- A Dale Earnhardt impersonator, complete with the white Goodwrench racing suit, mustache and mirrored sunglasses.
- A pretty young girl, probably no older than 25 … with a dip of Skoal in her mouth.
- A 6-year-old kid who confidently announced to me that “we gon’ have a good race today!”
- Far too much exposed flesh (both female and male, attractive and not-so-attractive).
What really amazes me is the zeal that NASCAR fans have for their favorite – and least-favorite – drivers. This is especially apparent with the Dale Earnhardt Jr. crowd, who all but assign god-like status to the driver of the No. 88 car. These same fans of “Junior,” along with many others, harbor a comparable level of ill will (often expressed with extended middle fingers) toward Kyle Busch, who apparently is the very incarnation of the devil.
What also amazes me is the NASCAR policy that allows fans to bring their own beer to the track, as much as they can fit into a 14-by-14-inch cooler. When you take the above-mentioned zeal for men who drive fast cars, and combine it with large quantities of beer, you’ve got yourself a sure-fire recipe for rowdy adult behavior.
And yet, despite all the excesses, NASCAR races always begin with Christian prayer. Before Sunday’s race was postponed by rain, Billy Graham’s son Franklin gave the invocation and boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Savior before the crowd of 100,000-plus. Not so long ago – before hypersensitive political correctness became the norm – prayer in Jesus’ name was offered before many sporting events in America. I doubt many Muslims or Hindus were in attendance at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday, but even if there were, NASCAR clearly isn’t concerned about offending them, or anyone else, with public prayer.
And to that, I offer a hearty tip of my No. 48 Jimmie Johnson cap.