You know, after today I totally get NASCAR, and I even think that the challenge of IMS may make for a better spectacle than the flat-out high banked tracks.
My younger son and I have been looking forward for a couple of weeks to today, knowing from experience that stockers in person are pretty freakin' cool, wicked really. So I had the thought of viewing from yet another new vantage point in my ongoing quest to chip away at the infinite number of ways to experience the place.
E Stand Penthouse. That probably says it all. The guys haul down the straight, set the cars, and drift 'em through, and you can really see it from up there. Tremendous sounds, great trails of flame, driving sideways at what looks like 150 or so maybe. Then we dropped down to the top row of E Stand box 7, at which angle the viewing is almost dead on with a line extending up the banking - the cars are almost perfectly side-on.
Newman's car was far and away the best sounding, I have no idea what's different about it. Higher pitch, more scream than the others, gnarly. The Blue Deuce (I can talk stockcar) of Kurt Busch is just such a pretty car, especially with yellow flames trailing out the pipes.
And my man Elliott would come out and do like 2 fast laps, shut it down and coast in. And again, and a third time. Ended up third fastest in the first practice. Sweet. Walked the whole merchandise midway, not a Wood Brothers or Bill Elliott trailer to be seen. I will find a piece of gear somewhere.
Anyway. I could go on, we had a couple of other new adventures. While I probably won't watch a heckuva lot more of these guys on TV, my interest is rekindled. And the old Speedway - something about going in that Southwest gate, the trees along Georgetown, the little white medical hut with the green roof, the arch of the Paddock stand supports - you feel it, the century, the grainy newsreels, the legend.
Good stuff, an affirmation of Things That are Righteous.