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Before I Part For Vacation, Was This Really The Brickyard?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Brickyard 400

Before I Part For Vacation, Was This Really The Brickyard?

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
July 26, 2009

I once treated a couple who wrecked their car on Interstate 275 in Tampa, Florida. With doughnuts on the passenger side of their vehicle, it was only by the skillful driving of the delivery truck which they hit that eased them off to the right hand shoulder of the road. I couldn't figure out why it took this extremely risky maneuver to stop the automobile. Why didn't someone in the car respond? What were they trying to prove? It was then I was able to evaluate the seen only to see both husband and wife, sound asleep, mom holding her toddler who was crying hysterically. Falling asleep at the wheel, unfortunately, isn't that uncommon, and I would have attributed this crash to such an occasion with the exception that both parties were out of their car, standing upright without assistance. You see, mom and dad were methadone addicts and had been on their way home from a meth clinic which is used to wean people off of this high addictive pain killer. Oh, did I mention mom had used heroin? As any good paramedic would do, we gave each of them some narcan to counter-act the narcotic effects of methadone, and proceeded to watch, helpless, as I'm pretty sure they both chucked up the previous day's breakfast all over the back of my rig.

Being a motorsports blogger, by now I'm sure some of you are either scratching your heads, or have your noggins tilted to one side like a confused wiener dog. (Mine's name is Johnson by the way, he just turned six in April) The point is this: that particular run from nine years ago popped into my head while I was watching the Brickyard today because it was a hell of a lot more exciting than the race. Before, I had many send me hate mail calling me crazy for criticizing the new car drivers are force fed in today's NASCAR for being big, cumbersome, and totaly diminishing the exciting energy an event provides. The exchanges started slowing when Fox Sports went on record as attributing the new car to the drop-off in fan viewership at the beginning of this season. Then, just last week, Rusty Wallace finally broke his silence (which normally, isn't difficult for him) and said it's "not what NASCAR needs" right now. Citing many issues I, and other more reputable journalists and racers have: No passing, and whoever gets the clean air wins. Granted, it has always been extremely difficult to pass at IMS, but today's event fell into the comedic stereotype of NASCAR watching 43 cars drive around in circles.

Honestly, if you can sit there and say that today's race measured up to Indy events of the last 16 years, it makes me wonder who you're really trying to convince? Lying to yourself is one issue, but to others? C'mon! Oh, as usualy, the ESPN broadcast staff attempted in every way to make the race exciting, but if Juan hadn't had the heavy foot leaving pit road, he would have run away with the 400 barring any engine troubles. Really, even if it's your driver leading the race, do you really want to seem him basically lead every lap? I know I don't. It's not good for racing, and it's not good for the fans. By the way, notice how many empty seats their were today? Amazing!

So, I leave you with these tormented thoughts from an aggravated fan who desperately wants the return of grit and passion to a sport that deserves it. I'm taking a much needed hiatus for a couple weeks, but in closing I'd like to say this, we need more tracks added to the schedule like ORP!

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