Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Truly Once in a Lifetime

When my husband came home last Thursday night with three tickets to the NASCAR qualifying race the next day, I wasn't exactly turning cartwheels.

Now, Chris is by no means a NASCAR enthusiast, but after he attended a race last year with a friend, he has told me on multiple occasions that it is something everyone should experience at least one time in their life. Especially since Texas Motor Speedway is "close enough for us spit on it", his words, not mine. So, when these tickets were graciously donated to us by one of his co-workers, I reluctantly agreed to go with him and Park to see what all the fuss was about.

Now, I'm from small town Texas, where every business within a 100 mile radius shuts down for Friday night football. And I currently reside in the DFW Metroplex where Mama's (and Daddy's) BEG their babies to grow up to be Dallas Cowboys. Forget Doctors and Lawyers, and such. So, I'm no stranger to die hard, fanatical fans.

Or so I thought.

Upon driving into the facility, it was as if we had entered an entirely new dimension. One that might affectionately be dubbed, The Twilight Zone. Travel trailers, housing people who had navigated cross country to view advertisement laden vehicles endlessly circle a track, were parked in rows so long my jaw dropped. People, dressed from head to tow in color coded garments of support for their chosen driver, were waiting in forever long lines to buy MORE garments of support.

And others were dressed so scantily that I debated BUYING them garments of support just to cover them up. (Enter hand over Park's eyes.)

Spying 50+ port-a-potties as we walked through the field leading up to the raceway, I feared we had left civilization 5 miles back. Chris coerced me into continuing the journey by promises of real bathrooms, complete with soap dispensers, up ahead. So, I pressed on through the thick clouds of cigarette smoke, hoping to find some redeeming quality in the distance.

Finding our seats, we settled in just in time for the first car to rev up it's engine. Being that we were at the qualifying race, each car would take 1-2 laps around the track in hopes of achieving a fast enough time to secure a great starting point for the big race scheduled two days later. Don't I sound so schooled in the inner workings of NASCAR, folks?

When the first car took off at lightning speed, I felt my pulse begin to quicken and knees get weak. As it made it's way back around the track, the energy in that stadium was electric. Then I looked over and caught a glimpse of the excitement twinkling in Park's eyes. And I knew in that moment that things had taken a turn for the worse.

Somehow, I had (gulp) become an unlikely NASCAR fan.

Car after car raced around that track and we watched with baited breath. Could this driver find a way to shave a second off the time set before him? Could he keep control while taking those corners at such terrifying speed? Could we get another corn dog without endangering Park's college fund?

The suspense of it all just added to the excitement of the reckless abandonment. But, ultimately it is also what caused us to leave the event a little early.

Well, that coupled with the fact that after watching the 20th car go round, I wasn't quite as much a fan as I had originally believed. Park, on the other hand, was sold on the sport after getting to take his picture with Sparky. And it didn't hurt that he got to come back with Chris the next day to attend the Kid Fish at the NASCAR lake.

But, I must admit that all in all, hubby was right. Everyone should experience NASCAR once in their lifetime.

But Chris, because I've already gotten that chance, next time, let's opt to give my ticket to someone else who hasn't had the opportunity to do so.

Perhaps to someone who doesn't mind using a port-a-potty, let's say.


Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

oh what a fun time it looks like you had. i drove past there that weekend. i am from oklahoma but my parents live in Tx, i went shopping.

Anonymous said...

I know I haven't seen you in a while, but something about you and Nascar in the same sentence sounds seriously WRONG!


Deidre said...

I live in NC - home of Nascar, but a fan I am not. (I tried to be one season of my life when I was dating someone that actually drove a car), but eventually it was the sport that ended it - I just couldn't get past someone so excited about turning left all the time.

But, yes, you need to experience it at least one time. Thank goodness I don't have boys.

Janelle said...

Cute pics! :) I can't imagine you at Nascar..I definately don't do port-a-potty's either!

Kelly said...

Oh my, this hits home with me! My husband and I are not nascar fans, but went with friends who are, because he too convinced me everyone had to try it once. (What really sold me was the fabulous tailgating we would be doing prior to the race!).

When we walked in my jaw just dropped and stayed that way the entire time, it was a sight to behold! I must confess, though, that when the engines started the sheer power really got to me, so much so that we now have gone twice. The fun part is listening to the drivers on the headsets... I may look a little goofy, but eavesdropping legally on their strategizing is just good old fashioned fun.

David Campbell said...

Tag! You're it!!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

That picture of you and Park is adorable! Frame it!

Kelly said...

OH my word ya'll are a cute family!!!