The Daytona 500: More Than Just Left Turns
A rare event has occurred this weekend in the illustrious Sunshine State. A torrential rainstorm has pushed back the start time of the 54th running of the Daytona 500. For the first time in history, the race will be ran this evening starting at 7 PM ET.
NASCAR fans reading will understand the awesome fateful turn of events that have been bestowed upon us, but if you aren’t too familiar with the phenomenon, you’re response is most likely “So fucking what?”
I’ll tell you fucking what. NASCAR may be one of the most polarizing competitions of our day, but I’m here to shed a little light on why you should at least appreciate the races for what they are. I’m not going to sit here and defend it’s credibility as a “sport” or anything boring like that. I’m here to tell you why NASCAR is nothing but an elaborate redneck excuse to get most-likely-to-motorboat-a-cougar drunk.
First of all, if you really want to appreciate the finer subtleties of stock car racing, you need to make it a priority to attend a race. Unlike most other major sporting events, where your only option for consumption comes from either flasks you snuck in adjacent to your ballsack or $9 beers at the concession, NASCAR tackles this problem in a unique way. Every single guest at the track is allowed to bring in one 14x14x14 inch cooler filled with whatever chilled beverages they prefer. After an intense screening session and cooler size check (fat bucktoothed security guard glances inside cooler for 0.2 seconds, let’s you pass) you’re free to shotgun and funnel and chug to your heart and liver’s content. Why more sports haven’t adopted this practice is truly a mystery to me.
Actually sitting through a race, and progressively increasing the magnitude of your bets and blood alcohol content, gives you a whole new perspective on the intensity of a race. Until you see three cars separated by mere inches torpedo by your face at 200 MPH, you can’t really appreciate how fucking American this sport is.
Another crucial step to enjoying NASCAR is to pick a driver, and stick with him. If you’re just casually observing, not rooting for anyone to succeed, there’s no doubt in my mind it will look just as boring and played out as the last Superbowl. Since I knew nothing of the sport at my first Daytona 500, I naturally chose the most badass looking car, which just so happened to be Jamie McMurray’s Bass Pro Shops car. And wouldn’t you know it, that orange-and-camo car driving son of a bitch won, only adding to my excitement.
I’m not saying you should sit by the TV for five straight hours tonight watching every waking minute of the old 500. I’m just saying that as you throw back double whiskeys to the dome at the bar tonight, it would be an excellent call to check out the last 20 laps or so. Pick your driver, drink every time someone emphatically yells “JUNIOR!” and finish your God damn drink if there’s a crash. By the end of the race you’ll come to find it’s only through binge drinking that you can truly appreciate NASCAR.