*TruLu Couture contest announcement at the end! Make sure you scroll all the way down!
I had an idea of what I was getting into with The Candyman from the start. For those of you who don’t know how we met, I totally picked him up online. In his Match.com profile, he alluded to his Redneck-ness:
I like intelligent, strong-willed women, good conversationalists and someone who can deal with the whole hillbilly savant thing I've got going on.
I mean, forewarned is forearmed, right? If I didn’t catch it in his profile, I knew it when I met his family for the first time. Definitely on the redneck side, The Candyman falling into a manner and speech I’d only seen when he yelled at The Panthers game on TV.
The man is also a voracious NASCAR fan. This house roots for Ryan Newman. Whoever that is. I know he drives the Army car. I can tell that he is not driving so well these days based on The Candyman’s frustration level with Newman and the one-on-one driving technique discussions he has in the general direction of the television.
About two weeks ago, The Candyman said he wanted to go to The Coca-Cola 600 All-Star Race. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is, apparently, only 15 minutes or so from our house. I thought it might be a fun outing, but then I learned it would be me and 5 guys. Yeah, not something I wanted to do….but The Candyman’s birthday is coming up and he wanted me to go, so I relented. Saturday was the race.
Fascinating. Totally and utterly fascinating. Seriously. Never ever ever have I ever seen so many white, middle class Americans congregated in one spot. Never ever ever have I seen so much bad fashion at one event. Never ever ever have I seen so many overweight people in one location. Never ever ever have I overheard the most inane conversations. Never ever ever have I witnessed cars going SO FREAKING FAST!
We started out our day with The Boys coming over to grill out at our house. They brought meat. Lots of it. I made pasta salad and brownies and cobbler and 7-layer Mexican dip. We put out tons of chips and dip and our refrigerator has never held quite so much beer. After gorging ourselves at our backyard tailgate, we headed out to the speedway. Did you know that people take this NASCAR thing WAY seriously? The Coca-Cola 600 race isn’t until NEXT weekend yet there have been people camped out around the track since last week! WTF? It’s mind-blowing, really.
The track is HUGE. I didn’t think the stands would actually fill all the way up, but they did. We were in very tight, close quarters with lots of strangers. With lots of very large strangers. Seriously, a NASCAR event is a great way to get some self-esteem back. I felt like a pretty pretty princess in comparison. Bitchy? Maybe, but I mean damn people. Just because a certain fashion exists in the world does NOT mean you should wear it. Holy crap. It was a Redneck Mecca.
Here are some things I noticed:
- The three Mexican men who were a part of our group were the ONLY people of Latino descent that we saw, except for driver Juan Montoya.(And we hate Juan. He wrecked Newman last weekend.)
- We saw three Asian people.
- We saw a handful of Africa-American people.
- The stadium actually fell to near silence for the pre-race prayer. “God Bless America” got these folks pumped.
- Tattoos, tattoos and more tattoos.
Here are some things I learned:
- There are grown-ass men out in the world who wear cut-off overalls with Timberlands.
- There are men who do not wear shirts, who really should.
- Super-mini denim skirts and cowboy boots is a common NASCAR theme, apparently.
- Everyone loves Dale Jr.
- Double-fisting extra-tall cans of Bud Light is the swiftest way to delirium.
I brought my camera with me to capture this event, since it was a first for me. Our seats were good ones, located close to the track and in the first corner. There were a couple of wrecks, all right in that turn and those are pretty cool to see. We were right near the stairs coming up into the stands and the constant stream of people made for excellent people watching. I just started snapping away and I thought I’d share some of those pics:
First and foremost, The Candyman. Every time I looked over at him, he had this smile on his face. He was like a little kid at Christmas. Or a puppy.I expected him to just start wiggling with excitement.
One of the three Latinos in attendance. José would not make it through the race 100% conscious. Too many Tecates.
Bubba #3 proves the validity of sunscreen.
Bubba #4 (one of the many grown-ass men wearing overalls as as a means of fashion)
Bubbette #1. Jennifer Beals called and she wants her sweatshirt back.
Nailed! Bubba #6 and his woman, Bubbette #2. Bubba did NOT like the fact that I was taking pictures.
Do not eff with NASCAR’s finest. .
Now, as we were entering the speedway, there were Energizer Battery people handing out Hannah Montana flashlights (I guess for all those little girl NASCAR fans!) and these little headlamp thingies. Once it got dark, they announced that we were going to try to break the World’s Record for the most number of flashlights turned on simultaneously. Eh? Whatever. It was an excuse for drunk people to put things on their heads.
Here are the last few pictures I thought were fun:
Double-fisting it with a Bud Light and French fries. Nice. Oh, and the inside of her earring says, “Princess.” Just for the record.
This is the biggest neck I think I’ve ever seen. I had two thoughts every time I looked down at this guy. The first is, does he actively have to clean that crease in his neck? And the second is, how in the hell does that guy text with fingers that size?
These guys liked to sing. And conduct. The song? Sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, it went like this: More beer, more beer, more beer, more beer! More beer, more beer, more beer! More beer, more beer, more beer, more beer. Moooore beeer, more beer, more beer! A classic.
And just in case you think I am too hoighty-toighty to hang with the good ol’ boys, I am not. Just look at what I was drinking, straight from the carton:
I. Am. Klassy.
In all honesty though, the race itself was pretty cool. The first race was shorter and was more serious. The top two winners who had not qualified for the 600 in previous races would get into next week’s big race. Seeing the second-lap wreck LIVE verses on TV is crazy cool. And that shit is LOUD! Most people bring ear plugs. Serious fans have head gear. The second race was the All-Star race to win a million dollars. That race was longer, not as intense and a little boring, though when a pack of cars going between 175 and 200 mph flies by, you can’t help but pay attention.
When all was said and done, I think we’d all had enough of NASCAR and its fans. The walk from the speedway back to the car was an event itself, a mass of swerving drunk people. I saw what I thought was WAY too many under-aged drunk girls, I stepped over multiple lost cell-phones and we were followed (somehow) by the “More beer, more beer, more beer!” NASCAR Family Singers. We didn’t get to bed until almost 2 am. I can’t remember the last time I did that intentionally.
Sunday morning I told The Candyman that I think I’d had enough of NASCAR for a while. He said it was a lot easier and a lot less crowded in our living room. Amazingly, we agreed!
*I’ll be promoting this give-away over the next few days! Our friends Sarah and Tony over at Inconceivable Life (formerly My San Francisco Budget Wedding) is hosting the FIRST TruLu Couture give-away! Make sure you visit her site to enter! You can choose between a head-band or a birdcage veil (it can also be worn as a halo-style headband), so it’s not just a bridal-accessory thing. Head on over and enter now!