racecars

NASCAR at Sonoma

This happened a few months ago, but I wanted to document it here on the blog just to prove that it actually happened.

What was it? Well, it was something which up until then I had sworn would never ever happen.  Seriously, I wasn’t gonna do it. I had no interest…z-e-r-o.  And then, Tim bought tickets, and suddenly I had no choice. I had to do it, because…well, the tickets weren’t cheap. What was it, you ask? NASCAR.  For years I have been completely baffled by my husband’s enjoyment of watching cars drive around in circles for hours on end. And lets not even get me started on the “is this really a sport?” conversation, because that’s a whole nother post in itself. But, there we were, destined for a drive up to Sonoma for the NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway. I was playing it both ways. I was trying to be a good sport, you know…compromise and all that…and on the other hand I was totally dreading it. I could sense the impending boredom, the same way I could smell the inevitable overheated tires and exhaust.

We got to the speedway and the first thing that greeted us upon parking on the side of a long dead grass hill was a truck hauling a camper which was proudly flying a Dale Earnhardt Jr. flag. Well, at least this gave me a solid understanding of what I was getting myself in to. Mind you, it was 10:00 am, and I promptly got out of the car, and cracked open a beer. I needed it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I guess.

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Here’s the thing I hadn’t realized about NASCAR…it’s not just an event, it’s a lifestyle. I mean these fans are serious.  They’re diehards. And, cheap beer in hand, for this day my husband was one of them. We stood in lines for kitschy inflatable Kyle Busch seat cushions, and refrigerator magnets. We wandered around looking at cars. We tried to get a view of the pit (because we hadn’t paid for the upgraded pit pass).

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Then of course there was the main event. There was the race. And, that’s when I learned something else about NASCAR. It’s loud. Like noise cancelling headphones or you go deaf kind of LOUD. It’s a good thing Tim brought a few pair.

The other thing I learned is that, though I definitely resist this admission, it is way more enjoyable to watch in person then it is on television. And I’ll never admit it out loud, I kind of had fun. Is it bad though, that the part which was the most fun for me was watching all of the crazy car crashes? Does that make me a bad person? I mean, those cars are built to withstand a lot, and most of these wrecks don’t result in injuries, so that’s how I justify getting all excited when a car going 100 mph crashes into a guard rail in front of me.

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I won’t go as far as to say that I am now a NASCAR fan, because I’m not. I still don’t enjoy spending my weekend afternoons watching four hours of cars driving around in circles. But, I didn’t hate it like I thought I would. I might even say that I won’t resist going again, if say…the oppertunity arises. Just don’t tell Tim.

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