Dear Uninformed Person Speaking About NASCAR,
(Or as I shall call you from now on, “UPSAN.”
Let us have a quick chat, shall we? Yes, you, Buddy. You are the guy at the bar, where I like to watch the race, taking up seats, not buying anything and just really sitting there. Who is that with you? Is that your Mom, your girlfriend, and your sister, too? Aww, that’s nice of you to take them all out for some food and beverages. Watching the race, are ya? I think your girlfriend is more interested in it than you. She sure is asking you a lot of questions about it. And as I listen to you, all I can do is hope that she isn’t taking you seriously, because if someone asks her about the things that you’re saying, and she spits out what you’re cooking for us today, well, friend, that’s just a pile of bad information.
Oh, wait, Upsan, before you get all upset with me, believe me, I know. I know what’s going on. I like to sound knowledgeable, too. I mean, everyone likes to get a reasonable answer for a question asked. And as far as NASCAR and racing in general goes, twenty-five years ago, I was the one asking the questions. I couldn’t get enough of it. I got my answers from a reliable source though, like my Dad, or Winston Cup Scene. So, yeah, I’m with you. Spread the word about the sport. But dude, ya gotsta do it right. What am I talking about?
Well, let’s see.
1. The drivers do not weave the car back and forth under the caution to make sure that their steering will still work when they “go back to fast again.”
2. That chunk of metal that came off of the car and caused “the slow down” as you put it, yeah, that’s not from a tire. Tires, Upsan, are not made of metal.
3. Those tires are made from rubber, and the pit crews will change them probably more than the 2-3 times per race you’re indicating.
4. These cars do NOT run on alcohol.
5. The front end of the body of these cars is NOT light enough to pick up with your bare hands. You’re probably thinking of the cars in the NHRA.
6. Your answer to your girl’s question of “has anyone ever just wrecked a car on these slow laps” was “No, probably never happened.” I’d have you talk to Juan Pablo Montoya or that poor Jet Dryer, or even Roberto Guerrero in the 1992 Indy 500. Slow. Lap. Wrecks. (I’m going to give you a pass on those, though. You may not have been around for them.)
7. The current coach of the Washington Pro Football Team is NOT a NASCAR team owner. Joe Gibbs, FORMER coach of said football team, is.
8. And for the love of all that is Holy and sacred… they are race cars. They are stock cars. They are racing machines. They are competition vehicles. They, sir, are NOT NASCARS. NASCAR is an acronym. National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. N-A-S-C-A-R. There is no such thing as a NAS CAR. (Less ye got that southun drawl and ya complimentin’ somebuddy, then you can tell ‘em that they got a real nas car…it’s very nas.) No…even that doesn’t work. Not NASCARS.
So, friend, let me tell ya, I’m far from perfect. I don’t have all of the answers. I’m more than happy to share my knowledge about the sport if someone asks, and if I have it. If I don’t have it, I check sources. Maybe I can learn too. Maybe we all can.
Oh, by the way, don’t feel like you’re alone in your uninformedness. (That’s not a word. I made it up.) There’s a bunch of folks who can’t quite seem to figure out how to pronounce certain things in NASCAR, let alone spell them. Let me share a few gems with you, and I’m sure a lot of us fans will recognize them as something they have seen or heard as we go along.
1. Darrell Waltrip-I love ya, and you do a great job 99.5 percent of the time. My friend, that driver from Wisconsin who won the 2003 Championship, his name is Kenseth. There’s no “S” in the end, nor is there any “I” involved, as your pronunciation of “Kinsiss” would imply.
2. While we’re at it, and this is NOT directed at ‘Ol DW, but kids, it’s Rick Hendrick. There’s no “S”, and there’s no “X”. Hendrick, Hendrick, Hendrick. Hendrick Motorsports. Not Hendricks or Hendrix.
3. Kulowski, Kusowski, Kesowski…NO. Folks, it’s Keselowski. We should be familiar with this. His family has been racing for decades. He’s the 2012 Champion, for cryin’ out loud.
4. Kayskane. Are we in such a hurry that we turn two names into one?
5. The elite division of racing, you know that stuff we watch on most Sundays and some Saturday nights? That’s the Sprint Cup Series. It’s not the NASCAR Series. I give you full props for tuning in or attending all three of the top levels of our sport in one weekend, but when you say that you watched the Truck Series on Friday, The "Nationwides" on Saturday, and then NASCAR on Sunday, that’s credibility lost.
6. And it's not Nationwide anymore, either. It's Xfinity. Not Infinity. The Xfinity Series is the junior circuit that usually runs the day before the Sprint Cup Series. If there was an Infinity race or series, it would never end.
7. Rodney Childers. Richard Childress. Not the same person.
8. Cale Yarborough. LeeRoy Yarbrough. Yar-Bore-Oh vs Yar-Broh. Not related.
So, there you go, Upsan. You’re not the only one. Honestly, all of these things drive me absolutely guano crazy, and you just happened to be in the crosshairs. If it would not be a complete rip off, I would have called this column “What Grinds My Gears.” But I won’t do that. Now this just looks like I’m a big cry baby and I think I’ve painted my own portrait of an uptight a-hole rather well this week, but everyone needs a couch to lay on every now and then.
Until next time, my friends...