I?ve enjoy racing. I?ve never enjoyed any of the ?stick and ball? sports. When I am looking for a good, relaxing time I am looking to watch cars go around in circles for a while. THAT is what I enjoy.
However, unlike many who frequent this site, I am not a ?NASCAR Fan,? I am a ?Race Fan.? You may be thinking to yourself ?That?s the same thing!? but you would be wrong. A NASCAR Fan is the type of person whose weekends center around Speed TV?s hours of pointless coverage, the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide and Sprint Cup practice, qualifying and races. That is the weekend of the NASCAR Fan. And I have absolutely nothing against them, if I could tolerate it; I?d stay at home in the air conditioning during the hot summer months too.
But I can?t tolerate it, because I am a Race Fan. My weekends center around arriving as early as I can Friday afternoon at the race track and watching the trailers roll into the pits at my local short track (on Friday?s that?s the Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, Michigan). Eventually we go down to the pits, chat with the local heroes set to do battle around the local short track. We watch them qualify and we watch them race, and we hope to get home early enough to catch a decent amount of sleep.
Then on Saturday you wake up, hopefully after enough sleep, take a shower, toss on some clothes and head on over to the Saturday night track (which for me is the Owosso Speedway in Ovid, Michigan). There you repeat the same process. You watch the great racing live, up close and personal. It is heaven on Earth spending Friday?s and Saturday?s with some of the greatest people in the entire world, taking in the atmosphere of the local short track.
And then comes Sunday. Most tracks (at least in my home state of Michigan) don?t typically run Sundays. So that is the day we will sit at home, cook out on the grill, sit back and enjoy the NASCAR race. Don?t get me wrong, though it has been rare, NASCAR can put on a good show. However the Sundays I enjoy most are those rare ones when a show at one of the local tracks happens to pop up on a Sunday.
When faced with a choice between Auto Club Speedway or my home track, I?d much prefer the racing on a 3/8s mile oval than that on the television any day. I have baked in the sun to watch a Pure Stock race instead of sitting at home in front of a TV set in the air conditioning watching the most advanced stock cars around. And never once have I regretted this decision.
If you find yourself falling into the NASCAR Fan category, I urge you, one Saturday night this summer, load up the family and head on out to your local short track, there are more than a thousand of them in the United States alone. For most tracks the cost is low and the entertainment value is sky high.
NASCAR may be the pinnacle of auto racing, but if given the choice, I know where I?d be on my weekends from April to October. Of course, February, March, and November I?ll settle for NASCAR.
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