Racing Stripes

So racing at the Brickyard is back, for the Americans. The Brickyard 400. Recently retired Jeff Gordon is back in the car, driving the number 88, in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who suffered a concussion a few weeks ago. I’ve enjoyed racing since I was a small child and started watching all the races in 2003. Lately though, NASCAR has become boring and vanilla what with the new chase for the championship format and crowning a random driver champion every year. Turning back the clock, I realize how much the sport has changed with drivers coming and going and the added social layer of the Internet. Today I realized that one section of grandstands at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway was basically empty, a sad sign that an event once hyped and anticipated has lost it’s luster now in its 22nd year. Still great, but never will be the same.

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Things to do during a NASCAR rain delay

The 2014 Daytona 500 got red flagged for rain so Jack and I got bored and started to present some interesting facts about the race, number one being the starting point.

1. Try to offer a scientific explanation of the commentators left to right positioning on screen:

The main speaker of the broadcast is always on the left, being the traditional rule in TV etiquette (at least here in America). The audience’s eyes seem to focus more on the left side of the screen so the guy who is going to speak the most will obviously be over there, with some exceptions. I know this is the thing in America but in other countries, such as Japan, it might be different. On talk shows, the guest star is on the left because he/she is the star, the one being spotlighted and the viewers eyes are trained on them. In America, we also read left to right, drive on the left side of the car, and on Windows computers have the start button to what Beyonce would say.

2. View highlights of classic driver fights, from the ‘water cooler’ race of 1979, to The Intimidator saying “that son of a bitch”, to ‘the shove’ of 2006 with Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, to the Edwards and Keselowski feuds at Talladega. And also a little bit of Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Tony Stewart mixed in there.

3. Watch last year’s Daytona 500 with a person who didn’t watch it last year, betting money on who will win, when cautions will come out, etc., and relaying events that had not happened yet and talking about people who were still alive then, maybe watching the race.

4. Entertain self with episodes of “Bob’s Burgers” and “American Dad”.

5. Sing karaoke songs. Any songs related to racing are very welcome.

6. Shoot hoops.

7. Play a game of Twister.

8. Watch the “circus act” on the track as jet dryers and workers try to dry the surface, sometimes using squeegees and boxes of Tide to the tune of “Car Wash”.

9. Figure out that from Neil Armstrong’s name, Neil A spelled backwards is A lien (Alien). So the joke is “did they send him to the moon or did they send him BACK to the moon?”. You could also get “Strong Mr. Alien” out of that. Again, it’s all a conspiracy. NASA didn’t really send anyone to that rock in the sky. It was staged. Neil Armstrong is a geniusly made up name that could have double meanings.

I’m only joking of course. I’m a realist. I don’t believe in conspiracies, hoaxes, and other crap passed around the Internet by people with no life. Paul McCartney is alive and well.

10. Thinking “when are they going to get this damn race started again?” and “They didn’t have to introduce all 43 drivers to us with a cheesy ceremony like that”.

11. Catch up on your favorite TV shows on Netflix (The Walking Dead, everyone!).

12. Reminisce about the first 38 laps of the race, watching it all over again if you have to.