Just for Me
Me-Time at the Tracks: Why I Love NASCAR
It’s Saturday morning, it’s a bit chilly outside, the car is packed and we climb in the car for a road trip. I am full of excitement and anticipation. Where are we going? NASCAR baby! I am the only girl in our group. The first time I went with the fellas, I was a bit apprehensive being the only female, but quickly realized that gender did not matter in the group.
When I share my excitement with some of my female friends they shake their heads and wonder out loud why I enjoy watching a bunch of cars go around in circles at such high rates of speed. It takes me a few minutes to attempt to give them an answer because there is more to it than cars going in circles. There’s an energy at a NASCAR race that cannot be described with words; one must experience it for themselves to understand completely. I find the whole experience to be one of great American pride. There’s a sense of community and no matter who you set up next to in the lot to tailgate you become an equal; neighbors.
Throughout the race track you will find a wide variety of people from all walks of life sitting side by side cheering for their favorite driver, inhaling the fumes from burning rubber, asphalt and fuel, eating greasy burgers, mounds of cheese fries and nachos and enjoying their cold beverage of choice while sharing stories of races gone by. For that moment there is no judgment, there is no social status, we are all of one accord. And nobody but me cares that the rain that afternoon ruined my cute hair, washed away most of my makeup and that I looked like Big Bird underneath my bright yellow rain poncho.
As I sit there watching and waiting for the green flag to drop my heart begins to race. I have trouble staying in my seat and when the flag finally falls and the cars fly past me with their engines roaring I forget for just a while that there is a world outside of that track that waits for my return. Inside that track for those few hours we are all Americans, we are all proud and we are all neighbors. There is no real division except in who we choose to cheer for and even that is done with pride and without judgment.
My friend’s husband, a British man who has embraced the NASCAR scene, best described it as being God, Guts and Country. There is a sense of pride and kinship in NASCAR like no other I have seen in other sports. As I reflect on my time at the track and what it means to me to be a NASCAR fan, I wonder what our world would be like if only for a moment we put some of our differences aside, embrace those around us as if we were at a NASCAR race and simply became one nation Under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all…..