So in an attempt to branch out and open my mind and heart to other genres of racing, I had a Nascar day yesterday.
First of all, let me just say that as an open wheel fan I was impressed and admittedly jealous of the coverage. Are you kidding me?? HOURS of mindnumbingly boring albeit LIVE coverage of practice, qualifying, magazine type interview shows and of course the race, split across 2 networks! Granted, I wouldn’t have played along had Patreek not made it to the show. Not only is he in todays race, but he hopped on the “claim jumper” bandwagon. (gah… let me tell you, I could go a lifetime without hearing that term and explanation again…)
As a Carpentier fan, it was a very good day. He was a last minute replacement for the fluish Kasey Kahne, and qualified well for the Nationwide race. I got to watch him practice for the Sprint race, which he impressively locked himself into during the “go or go home” qualifying, (bumping Wallmandinger *snicker*) then change into his “Wisk” nomex and run across the paddock with a plate of food while being interviewed on his way to driver intros for the Nationwide race.
I love seeing Pat again. Oh how I’ve missed him. (he was “my guy” until he put the nail in his open wheel coffin by jumping the fence to Cheever in the IRL) I love that the good ol’ boys seem to have embraced him over the other open-wheelers. Not surprised by that. He is a great guy and a great interview which they seem to have figured out.
His lack of seat time and rookie “greenness” shone brightly unfortunately as he missed his pit box completely then got dinged with a speeding infraction and ended up at the back of the pack. Thinking back to all the years I spent listening to him on the scanner I giggled imagining the pitch of his voice getting higher and higher as he got more frustrated! My friend Steven and I showed our own “greenness” as we cheered his apparent 21 spot gain coming out of the pits! LOL! (now that would be a fucking impressive pit stop!!)
Despite the miscue and do-over, our boy kept his nose clean and his ass off the wall and pulled off an 8th place finish! Awesome!!
Here’s the kicker though… IT WAS BORING AS HELL!!
20 laps, wreck, 20 laps, wreck… a record breaking number of yellows… zzzzzzzzzz. I wasn’t even so much watching as I was listening to the race. (actually I’m “watching” the Sprint race right now… while writing, reading, etc… etc…) Polar opposite to watching a champ car race. I barely look away from the screen for that. There is an adrenaline rush that just doesn’t seem to be there in stock cars, at least until the last 8 or so laps when you’re wondering if they can keep it off the wall long enough to take the checkers.
I’m sure it’s partially a lack of understanding of the dynamics of this form of racing (if it’s any consolation to the Nascar aficionados I also find ALMS a snoozefest too) not to mention I am really not a fan of ovals (in any genre of racing), but hey, I’m giving it a chance. I’ve decided I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of the martyrdom, ignorance and snootiness that has gone along with my racing choices over the years. I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by group speak and politics. Enough! I’m going to broaden my horizons, and open myself and my mind to new experiences. I’m not saying I’m going to be tuning into Nascar every weekend. Admittedly, I will likely only tune in if Pat is running. (for instance, I’m tuned in now, watching the poor boy drop like a stone through the field…) While not a fan of the racing itself, I am fascinated by the culture of it and the phenomenal marketing machine that it is. Hell, without even watching a race, I could name 20-30 Nascar drivers and their primary sponsors just based on commercials and print ads! If I can learn more about that and somehow parlay it into helping some of the up and coming open wheelers, then it’s worth it.
Anyhoo… that’s what was on my mind… now, back to the race. Go Patreek Go!