I confess: I’m a speed junkie. Wait. I’m a child of the 70’s. That’s not the kind of speed I’m talking about.
I’m talking about a full-tilt, pedal-to-the-metal, adrenaline injection over a mile and a half with 24 degree banking on the turns. Yes, I mean NASCAR!
We have made the November race a yearly jaunt! It became a traditional part of our anniversary celebration several years ago when I became such a fan. This year (our 25th) Sweet Hubby and I got a royal treat.
My awesome mom bought a bunch of tickets for a charity raffle and won two tickets to the Sprint Cup Race this past Sunday, at the equivalent of the 50-yard line with seats high enough to see the entire track easily.
Okay, if you’re not a racing fan and you’re still reading, BIGTIME THANKS! And if you’ve read this far and always thought that track races were about as interesting as watching grass grow, well, you’re not alone.
I was right there with you. The only thing that I thought more boring than a track race on television was one on the radio.
“There they go. And they’re making a left turn. And now they’re going straight. Wait a minute. Here’s another left turn, but they’re straightening out again.” Puleeze! Three hours of that?
When an old friend described it as a chess game at 200 miles per hour (yes, they sometimes get that fast :D) I started looking at it a whole new way. Sometimes three hours just isn’t enough!
For thinkers, it is the ultimate in physics and dynamics. Just the drafting techniques alone can get exciting, especially when a driver can send another one reeling without ever laying a hand … er, fender, on them. Strategy plays a huge part in the process, along with a little luck.
For instance, from Sunday’s Sprint Cup race: after the racers behind him pit, one of my favorites, Kasey Kahne, pulled in for fresh tires. Just as he reached his pit, the caution flag flew. That meant that he had to get his tire change complete and get out of the pits before the leaders crossed the start/finish line or else he would lose a lap and no longer have a chance to win.
The luck part came with his timing. He hit the pit box just right to get out (in 12 seconds) and squeeze back on the track barely ahead of the line of cars. His talented crew members stepped it up and performed with perfection. (Yes this is a team sport.) And the strategy (and BEAUTY!) of it occurred a few laps later when all the other cars pitted during the caution to put on new tires and get gas. Having already done that Kasey stayed out and moved into first place. He ended up a happy third! (Well, I was happy, anyway.)
For the feelers, this sport is full of drama. REALLY! That shouldn’t be so hard to believe, though. Think of the last time you got cut off on the freeway. Okay? Okay!
This weekend had that as well. No big accidents during the Sunday race, but after a little fender rubbing on Friday night (during the Camping World Truck Series) Kyle Busch snapped. After the yellow flags flew because he hit the wall, (The yellow caution flags demand that the racers slow down to 55 MPH.) He maintained his pace (at almost 100 MPH) and shoved the truck, that had accidentally caused his accident, head-on into the wall. He destroyed both vehicles and eliminated the driver of the other truck from the race and from the truck championship (both of which the man was poised to win).
Bumping, retaliation, and accidents are normal during races, but this went way beyond appropriate behavior, even for drivers in NASCAR. The officials not only parked Busch for the rest of the truck race, they made him sit (in time out) for Saturday’s Nationwide race and Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
*Best Brit accent for a Texan* “I think it’s time he sat in the naughty seat!” At this point, there are lots of other rumors flying that NASCAR and Joe Gibbs (the owner of the team for which Busch races) aren’t through with this matter. I’m so intrigued!
***Update*** As of this posting, Kyle Busch has been placed on probation for the last two weekends of the racing season. He drives for all three series, so his sponsors, like M&M’s are at least going to enjoy their publicity. Bad publicity! BAAAAAD Puddytat!
Oh and for laughs, Texas Motor Speedway put Busch’s car next to the main entrance and encouraged everyone to use it for picture-taking since Kyle wouldn’t be using it. LOL! See Sweet Hubby’s photo above!
So our yearly jaunt is perfect for my Y post and for my sweet hubby and me. (His racer, Jimmie Johnson, didn’t do so hot. But he enjoyed watching a second fave, Tony Stewart, win.) Perfect weather, fun company, and a dynamite floor (ahem, asphalt) show!
What is a yearly jaunt you like to take with a loved one?
2011/November at 7:26 pm
Hee hee! Yes, Barbara, I am. Mild-mannered teacher/writer by day and crazy, car-loving speed junkie on the weekends. But there are only two weeks left of the season. 😦
2011/November at 6:34 pm
You are definately passionate about this topic! 🙂
2011/November at 6:15 pm
Hmm… when I was a kid our yearly jaunt was to Elitch Gardens Amusement Park in Denver. These days? Probably the Fort Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous in Wyoming over Labor Day.
2011/November at 1:41 pm
Yea, Sparrow! Oh that jaunt sounds lovely! I admit, I got precious little writing done at mine – only in the car waiting to move out of the parking lot.
2011/November at 2:31 am
Speed reader here. 😉 I don't watch NASCAR really, but the few times the TV has flipped to that I have found it rather interesting. I happened to watch a few minutes of it right before Dale Earhart died–saw the crash right before his that injured a different driver.My family's yearly jaunt, besides me going to the FW conference, is a week at the beach. We have a time share in Rockaway, OR at a place that looks right down on the water, so we can just relax reading, playing games, or writing inside while watching the waves, or go out on the beach. It's got a great beach but is never busy or crowded, so it's perfect.
2011/November at 4:35 pm
LOL, David! Hubby and I found that out on our first trip to TMS, kept going in circles. It DID take 3 hours to get home! This time, not so long, but we were prepared. I had my writing tablet and he had a book – Peretti I think. Didn't get much writing done, chatting and singing to the radio instead. But it was so relaxing!
2011/November at 4:29 pm
I don't know if I can even spell speed reader, since I'm the slowest reader on the planet. You have an amazing degree of patience if you can not only sit through three hours or so of racing but also another three hours or so each way getting to and from the track. I've never even been tempted to be in that part of the county on a race day.
2011/November at 2:35 pm
Woohoo! You win the prize, Laury, for being the first non-fan to read the post! You win two thumbs up and a big smile :D!
2011/November at 2:24 pm
Speed reader – yup! We have a kid at school that came in yesterday so excited because his favorite won something or other:) Can you tell I'm a fan? lol. Fun Y post!
2011/November at 10:44 am
Sweet Hubby would love to do the travel bit, but times being the way they are, we save for other things. As long as I can write, I'm okay with that. Thanks for visiting!
2011/November at 10:13 am
Hubby and I go to Gettysburg once a year.Fun post.
2011/November at 9:23 am
LoL–yearly jaunt. Fantastic!! =]Ours is probably the day we spend at the French & Indian war re-enactment…not that my hubs would classify that day as such. LOL.
2011/November at 9:13 am
I love racing, but the quote from the British person made me laugh.The only yearly juant I can count on is the ACFW conference.Dianawww.pencildancer.com
2011/November at 7:57 am
Our yearly jaunt is just the opposite from the thrill of speed. We enjoy spending a few days in Maui–which is about as laid-back and hang loose as it gets. But we love it! Although, we have attended the Indy-500 and it is definitely among our favorite trips! Great post!