What would you do with a check for $23,500? Probably something completely selfish and dumb that you would regret as soon as your wife found out. Which is why you aren’t Autotrader driver Joey Logano.
Autotrader’s recent head-to-head charity challenge #Speed4Need, a battle between Team Penske NASCAR Cup drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, culminated in Bristol and netted a total of $23,500 benefiting the drivers’ non-profit foundations, the Joey Logano Foundation and Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation.
In NASCAR, like in life, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Joe and I went to Bristol, TN (or Virginia literally depending on which side of State Street you are standing on) and let me tell you the flow was heavy. And the flow flowed directly into us not having a NASCAR race to attend on Sunday afternoon, as the Food City 500 was postponed until Monday.
But that was OK because it meant we ended up spending most of our waking hours at Cootie Brown’s, a local watering hole with the most robust menu in all of Bristol — both of them.
During the scheduled race time, Joe got addicted to some chocolate flavored whiskey as we watched a pro bowling event where the PBA’s LeBron James, Jason Belmonte, missed out on a perfect game by one pin.
One thing that Joe Kinsey never misses out on is a good sausage. It seems like every trip we go on, that guy’s Sausage Meter is pegged into the red. Here he is enjoying some local fare/sausage:
But the best thing about a NASCAR race, even if there isn’t a race, are the people you meet (or “meat” in Joe’s case) and the experience of the overall spectacle of a race.
The sights. The sounds. The smell of a guy wearing a Bengals hat while carrying a Reds cooler, smoking a menthol cigarette in an area doused in what is essentially jet fuel – those are the things you take with you, back to Omaha, Nebraska.
NASCAR is the ultimate fan-friendly sport and the drivers are people, just like you. Who have needs, just like you. And one of those needs struck as I was standing at the Autotrader pit box with Joey Logano’s crew.
As I searched for a nearby restroom, I realized there were only two; there is no infield at Bristol, The Last Great Colosseum, just one on either end. So you’re literally using the men’s room with some of the best drivers and crews in the world, people you’ve seen on TV dozens of times. Imagine if you went to the bathroom at the old Riverfront Stadium and looked up to see former quarterback Jeff Blake, in full uniform, waiting in line in front of you to take a wazz before a game. That’s what happened to me, except it was 18-year vet and driver of the #31 car Ryan Newman. Awesome.
Attending a NASCAR event in person is just awesome.
Now for BC’s Final Thoughts:
• I’ll be back to see a race at Bristol. You’re telling me they go 140 or so down the straightaways? That noise during practice was something I need to experience while up about 30 rows
This doesn’t do it justice:
• Pretty sure I want to see the night race. That’s all we kept hearing about. Night race, night race, night race
• Shoutout to Don, our driver from the airport. He was driving an old school Town Car, told us about turkey mating habits and how he missed racing when Dale Sr. was around
• More airports need to be the size of Tri-Cities Airport; I say make 40 terminals like that one at LaGuardia and I’d be real happy
• The Virginia side of Bristol is sleepy, especially after like 11
• We kept hearing mixed messages about the ‘Country Club’ bar in Bristol; Could it really be as dangerous as some drivers told us?
• Next time I go to Bristol will be in an RV right outside the track like during our football trip; the place is just too perfect for what makes me tick
• I’m still shocked by how many people were wearing baseball gear
• Let the Dale Jr. retirement tour begin. The crowds are going to be nuts.