June 1, 2009

The Meanest Mom Meets NASCAR




This weekend, my family went to its first NASCAR race at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Upon entering the grounds, we were greeted by 200,000 people, the majority of whom were wearing things that they probably shouldn't. Interspersed amongst the sea of shirtless men with beer bellies and hiking boots was the occasional female, dressed in a half shirt or American flag bikini top and pair of cut-off jeans with a small hole cut strategically out of the back pocket to reveal a glossy butt cheek.

I didn't have as much time to observe my fellow race fans as I would have liked, given that I spent the morning in a corporate tent inside the 'hospitality village.' While my husband made small talk with business associates, I conversed with people who were much more appropriately dressed for a day at the racetrack than their counterparts on the outside. All of the men in tent were wearing some variation on the Dockers pleated pant; most of the women wore sundresses and kitten heels.

I was unsure of where exactly I fit in amongst the two groups of race fans, so appealed to them both by wearing a skirt that could be adjusted at any given moment to reveal or obscure my rub-on tramp stamp.

Outside the village, race fans were treated to live music, impromptu wrestling matches and free samples of chewing tobacco and sour cream & onion chips. One of the positives of being cloistered inside a tent all day, I reasoned, was that I would be fed some good food, which in this case, turned out to be a medley of roasted vegetables and a small hamster, whose proper name, I learned, was chicken cordon bleu.

My kids and I spent the meal pushing our food around our plates and gazing longingly at the commoners on the other side of the fence. They were consuming pulled pork sandwiches and funnel cakes just to spite us.

"You want a corn dog, don't you?" asked my husband.
"No," I replied tartly. "I want to visit the carving station again."

Shortly after my remark, my ungrateful self and my three equally ungrateful children were escorted from the village and plopped in front of a white van that served barbecue ribs out of its back end. With our bellies full of hush puppies and cotton candy, we sat down to witness one of the most unexpectedly cool things on this planet: a live NASCAR race. In all seriousness, it was incredible. I think I'm in LOVE....so in love, in fact, that I'm on the hunt for a half shirt and pair of Daisy Dukes of my own.


***
Have you ever been to a NASCAR race? Do tell!

45 comments

burkfamily1 said...

Never been to one, but I would love to!
And by the way, I ready your blog every day, and my boys love your banner. :)

Tonya said...

You mean that I live in "The Meanest Mom" territory???? I never knew?

We actually drove by the race on our way to camp in Assateague, Maryland...luckily we avoided any race traffic. We just aren't Nascar people...LOL

Sarah said...

No. You can't make me either.
The funniest thing about your post is the Google Ads at the end of it...how they match them to the "subject"...I saw the words panties, beautiful women, and men with bras.

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

"rub-on tramp stamp" :) Love it!

Kiki (G.G.) said...

Great photos. My first race was the Vegas race in '04. We visited LA and drove to Vegas. I was newly pregnant too. It was awesome. My hubby has been going to races since '00, and they have been reserved "Men Only". Over the years our love for Nascar has dwindled due to team/owner changes, and my hubby's insistance that it is unfair and races are fixed. I still love my Tony Stewart. Take care.
-Kiki

Andrea said...

I too love NASCAR and have been to several races, mostly in Michigan but also one at Bristol. I know they have been compared to all the excitement of "watching paint dry" but I find them very exciting and fun.

Stef said...

I lived in Daytona Beach for 10 years. I wouldn't call myself a NASCAR fan, but there is something very cool about how fast the cars go and the roar they make when they pass, etc. I had the opportunity once to be driven around the track at over 100mph in the pace car. That was the coolest yet scariest thing ever. Since I've moved away from DB I do watch the SPEED channel around race time. I love listening to the commentators chat about all the drama. There TOTALLY could be a NASCAR soap opera.

Alexandra said...

I have become a Nascar person because my husband is a Nascar person. I blogged about it
http://brainyandbeautiful.blogspot.com/2009/06/speedy-sonoma.html
and linked to your post. I love that you took the kids to eat the Nascar food, but i must say, I always bring a picnic backpack full of healthy and delicious food stuffs. Alright, I'll admit it, I cave in for the sweet potato fries ;-)

Aly Caff said...

I will have to go see one now!! i always assumed a bunch of guys that you cant see inside of a car driving around would be boring!!! however, the cotton candy was very appealing!!

Roni said...

hello. First time commenter here LOL. I have been reading your blog for a short time and I love it, makes me laugh all the time. As far as Nascar, I have been to the Richmond race a few times and LOVED it. I live in Maryland, and have thought about going to Dover race as well, but due to working can never seem to get off in order to go. When we go, we always make it a mini vacation, going for a few days. We camp out ( there are people who "rent" out their yards for 30 bucks for the weekend).

Merks said...

LOL at chicken cordon bleu comment. I've been to Dover Downs. Quite the experience. My husband used to sling cheese steak sandwiches in a Roach Coach. Oh and scrapple, egg and cheese sandwiches. All walks of life showed up for those, including gentlemen in just their tighty whities and cowboy boots.

Reese said...

Not surprised at all that you enjoyed your first Nascar race..........I mean, you did spend a lot of time in North Carolina, right?

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

So, how many permed mullets did you see? Or did you lose count after 127?

Stephanie said...

Wow. Never been to NASCAR race before but I am thinking its gotta be pretty spank-tacular to get me into a pair o' daisy dukes. I just might have to put that on my bucket list...

Foursons said...

Ahhhh...yes. We've been to many a NASCAR race, even when it was called Winston Cup. States include TX, TN, IL, FL, VA... and I know there are more my husband has been to. We don't go anymore, I'm not sure why. It was a "thing" we did for a while and now we don't.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness my husband would be so jealous if he knew. Every weekend we indulge ourselves in NASCAR (mostly because they come with a really long nap) and every weekend he says "boy I would love to go see one of these live".

Robyn said...

Ohhhh yeah. I married into a Nascar family. The first race I attended years ago was the coveted Daytona 500. We sat in a group of probably 30 family/friends (no mullets or tramp stamps, but die hards nonetheless), who all kept saying to me "You need a driver! Who's your driver?". I perused the program and found a guy my age (at the time) & claimed him as "my driver". They all guffawed/rolled their eyes/tsk-tsked at picking a "rookie driver" (who, turns out, was Jeff Gordon, but whatever).
All I can say is it was the single most boring event in my life. It could have been semi-enjoyable but everyone around me wore headsets with scanners so they could listen in on the "conversations" between the drivers and their crew chiefs (which consisted of a lot of static, choppy sentences and dead air). Every time I tried to chat it up with someone sitting nearby I was shushed for possibly interrupting a potential garbled comment of "Ma front end is a lil loose". SHUSHED I tell ya!! I went to one more race (Atlanta), where, after a heavy rain we sat in the stands and watched trucks drive around drying the track. Thats right...we sat and watched pavement dry. I kindly told my husband I'd take the $100+ (ticket price)in cash and just go shopping while he went to the race from then on.
Thankfully my husband has (mostly) outgrown his NASCAR obsession, although it is standard operating procedure to have the race on the tv every sunday afternoon. No headsets required. :)

Triplets07 said...

I have been to 3, in 3 different states, Fl (where I live)NC, and GA. A nascar race is so different in person, I love going to them but with having the boys, I think it will be a while before we get to go to another.
I love reading about your family:)

PamalaLauren said...

Been to five so far and thinking about taking Kaylee to her first here in the fall.

Christa said...

ok so being from NC, and living less than 5 minutes away from where the Intimidator got his start...thank you Mr. Hargett, you will never know the great service you did teaching that man to drive! Anyway, NASCAR is a family past time...and present time, lol. We actually really like going to the stock car races too...and the dirt track races at Concord. It's so amazing to watch, and my kids LOVE it.

Tiffany-Joy Mo said...

I've never been to one, but used to love to watch races...they are only fun when you are in the right company thought. I have been able to ride in a pace car around the Charlotte Motor Speedway, talk about FUN!

My Precious Peanut Designs said...

No I haven't but I would absolutely LOVE to!

Malea said...

"impromptu wrestling matches"..HA!

Robin said...

I live 10 minutes from Talladega Super Speedway.....so I get to "enjoy" the races AND the traffic! WOOO HOOO!

Robin @http://alabamaslackermama.blogspot.com/

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Hi Jana...Im new here. Love your blog. And I was at Dover on Fri and Saturday. We have been going for years! But we sold our Sunday tickets and took the kiddos to Friday and Saturdays races.

christine said...

I've never seen a NASCAR race but, my brother once built his own stock car and raced it at a local track. The car was a piece of hud and he wasn't very good at driving it. He had a great time though and it was kinda fun to watch. That might have been just because it was my big brother out there. I haven't had any desire to go since he gave it up.

Plus, once we almost got hit by a flying tire.

Ginger said...

I AM A NASCAR LOVING, FUNNEL CAKE EATING REDNECK THAT LOVES NASCAR AND JIMMIE JOHNSON!

If you haven't smelled burning rubber, felt the thunder of all those horses under the hood, see "the BIG one" and the roar of jets passing overhead at the end of our national anthem, you have NOT lived.

Talladega here I come. I love the whole tail-gaiting experience. Slather me up in sun screen and rev the engines.

Boogity, boogity, boogity...let's go racin' boyz.

Ginger

Jill said...

First post here!! I live 20 minutes from where you were this week-end. I've never been to a race, but have learned to dislike them because of the trail of campers that drive through our state and take up so much room on our roads :) I was sitting at a traffic light this morning and counted 31 campers! I'm so glad you visited our small state and enjoyed yoruself!

Wendy said...

Yup. My husband and I went to the inaugural race at Texas Motor Speedway. We were able to go to a second race there a few years later. We won a limo ride to the race, brunch, and seats in a VIP sky-box via a crazy scavenger hunt sponsored by the local sports radio station. A few the required items: a car fender, a saddle, a live animal, a 1000-page book, a green extension cord, an ethnic beauty product, a pearl necklace, a 6' 4" 2x4, maybe one or two other things ... all of this had to be delivered to a local restaurant on a dolly by a person dressed as a clown wearing a rainbow wig, floppy shoes, and make-up. Hilarious!! And did I have my camera?? Nope. Dope.

EBPitcher said...

Yep! The Brickyard a few years ago. It was my first NASCAR race. I had been to the Indy 500 a couple of times before and wanted to see a NASCAR race. I was used to the open wheel IRL cars and the stock cars were so different: sounding, smelling, and speed. There is most definitely something missing when you watch in television - you can't feel them and smell the rubber. I've taken friends to races who weren't race fans at ALL (one even brought book to read) and they were totally won over.

hansenfive said...

i live close to the CA speedway in Fontana...volunteered once in the concession stand for a college. I saw a few minutes of the race...soooo loud. but, my neighbors are HUGE fans, and have had many parties with drivers and crew members and fans...a different crowd i must add.

Berrett Buzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I can't believe you lived in NC for so long and never went, but then again, I didn't either.

Loved the line about most people wearing things they shouldn't. That is so, so true.

Ann said...

We went to Pocono 2 years ago this week. Unbeknowst to me, my daughter had a raging double ear infection, it was about 120 degrees and she would not hear of leaving early or as long as her beloved Kasey Kahne was in the race. It was a great time!!

Denise said...

Well my hubby to be Mr P. is a huge fan of NASCAR and so is my dad so it seemed normal to offer to take my dad to a NASCAR race in TX nest were my parents live. Now my dad does not know how to use his "big boy" word and ask for anything. Mr. asked for sunblock outta my bag- my dad did not. Mr P asked for earplugs-dad did not. So after spending from 6am (mr. P is funny about his parking and you have to get there early to get the RIGHT parking) til 6 pm. We got back to my parents and my dad is deaf, with a headache and fried crispier that bacon. My mom asked him why he did not put sunscreen on and he replied they did not give me any and I did not want to be rude and ask! A 48 year old man could not ask his daughter and future son inlaw for sunscreen.
Plus Mr. P said if Jeff Gordon won he would never take us back cause he had never won at that venue....YEAH about that guess who won.....

That ok now my dad is hinting to Mr P. AKA telling ALL about the stockcar races and dates. Thank god some of them take place during wedding activities!

Miranda said...

I was never interested in NASCAR until I met my Hubby (the 'friend') who took me to a race in Las Vegas. I've been HOOKED ever since and it's on EVERY Sunday. The "people watching" at races is FABULOUS. Once you've seen once race you want to see more...it seriously is fun to watch and those guys do have talent...they mean bizness!! It is quite an experience...

Stacy said...

Oh my, you should venture down south for a Nascar race. Words cannot even describe the experience in my neck of the woods! The last race I went to was in Bristol (which you should definitely go to once in your life). The next available porta potty was full to within an inch of the "rim" and I puked all the way back to Knoxville due to the abundance of secondhand smoke I inhaled! I have yet to return!

Ruth Mannion said...

I'm glad to find someone else who refers to premade chicken cordon bleu as hamsters.

autostry said...

These are really great pictures of a NASCAR race!

Callie said...

I'll be heading to the NHRA Drag Races in Joliet, IL on the 6th. This is the first "classy" race I've ever been to. I suppose, of course, that you have to believe that any type of car racing is classy.

CarrieBeth said...

I have been to the races at Dover twice and loved every minute of it. Of course, you can't talk during the race but I really like listening to the radio broadcast over the headsets. Next time you go, ditch the corporate tent and tailgate. Go early, leave late. Bring your own food for supper because the food carts are gone by the end of the race. There are all kinds of people the go to the race -- not just good ol' boys and corporate stuffed shirts.

The Hertels (Paul, Tia and Seneca) said...

I have been to two; one in Phoenix and one in Kansas; and the funny part was that I enjoyed watching the drunk guy in front of me!!

Elizabeth said...

I have never been to a race, but i will go one day. I mean, I am from Georgia...isn't it required??? LOL However, if Jimmy Johnson wins.....I will vomit!!! GO TONY!!!!

Jordi said...

I live around 10 minutes from Bristol Motor Speedway and have been to numerous races.
Our high school actually attended classes in the suites at the race track because the school was infected with black mold! That was a fun year!
And because of that our band actually got to play the national anthem at the busch race one year. That still is on the top of my list of cool things I've done!

The only problem with living so close to the track is having to work at it for fundraisers for school! You see some characters while working the souvenir booths!

Jess :) said...

I was actually at Dover this year! I'm not really a Nascar FAN, but I was born into a family who is... And I happened to find myself with a significant other who is as well. Thus, I am dragged to Nascar races every once in a while. Watching the actual race is pretty cool live, but I can't stand watching it on TV.