I Think I’ll Pass On Bristol
First of all, I’ll get my disclaimer out there. At the very best, I’m only a casual fan of NASCAR. I usually watch about ten races a year. I’ll always watch the two Daytona races, the last race of the season, and the Brickyard 400. That’s four. I’ll generally find another six races somewhere in that massive schedule of theirs to fill up a rainy Sunday afternoon. While I sit intently to watch an IndyCar race, then catch it again on the DVR later that same week – I’m either half dozing during a NASCAR race or just keeping it on so I can catch a quick update as I pass through the den.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention Bristol in the few races I try to watch. Although it takes place in my home state, I usually find better things to do with my time than sit and watch Bristol. I did not see a lap of yesterday’s race. I worked in my yard and made a trip to Home Depot for landscape timbers. Then I watched the NCAA Selection Show before checking the web to see who won and to make sure it was completed without any serious injuries. There were none and Kasey Kahne won the race.
I have a co-worker that is a die-hard NASCAR fan. Since he and I have been working together, I’ve done my best to bring him over to our side. At least he now watches all of the IZOD IndyCar Series races, but his allegiance is fully with tin tops. This past Friday, he was almost giddy with excitement that Bristol was running this weekend. I told him to have fun, but don’t expect me to watch it.
I know I’m in the vast minority on this, but Bristol absolutely drives me crazy. If I had never seen a race before and tuned into a NASCAR race at Bristol, I would write off the possibility of ever watching another race, no matter what the series. I would assume all races were like this and that would be all I’d need to see.
The “Rubbin’ is Racin’” mentality rules at Bristol. I’ve never cared for that saying, nor the philosophy behind it. Bristol seems like nothing other than mass chaos. I’ve watched many race telecasts from Bristol in the past, mainly because I felt like it was something I needed to do as a race fan. I assumed it was an acquired taste and I would grow to at least like it. It never happened.
Instead, I found myself getting agitated and irritated with every race I watched. There is no flow or rhythm to most races at Bristol. They run a few laps before someone gets punted from behind. They fun a few more laps under yellow, before repeating the cycle over and over. Forty-three cars on a half-mile oval is too many. By the time the last car takes the green flag, he or she is already a half-lap down. Proponents of Bristol say there is action all over the track all the time. That “action” generally turns out to be some driver retaliating for being wronged a few laps ago. At such relatively slow speeds (another dislike of mine) drivers feel safe in their payback methods.
I get it that it takes a lot of skill to get around the place at speed. But it’s the disarray of watching drivers try to do this with all the other cars on the track that gets on my nerves.
I’m glad to say that there is no track on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule that drives me crazy to watch like Bristol. Belle Isle and Mid-Ohio can be boring, but they don’t get me in a frenzy like Bristol does. The whir of all the cars circling the track like a swarm of bees is about as pleasing to watch as an American Idol episode from this season and listening to Nicki Minaj drone on and on about some obscure observation. I would rather pass.
I know very few race fans, if any, agree with me on this. Most IndyCar fans I know were watching Bristol yesterday – except me. Perhaps I would feel completely different if I were to see a race there in person. But I’m curious, am I the only IndyCar fan out there that feels this way about Bristol, or am I just an oddball? Regardless, I think I’ll pass on Bristol.