On Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010, my father, sister and I went to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen in Watkins Glen, N.Y. What follows is the second part of my impressions of going to our first NASCAR race, focusing on the race itself, with the first part about the pre-race and a third part to come about the post-race, most likely tomorrow. My sister also wrote on her blog about my dad, who looks like driver Mark Martin, talking to Martin before the race, and my wife, who wasn’t at the race, wrote about not going to the race.
Part II: The Race
Every NASCAR race begins the same way: The invocation, the national anthem and those four famous words, which according to this Yahoo Answers contributor is his favorite part of the “hole race”.
It was no different this past Sunday with the Rev. Dan Fife of Bentley Creek Wesleyan Church giving the invocation during which he uttered the following words:
“We ask your blessing upon this year’s running of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen.”
at which point half of the crowd got up and walked out (okay, not really, but I like to imagine that they did, for a pastor using the word “Heluva” in an invocation).
Then Bo Bice, former runner-up on American Idol, sang the National Anthem and finally Scott Blake, senior vice president of Heluva Good!, said:
“Gentlemen, start your engines.”
Shortly after that, F-15s from the Massachusetts Air National Guard, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base from Westfield, Massachusetts did a flyover so low that it almost ripped the top off the tents in The Bog from where we were watching the race.
Then, according to NASCAR.com, the next thing to happen was at 1:21 p.m. when Kyle Busch was “having problems” as they (whoever they were) were putting “a spacer in his right rear.” Maybe it was aliens with an anal probe, although, I don’t know, he’s seemed to have something up his butt since he’s been in NASCAR.
The green flag was dropped four minutes later and then…
…the Snoozefest began. Okay, to be fair, it didn’t start right away, but at Lap 20, Juan Pablo Montoya took the lead and then led 74 of the 90 laps.
Only one driver got close and unfortunately, it wasn’t this guy:
Unfortunately, it was this guy, who Saturday had won the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race for the third consecutive year :
The only real excitement in the race happened on Turn 11, right in front of where we were sitting when Gordon’s teammate Jimmie Johnson (four-time NASCAR champion blah blah blah) wrecked (start at 2:10 and you can see where we were – where the white tents and the redcatwine.com signs are in the video):
I think I was going in to one of the tents to grab a drink (yes, I think it was Red Cat, thanks for asking) when it happened so I missed the actual wreck, but turned around to see almost everyone in The Bog tossing their hands up the air and cheering at Johnson’s misfortune. I don’t know why, but later I saw Johnson on SportsCenter talking about the wreck and I almost felt bad for him. He looked like he had heard all those fans. Then I thought about his four championships and didn’t feel so bad.
My sister (who also took the photos in this post) didn’t see the wreck either– well, at least, not live. She was watching it on a Sprint FanView, which we had purchased so we could see all the race (one of the — many– disadvantages of watching a road course race), and I think my dad was looking over her shoulder, probably still trying to figure out how the contraption worked.
As boring as the race was, I did enjoy going there, if nothing else to go into the pits and seeing that yes, there really are fans who paint their faces like this (it’s not just on TV):
I’ll let Bo Bice take us out with his performance in The Bog, which yes, I was there (ooh ah, I know, don’t you wish you could touch me? sound of sizzling):