The C family has, for many years, attended the Indianapolis 500. I unabashedly enjoy it. The first race was a hundred or so years ago; it's steeped in so much neat history.
Look, I was born and bred in Indiana. If you aren't familiar with the 500 and can't at least chat superficially about few current drivers, then you are an embarrassment to the Hoosier name. I am perpetually reminded of (and ironically, embarrassed by) my knowledge of Indy racing each and every Memorial Day weekend that we spend visiting my copilot's family. If I have to explain the milk tradition thing to his relatives one more time, I swear...(look, don't even ask if you don't know. Wikipedia, people).
Some years back, the flywheels at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway figured that it wasn't lucrative enough to maintain a giant track for only one race a year and decided it was high time they got their cut of the gigantic cash-cow that is NASCAR. The Brickyard 400 was born. The C clan figured, why not? Tickets were purchased and a new tradition began.
If you aren't familiar with any of this, let me give you a visual analogy. If this was your Indy racing fan:
Then here is your average NASCAR fan:
He's a good ol' boy. Part of the 'REAL AMERICA'. Indeed, the only foreign driver in the race was booed when introduced. My copilot observed that the stereotypical NASCAR fan represents pretty much everything that is embarrassing about our country. But here's my confession, guys: I love it. It's more fun to people watch at this thing than it is to watch the cars.
The last time I went to the race was about seven years ago (it's a good spread, like dog years. Or something). I picked a young driver to cheer for, using the sound reasoning of a) he was cute, and b) he sort of shares the same name as my stuffed penguin, Murray:
Walking to the track, we were hailed my some drunk dudes who wanted to know our predictions for the race. The rest of our party ignored them, but having imbibed some of the sauce myself I yelled a reply: "Jamie McMurray!". The dudes seemed to be taken aback. Finally one of them scoffed and said, "....McMurray...that's out there." Granted, he was an unknown and finished like 30th or something that day. But that dude totally dissed my pick.
McMurray has been clawing his way up, bit by bit since then. He even made a cameo in the movie Talledega Nights, wherein Will Ferrell gives him the finger (couldn't find a clip, but it's pretty funny--I also just find Will Ferrell being obscene to be hilarious in general). Earlier this year, he won the Daytona 500! And wouldn't you know it--he was a contender the whole race, and flippin' won the Brickyard 400 last weekend.
So dude who said McMurray was 'out there' - SUCK IT.
In a nutshell, I actually had a blast and embraced my fellow redneck 'Mericans. It also helps that they were reaching out to me in return:
YES! So cool! Cater to me and my people! Now let's work on the stereotype that every foreign driver is a gay Frenchman....
Talladega Nights - Ricky meets Jean Girard
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