I know that the stereotypical NASCAR fan is a beer-guzzling, good-ole-boy, Southern redneck who scratches, chews, and spits...and some of us are (yeah, Bud Light is my drink of choice and I'm from Southern California). Judy drinks fine wine from crystal glasses, Joel enjoys scotch, some don't drink at all, and few of my friends spit. However, once you're a fan of NASCAR...you're hooked! Yesterday was the opening race of the season, and my local network of friends and family made the "good luck" calls before the green flag fell. My driver, Clint Bowyer (we all have our favorites), was doing pretty darned well, and I hesitated to answer when the phone rang. I could hardly hear the caller because of crowd noise behind him...it was Cousin Mark, who was at the race in Daytona, Florida, and wanted me to share the experience! He kept yelling out, "Slow down, Clint! Diane wants to say Hi!!" I can imagine what the folks in the stand with him thought. I was laughing so hard I couldn't talk. Clay has called me during races in Texas and Fontana, CA; Cousin Christy has called from Phoenix, and it's so neat that these guys "take me along." The funniest call of yesterday, though, was when Clay told me his brother had called him...from church!...whispering, "What lap is it? Who's ahead?" Now that's a fan!
The race was red-flagged (stopped) twice while potholes in the track were repaired...potholes at Daytona?! I had time to go out and sweep a winter's worth of leaves off the deck, so it wasn't a wasted day, but a race that normally lasts four hours stretched out to over six. That gives an idea of the speed at which these guys drive...five hundred miles in less than four hours...don't try this at home!
Say what you will about NASCAR fans...the tens of thousands in attendance at a race are on their feet when the American flag is presented, every man removes his hat and a hand is over every heart when the Star Spangled Banner is played, and every head is bowed for the invocation prayer. If that's a redneck, then I'm proud to be one.