Day 2 of my “most-Amurrrcan-weekend-ever” started poorly.  First thing in the morning, I realized that the only upside I’d see that morning was the fact that I was somehow hangover-free.  I guess I’d managed my consumption quite well the day before.

But the day was looking grim.  Heavy grey clouds offered up a light drizzle that turned into a steady drizzle.  Then the forecast called for “heavy drizzle”.  What the fuck is heavy drizzle?  Isn’t there simply a four-letter word for that: rain?  Fuck you, you self-aggrandizing weatherdouches.

Anyway, the rain forecast was set to ruin the day for us.  Because we got primo tickets for the NASCAR race in nearby Joliet.  Unlike the other three dozen or so weekly NASCAR races that had run all year long, this was the first race in NASCAR’s “playoff series”: The Chase.  From what I’m told, only the top ten drivers in the standings are eligible to score points that tally up to winning the championship.  Like I said, this was now a race in the season that mattered, and I was going to witness my first ever NASCAR event.

The entire setup was too perfect to actually happen, though.  The rain kept coming, and occasionally would tease us with a few minutes of stoppage before pissing down on us again.  Fuck it, we still drove down to Joliet.  As travel to motorsport events went, this was a breeze (unlike when the missus and I had to walk an hour each way in and out of Silverstone because the roads are made of little more than diarrhea and sheep entrails).  Before long, we parked our car and made our way to the racetrack.

First thing I noticed as we walked through the parking field and all the tailgaters was this bizarre fetish with flags.  Everywhere you looked, there were raised flags.  But since I was uninitiated in vexillology (I had to look that up, fuck off), I quickly lost interest and moved on to bigger and shinier things.





Like most motorsport events, it’s a fucking zoo outside of the proper racetrack.  Sponsor booths, sponsor tents, all manner of product whoring imaginable.  And boy, do I fucking love it.  Because you see fucking awesome shit like these:


John Deere corn picker.  I did not know this was a corn picker.  I had to be told by my buddy that this was a corn picker.  I spent the next 10 minutes laughing at the term “corn picker.”







A long and patient line to get into the Camel exhibit.  I can’t begin to imagine what wonders lay beyond those doors (you see the fancy ones festooned with the very classy gum disease warning), but I want imagine it’s some redneck equivalent of the Tate Modern.  The finest works of Jackson Pillock.  Everything’s made out of baccy, natch.





I did consider going into this super-convenient podiatric refuge at the racetrack.  But that was because I originally thought it was a shop selling racing fan gear (of which I have no use) and the owner’s unfortunate name was “Gout.”  Fuck that, this was a pharmaceutical booth peddling a proper gout medicine.  Who put this fucking plan together, it’s fucking genius.




And then, the pièce de résistance.

There are no words.  This was what I fucking came for.  This was why I stood in line at the airport, why I sat in some shitty airplane for 2 hours and flew 900 miles from home, this is why we drove in the rain.  This was the NASCAR I came looking for.

By the time we got inside the racetrack, it was dreadfully clear that this race was going to be a non-starter.  The track-trying trucks were in full force.  Holy shit, I’d never seen such things before – pickup trucks with a ram jet loaded onto its bed.  It’s what it’d sound like if a squadron of 747s rolled right up your driveway.

We waited around for a bit.  Grabbed some pathetically shit beer (no Old Style here), some of their finest deep-fried culinary specials, and waited some more.  The rain was now a steady shower.  Standing under the bleacher seating was like being in the middle of submarine that had been torpedoed.  I was beyond pissed off that this race wasn’t going to happen today.  My mood had so fouled that I couldn’t even muster the appetite to eat a two-pound smoked turkey leg (as you do at NASCAR races).

Realizing the futility of our efforts, and accepting that my very first NASCAR race was not to be, we clamored back into our car and got the fuck outta there.   Feeling pissed – and soaked – we drove to a neighborhood bar, and proceeded to get tanked on booze and Sunday afternoon football.

My very first NASCAR outing was a disaster.  I had travelled a great distance, full of hope and excitement – like Paula Deen at a state fair deep-fried smorgasbord competition – only to have that fire doused by foul rain.  Because NASCAR can’t race if someone so much as hocks a loogie on the track.   Fuck, even the Tour de France continues to race when rain and hail pelt the riders.  Skinny, leg-shaving dopeheads are more formidable than the wheeled massive steel bathtubs of NASCAR.

NASCAR is a fucking stupid sport.  I hate you, NASCAR.  Even if you did afford me the sight of a fat guy in a pink girdle.