The Herald-Dispatch |

At the Track
We'll note happenings at the national and local levels of racing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Notes from the stands

Bristol bash?

Well, it was for Mikey Waltrip. Ouch. You don’t really appreciate how steep the Bristol banking is until you look at a still photo of it. His late-race wreck was just off to my right, as the photo shows.

Then there’s something I haven’t seen at any other track – fistfight in the stands. Don’t have a clue as to what led up to it, but maybe adult beverages were involved and disparaging words about someone’s driver, or maybe girlfriend. Or maybe about their choice of adult beverage.

Which leads me to observe, Bristol is a circus-like atmosphere. Although, I will say the “show us your……” signs and Mardi Gras beads were missing on the drive in to the track. It was disappointing to the men on the bus, but a relief to the women. At the track however, there was plenty of skin showing. I didn’t realize women could cover their parts with a couple of blocks from a checkered flag.

And some men are better left covered up. Seriously guys, if you’re carrying a six-pack, consider whether it’s in your hands and inside your abdomen or on the outside of your abdomen. Leave your shirt on accordingly. Please. Seriously.

Occasionally, statements are made with clothing and accessories – like the guy with the Dale Junior hard hat. As you see, it’s uniquely decorated with a hangman’s gallows with a little Kyle Busch in the noose. He was quite popular with the crowd.

Inside, the pre-race ceremonies were proudly patriotic – American flags in the grandstands, a huge flag unfurled on the track and the ever-present card stunt in turns 1 and 2 of the flag. The American Flag was brought to the infield by paratroopers, which, too, is quite a sight to behold. Attack helicopters flew overhead after the flyover by military jets. I swear, it rattles your chest when the pass.

Then, there was a race. Gee I love the double-file restart! It sets up some beatin’ and bangin’ for position and a shootout for the win.

Sorry Mark Martin, it may have been your 1,000th start as a driver, but Kyle got past and won. Back to the “Shrub” as Tony Stewart calls him. We were waiting for the Busch Brothers to take each other out. They battled all night for position and a few times looked mighty close to contact. Back and forth, pass and pass. Well, maybe another time. But it’s gonna happen, you know it’s gonna happen. And they’ll be called to the Big Red Truck for a discussion.

Despite too much skin showing, too many adult beverages for some people, too many unkind words and the crowd's sentimental favorite losing, Bristol is fun anyway you look at it.