Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thank You List Saturday - Reach back and pull those belts tight one more time!

The Daytona 500 kicks off NASCAR's 09 season tomorrow and I am sooooo thankful.

PB and I used to mock NASCAR and wonder about the appeal of watching guys do nothing but make left turns for 500 miles. But then one Sunday we left a race on as background noise while we were puttering around the house.

My mom says "puttering" a lot, but I think this is the first time I've ever used the term publicly. It's a bit like the first time I said, "When it's gone it's gone" - another one of my parent's isms. It feels a bit strange.

Anyway, Sunday after Sunday we kept tuning in to the race. It's just background noise we kept telling ourselves, but we were hooked.

We learned that there's more to NASCAR than driving fast and trying not to hit anything. Although I think that's pretty impressive. There really is strategy involved with each race. Short track. Long track. Track temperature. Pit strategy. Drafting. Banking.

The track at Daytona International Speedway has 31 degree banking. Speeds at nearly 200 mph, cars literally bumping off each other and 31 degree banking.

That's crazy.

Speaking of crazy, we LOVE watching NASCAR fan interviews. Love them. Lots of fast, heavily accented (Southern, of course) talking with "Junior" being the only intelligible word. The reporter is always a cute chippy fresh out of journalism school who can only smile and nod because she has no idea what the guy is saying. Love. It.

Oh, and the drama. Robby Gordon throwing his helmet at Michael Waltrip's car was a thing of beauty. One year a driver's girlfriend got in a shouting match with another driver's girlfriend after their beaus had an on-track scuffle. Then there's the crazy, scary wrecks where the drivers climb out and walk away. Amazing.

Oh, and there is no better sports commentary than NASCAR on FOX even though I'm sure it makes English teachers cringe. (I miss the BP and Wally Dallenbach days over at NBC, but I must move on.)

God bless you if you've stuck with my post up to this point. I promise I'm almost done.

I have two wishes for the 2009 season:

1. Please, please, please let Mark Martin win both the 500 and the championship. He's such a nice guy and I'm thinking that this could be his year since he's driving for Hendrick.

2. I need Tony Stewart to be Tony Stewart. I'm concerned that now that he's a team owner he's going to become civilized in his interviews. That would be a crying shame because there's nothing more priceless than the look that crosses his face when he thinks a reporter is a moron or when he's calling out a driver for being stupid.

There's one part of Sunday's race I'm not looking forward to. Few people can pull off an appropriately gritty yet powerful "Gentlemen, start your engines"; only Matthew McConaughey comes to mind as someone who gave a proper delivery. This year's grand marshal is Florida Governor, Charlie Crist so I'm assuming he'll do the honors. That can't be good.

Even if he blows it I'll still get to hear Darrell Waltrip utter 7 words that make me do a happy dance...

Boogity, boogity, boogity... let's go racing boys!

7 comments:

Cheryl said...

Rod keeps slowing the channel surfing down when a race is on... he starts teasing Ann... "Hey Ann! Come on and watch NASCAR with me!" getting a kick out of the look she'll shoot him. But I've noticed him pausing longer and longer! He'll watch a full golf game... why not?!

Andrea said...

We love NASCAR! We will have to DVR it since we have a basketball game at 3:00. Our fave current drivers are Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Dale Jr. and our yongest likes Jeff Gordon while our oldest likes Jimmy Johnson. I love to watch the wrecks. Let's go racing boys!

ann marie said...

I don't watch it, but Greg watches the last 20 or so minutes and then does a fake southern accent and carries on and makes a general fool of himself, trying to be funny.

Lisa said...

Get them pork rinds and cheese whiz containers ready...
oh. my.

Tiffany said...

I didn't know you had an "inner redneck!"

Sue said...

Oh. My.

PaulaW said...

Go Mikey!!

 
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