Note: As Eric and I prepare to cover a NASCAR Cup Series race for the first time ever, I wanted to share what NASCAR and Michigan International Speedway mean to me. This post was originally penned in 2010 but its meaning remains the same. A lot has changed in my life since I wrote this post all those years ago. The one thing that remains the same, racing is in my blood. Happy MIS week!
“It’s nothing but a bunch of cars running around in circles.”
“I drive a car every day, I could do that.”
“They aren’t athletes.”
Those are the quotes that I hear the most when I talk about racing. That all may be true, but I disagree.
Racing is more than just a Sunday drive. For me, it’s a passion, and obsession.
On Sunday, I took my annual pilgrimage to the Michigan International Speedway, and guess what? I had a blast.
Watching 43 drivers race at 200 mph is almost as much of a thrill for me as it is for them.
Someone can never get the full experience of NASCAR racing until they see it in person.
Baseball fans will tell you there is nothing like the sights, sounds and smells of being at the ball field. The same applies for me when I think about racing.
It all starts when I wake up at 4 a.m. to get ready to meet my family and friends. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning as I fill my cooler with sandwiches and bottles of frozen water. After a couple of hours of travel we make the final turn. There is no better sight than making that turn toward the track. There are thousands of campers flying flags of their favorite drivers, and heroes. They fill the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, surrounding the 2-mile oval.
Then there are the smells. The campfire, the charcoal of tailgaters grilling hot dogs at 8 a.m. Even the sunscreen, as I apply it to my shoulders that are sure to burn regardless of how much I cake on, has a different aroma on race day. And the best of all is the smell of the fuel and burning rubber as the cars take to the track. I am home.
As the cars scream down the front straightaway there is definitely a strain on my ears, but I don’t care. I am focusing on where Tony Stewart is, and how his team will strategize to get him to the front of the pack.
The great thing about MIS is the side-by-side dueling that drivers do all over the track. Every lap there is a pass. One driver will shoot to the top of the track inches from the wall, another will dive to the bottom, and as you think one will pass the other, the door slams and they take their battle to the next turn.
As the race comes to a close, and the grandstands are covered in smoke from the winner’s burnout, we rush back to the car for a race of our own, trying to beat everyone else who wants to get home.
And as I ride home, my head continues to spin about all that I have taken in that day. The excitement, the drama, and the fun with friends and family, it all leads to a giant grin on my face.
As my day comes to an end and I rest my head, I know that I lived my life to the fullest, being around the things I love.
Some people will never agree, or feel the same way I do about racing but that’s OK. I’m sure we all have something we enjoy just as much.
Recap of the Overtons 400 at Pocono
- The KB Show returns
- First win in 36 races (How is that possible?)
- Where does this put him in the list of favorites now?
- What Kyle Busch means to Toyota
- What was Truex Thinking?
- Speaking of Truex… the suspension? Do we have issues with it?
- Big names struggle
- Pocono CEO would like to Roval once a year.
Silly Season Discussion
- Kurt Busch Out at SHR. 2 car team?
NASCAR restrictions for Cup Drivers
- Kyle Busch says if the limit for the truck series goes to zero, he’ll kill KBM.
Preview the I love New York 355 at the Glen
- What to expect.
- Last road course of the year. What track do you like more?
- James’ Pick: Jimmie “the Jimmer” Johnson
- Eric’s Pick: Kyle “Shrub” Busch
Is Paul Menard’s deal with the Wood Brothers good for NASCAR?
I have a problem with Paul Menard. Not Paul Menard the man, Paul Menard the race car driver.
This week’s announcement that Menard would be taking over the legendary 21, Wood Brothers Ford, when Ryan Blaney moves to his home base at Team Penske in 2018, really rubbed me the wrong way. The reason? I believe this is a bad look for NASCAR as a sport. But before you get too upset with me, let me list the reasons why I feel this way.
Kasey Kahne leads Brad Keselowski late in the Brickyard 400 on the way his first win after a 102-race winless streak.
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Kasey Kahne won his first race since August 2014 Sunday when he took the checkered flag in the 2017 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After lackluster racing over pretty much the entire course of the race’s history, Sunday’s race was not only certainly the most exciting Brickyard 400 ever, but also one of the best races so far this season. On the eve of NASCAR likely changing the rules package for Indy next season based on the success of the Xfinity Series package just a day prior, it appears as if maybe it doesn’t need it.
William Byron leads the Xfinity field into the first turn at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — There has been a lot of experimenting the past several years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when it comes to NASCAR.
It turns out the racing just isn’t that great for a stock car on a track that was built more than a hundred years ago for open-wheel cars. But NASCAR has raced at Indianapolis since 1994, and it’s too important of a place to leave the schedule any time soon. And you’re not changing the track — the only one where Indycar doesn’t just beat NASCAR attendance, but blows it away.
The SuperSpeedway Power Rankings are moving to a monthly format. Here’s July’s rankings for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
1 Martin Truex Jr. (LM 1)
It’s going to take a lot to move Martin off the top spot. He’s bad fast week in and week out and now leads the regular season standings. He’s almost a lock to make the final in Miami.
2 Kyle Larson (LM 2)
The penalties have hurt. But the 42 team is still just a dangerous as ever. It’s going to be a two-horse race the rest of the way.
3 Jimmie Johnson (LM 3)
Jimmie has not been overly impressive other than his wins. Those wins lock him into the third spot by default. This next month will tell us all we need to know about how legit the 48 team is.
4 Kyle Busch (LM 4)
Just. Win. Kyle. It’s time to get it done. The 18 team is far too good to be win less.
5 Kevin Harvick (LM 5)
Happy got his win at Sonoma! That was a huge boost for the 4 team and SHR. They are still not where they need to be but they are on the edge.
6 Denny Hamlin (LM 10)
New Hampshire was a big deal. JGR need Denny’s win in a bad way. Are the floodgates officially opened?
7 Chase Elliott (LM 6)
MIS is coming. MIS is coming.
8 Jamie McMurray (LM 7)
I think this guy is going to be right there competing for the win in Indy. Good not great.
9 Ryan Blaney (LW 9)
My pick to win Indy! Silly Season note: I really wish he would stay in the 21 car.
10 Brad Keselowski (LM8)
I don’t even know what to say about Brad anymore. Check back next month to see if he’s still on the list. He’s hanging on by a thread.
Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman
CONCORD, N.C. — One of the biggest dominoes in the 2017 NASCAR Silly Season fell Thursday morning as Alex Bowman was named the driver of the 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for 2018.
Bowman will take over for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring at the end of the 2017 season.
ROSSBURG, Ohio — Matt Crafton isn’t a dirt racer, but he was able to hold off some tough challengers to take the win in the fifth-annual Eldora Dirt Derby Wednesday night.
Crafton passed Stewart Friesen late in the race to take the win.
Crafton started the race winning the first stage when the caution came out immediately after he passed Friesen to take the lead. Crafton said the truck was good at the beginning of the race, but he asked for some adjustments at the first stage break.