It was quite an ordeal trying to watch the Daytona 500 yesterday. It is not that NASCAR, the track or the race itself is bad. It is the nonsense that frames it that drives many crazy. I know Daytona is a cool track and the ‘stock’ car mecca but the one thing many are unable to tolerate is the breathless hyperbole about it from manglers of the English language behind microphones.
They and sampled canned production pieces speak of Daytona as hallowed ground where ghosts lurk and the feeling of overwhelmed you get while going through the old tunnels. Those of us who are either cynical or know better (or both) can easily see through such hype, particularly since the biggest reason that track was built was because Big Bill France developed a multi-year priapism after being simultaneously overwhelmed by and subsequently thrown out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (for using the credentials of someone else). In his world and his family generations that followed it has always been about waving a bigger appendage.
What passes for historic archived footage at Daytona is considered recent history at Indy where the age of the track and creation of the genre goes back twice as long. None of the NASCAR folk ever get the context correct except perhaps for a few hours in August when similar breathless, twanged hyperbole is unleashed live from the Brickyard.
At this juncture one can usually cue overly defensive NASCAR enthusiasts who interpret mostly amused head shaking as some sort of pot shot. As usual they miss the entire point. It is my sincere hope that interested folks had as much fun with the start of a new season as anyone else. Around lap 25 the spouse uttered a profanity (which is rare) because the carefully crafted dish she was trying to prepare in the oven failed. The oven went on the fritz about halfway through the cook cycle. All of our kitchen appliances came new with the house when it was new fourteen years ago. We moved in nearly four years ago and figured they would have to be replaced within five years. I researched all nearby retailers online then determined Home Depot had the best package pricing on upgraded kitchen appliances, so off we went to make an offer on a range, a refrigerator and a dishwasher package. They came through with flying colors. We ordered, completed the paperwork, took care of the bill and now await delivery and installation. Upon arrival back at the stately Disciple manor the race still had thirty laps to go, and figuring ‘big ones’ were yet to come that I had not missed much. Turns out I didn’t, and all I really needed was the first and last 25 and I was good to go. I was mercifully spared of things like wisdom according to one or more of the Waltrip brothers. Darned happy to see Team Penske take the flag though.
I am glad to see the season underway but may grow weary quickly. IndyCar partner NBCSN has completely forgotten IndyCar exists now that NASCAR starts on that platform in July and based on history the management of IndyCar will remain either oblivious or unable to make any sort of difference.
It will feel a lot better when IndyCars are on the track.