As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I certainly had hoped to be able to reveal something profound – about myself, racing or maybe even, oh, I don’t know, America – at the end of My NASCAR Rookie Season.
But at the end of the day – season – I think I may have overestimated my own attention span and underestimated the extent to which NASCAR is just not marketed (or perhaps even intended) for people like me.
Let me take a step back and think about what I expected when I started this journey in February.
I definitely hoped/expected to see more of it in person, and part of the problem with that may be that I did a year’s worth of activity in May and that now seems like a long time ago. I’m definitely never going to be an every-Sunday-in-front-of-the-TV kind of girl, and there’s not enough money in our bank or time on our hands to be travelling fans. (Although we will definitely splurge on Bristol sometime in the next couple of years.) So, maybe next year I will be a February, May and October fan and be satisfied and happy with that.
I also never settled on a favorite driver. It’s too embarrassing and cliched to be a 40-year-old woman who’s a Kasey fan (although that doesn’t mean I’m getting rid of my autographed picture or anything). I got interested in the Earnhardt soap opera, but mostly because it seems like a modern-day Dickens novel and because we have a two-degrees-of-separation factor. (BTW, I’ll post my profile of Kelley for our alumni magazine later this week – it turned out great, I think.) Carl Edwards disappointed me when he bullied Kenseth. And I never heard much about Tony and Kevin above the din of Jimmie and Jeff.
I asked Carl on Friday night if he could think of a driver who reads (or looks like he might be the type who reads). Can you picture any of them stopping by a Borders – or, dare I say it, the library – on a Monday afternoon? He couldn’t really think of one and then said, “Even if one did, it’s not something they’d want to promote.” I’m not saying they’re not smart – heaven knows all that mechanical engineering stuff is way over my head and there’s definitely skill and brains and talent involved in driving like that – but I’m surprised and maybe a little disappointed that there isn’t anyone who self-identifies as a well-read person. (Kasey’s poster that shows him promoting reading by holding the Washington State driver’s manual doesn’t count.)
So maybe next year, I’ll keep an eye out for the Smart One.
Maybe next year – without the blog – it won’t feel so much like homework, so I can enjoy watching and reading about racing without having to come up with “clever” things to say. (I hope I have been clever at least on occasion, instead of/in addition to being just bitchy.)
This blog was an experiment to find out if an enjoyment and attraction that took me by surprise would hold up over time; seeing if a one-night stand could turn into a long-term relationship. Where we’ve ended up, NASCAR and me, is as Friends With Benefits, I think.
And I’ll definitely be looking forward to our next hookup in Daytona.