A couple of years ago, my husband bought me a gift unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It was beyond anything my imagination could conceive. My husband bought me…a ride-a-long in a Nascar race car. Whoo-hoo!!!
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really a Nascar fan. My husband is the Nascar fan, so to be nice, I’ve dragged myself to a few races with him. Here’s the drill: You get up early, you drive toward the raceway, but you get caught in traffic, so you wait patiently on the freeway until the turnoff to the long road leading to the parking lot. You drive into the parking lot and you are led to a special area by a man in a fluorescent green vest where you park your car, no questions asked. This special area is 30 miles (give or take 29 miles) away from the entrance to the raceway, but it’s perfect because this is Nascar, so it’s FUN!
You get out of your car, gather up all your Nascar paraphernalia (hat, jacket, sun glasses, ear gear, seat cushion, radio – so you can listen to your favorite driver talk to their crew chief during the race, etc.) and you start walking and walking and walking until you finish walking because you reach the gate to get into the area around the raceway where you’ll begin your trek to find your section, row, and seat.
It seems like it should be at least noon because you’ve traveled halfway around the world, it seems, to get where you are, but thankfully, you’re early to the racetrack. You don’t want to miss a thing, people; it’s Nascar, so it’s FUN!
Even though you ate before you left, you’re hungry and thirsty after all the walking. Unfortunately, you forgot your water supply and healthy food packed ever-so-carefully into a cooler that you planned to use to sustain yourself throughout your time at the track. Bummer. Oh well, you decide to get something to eat at the concession stand. There’s 500 food booths (give or take 480) to choose from, so you’re bound to find something you can eat. You find one that has a menu you think looks good, so you get in line. Yes, there’s a line. There’s always a line, but it’s okay because it’s Nascar, so it’s FUN!
Finally, you reach the counter to order your food and it’s sold out. Already!? Sold out so soon??! Whatever. You order the best they have; no big deal. It’s Nascar, so it’s FUN!
You feel like drinking water, but you accidentally chose the only vendor without water, so you reluctatly buy a coke and pair it with a burritto. A gummy burritto. You walk the area around the track eating the beans out of your gummy burrito and drinking your acid coke that burns your throat and makes your eyes water.
Finally, the time has come to be allowed into the stadium. Once you get into the stadium, you draw your map and figure out which tiny chair, in the sea of hot seats below, is yours. Once you reach your chair, which is always 50 seats into the mile and a half long row (give or take a mile and a quarter), you sit down and begin the four to six-hour wait for the race to start. This right here is the best part about your day.Ah, it feels so good to
fry bask in the sun. It’s Nascar, so it’s FUN!
My experience at a Nascar race is one thing, but what would the experience of a ride-a-long in a race car be like? I had no expectations. I had no clue.
It’s really not all that exciting, in my opinion, to watch race cars roar around the track again and again and again. The noise they make is cool for about 15 minutes and then it’s annoying as hell. No offense to all the dedicated Nascar fans out there, like my husband, but how do you do it? And I don’t mean to demean the performance of the professional race car drivers, but how do you do it?? Your job seems monotonous. Do you ever get bored driving for so many hours around and around an around and around?
What I learned through my experience riding in a race car is that I could not have been more naive about the amazing talent of the men and woman who drive the Nascar race vehicles. Holy shit! My ride-a-long was beyond description. My driver went 160 miles an hour, which is considerably slower than the speed of the cars on the track during a Nascar race.
I sat in that car freaking out until I could grab a-hold of my senses. Then, I calmed down, sort of, and enjoyed the hell out of my ride. Then, as quickly as it started, it was over.
My ride in a Nascar race car was out of this world fun. It was an experience I will never forget, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life because my sweet husband thought it would be a game-changer for me when it came to going to races with him. He so wants me to enjoy going to the races.
Unfortunately, I still don’t enjoy going to a Nascar race, but I always enjoy time spent with my husband, even if it’s in a hot seat at the racetrack. I’ll go to a race if he asks me to go with him. Shhh, don’t tell him, I’m secretly hoping he never asks me to go, again. Our last race together was in 2013. It’s now 2017. The reason it’s been so long has to do with my health not being great, but I think he got the message that I’m not a fan; don’t you?
Wait a minute…I should want to go to the races. It’s Nascar, so it’s FUN!
Yes; it is fun, but only if you’re sitting in the car while it’s racing around and around and around and around the track.
This is my husband and me (me with red hair?!) at a race in 2013.
Me, getting dressed up for my ride! So exciting!
Hubs and me on the track.
Every so often, it’s good to do something out of the ordinary, something that rattles the windows and jars the door, so the imagination can escape into the light and run wild and free from the day-to-day monotony.