ll get back to the norm next week.
Have you ever watched a NASCAR race? Have I sparked your interest at all? What sports do you shell out money for?