Sunday was my seventh annual “Why The F*@k Do My Editors Keep Sending Me To NASCAR?” experience.
I get paid to go to these races. So at least I have an excuse. These other 100,000 idiots, I have no clue what they’re thinking (Actually, I do. ‘I’m gonna drink all day and even out my farmer’s tan’).
The Brickyard 400 has to be the dullest “sporting spectacle” around. The 400 stands for how many feet you can actually see the cars before they disappear around the corner as you wait for them to come back around. Fun.
Prior to my newspaper days, I had only been to one NASCAR event, though I never actually made it into the track.
I was a senior in college and was looking to make a little extra cash without blood drainage or risking jail time. So when a buddy asked me and a few other friends to get paid to distribute free samples outside the Speedway, I figured, “Why not, sounds easy enough.” Our samples: Fritos, strawberry gum and Tums. All the NASCAR fan needs to survive.
It got to the point where vans were driving over from the adjacent campground asking if they could have entire boxes of crap. Since we got to leave once our supply was gone, we went with it. “Take as much as you want,” we said. They swarmed like flies to sh*t. Any anthropologist would have had a field day studying this corn chip-loving, nauseous-breathed, heartburn-conscious mob.
So know I have a well-established and slanted view toward stock car racing.
But NASCAR isn’t all bad.
Because it’s such a corporate event, celebrities are often paraded around media rooms.
In 2006 at Talladega, Will Ferrell popped in the media work room to promote “Talladega Nights.” Upon entrance, Ferrell took immediate note of the 1970s decor, “I haven’t seen fake wood paneling like this in a long time. Looks like my grandparents’ basement. Nice.” He also managed to steal a few french fries off my plate while making the rounds.
“They’re cold,” he said as pieces of fried potato escaped.
“I know, that’s why they’re still there.”
Sunday’s celeb didn’t steal my fries, but Lord knows I would have let her.
Hope Solo served as the pacecar driver for Sunday’s Brickyard 400. But before her duties behind the wheel, the U.S. women’s national soccer team goalie dropped by the media room for interviews, or as it turned into a throng of middle-aged-to-old men, who finally found a reason to use that camera function on their new thing-a-majiggy phone.
She was decked out in full NASCAR garb: jorts and cowboy boots. Though she pulls it off slightly better than the group filling the stands (well, not filling them). I did my best not to act like a creeper. But failed terribly. I hovered around the mob, loitered, took out my phone and snapped away.
I returned to my seat and a co-worked asked, “How was she?”
“Smelled nice,” I answered.
“What did you ask her?”
“I didn’t ask a question. Creeper?”
“Creeper,” with a nod.
Well at least she didn’t spit fries on me. And I’m nowhere as creepy as Phillips.
(These shots were taken solely for the purpose of showing her NASCAR look. I swear.)
See, look at those boots. I said boots, you perv.