We parked a million miles away and walked up, passing hundreds of vendors selling koozies and flags and hats and and pictures and posters and t-shirts and just about anything else you can think of - all emblazoned with the car numbers of your favorite drivers. I, being a Mark Martin fan, bought a #6 tank top, because you have to buy something to remember your first race by, right?
Once we, and the accompanying throng of fans, made our way through the gates, I realized a few things:
1. Pizza tastes better when it's too thin, too greasy and too damn expensive, when you buy it at the track.
2. The race comes with a distinct smell - an amalgamation of racing fuel, grilled everything, beer and sweat.
3. The infield is comprised of an entire counter culture of people that you'll never meet the likes of anywhere else.
Anyway, here we are, propped up on top of the WIXE party van - livin large redneck style, eating free Bo-Jangles and drinking Mt Dew like there's no tomorrow, and screaming our fool lungs out trying to encourage Martin in his #6 to move his ass to the front. I love Martin, and by god I think he might just do it this year, but 2000 was not exactly his best year. It was however the year we met Matt Kenseth and his Dewalt #17, and the year Mark took Matt under his wing. So, when Mark wasn't doing so well, I couldn't help but secretly hope Matt at least did well.
Now I have to admit, proud as I was of my shirt, thrilled as I was to be at my first race, excited as I was by the roaring of engines as they flew by at what seemed like impossible speeds, so fast, I don't think I ever actually knew which car was which (the best I could do was figure out the main color in the color scheme lol) I got bored. It grew tiresome. The noise and the fuel began to give me a headache, and I got restless. damn woman, right? I know, I know. I also began to get pretty pissed of at Old Mark and his cordial polite ways - it seemed he was just letting everyone slide right by out of manners or something. Eventually, I began focusing less on the Blue and White blur and more on the Yellow and black one.
And what an impressive blur it was too! That rookie blur of speeding 29 year old took off like he owned Lowe's. And by the end of the race, he did - he owned Lowe's Motor Speedway and the 2000 Coca-Cola 600 as his first career win, and I got to see it.
So this is a picture of my Mark Martin #6 tank top that reminds me of Matt Kenseth's Rookie year and my very first Nascar race, back when Nascar was Nascar, and Winston Cup was Winston Cup. Screw Nextel!
Now for my confession - this isn't actually THE shirt. I was too lazy to unpack all my non-pregnant clothes that I packed up months ago, so this is a nearly exact facsimile. Please pardon any lack of authenticity :)
Tagged: Tarheel Tavern