The People of Bristol

The people at the Food City 500 were happy. They were not concerned with impressing others or what they were doing on Monday. Here are some people I saw.

Note the cozy protected Busch Latte and the cooler packed to the rim.

This guy was one of the nicest cops I have ever met.

I would not mess with this guy's daughter nor ask him for his second cigar, in his breast pocket.

America Fuck Yeah!

NASCAR cars use bright colors to differentiate themselves from the other racers. These neons, reds, yellows and blues translate into the t-shirts worn by avid fans.

Who's looking at who?

I love his Wallabee style boots and denim overalls.

Note the cigs in his sleeve.

After the race, this guy was grinning.

Looking good.


The Food City 500 at Bristol

The amphitheater-like seating of the Bristol Motor Speedway opened its doors to NASCAR fans on July 21, 1961 . Although relatively small and slow (speeds hit about 120 mph on its .533 miles), the track quickly gained popularity due to its 27 degree banking, narrow turns and reputation for crashes. On Sunday the 22nd of March, I joined 159,999 other screaming, drunk and sunburnt fans to experience the sound and the furry of a southern NASCAR race: the Food City 500.

The view from my seat.

Despite the excitement of watching this for three and half hours, I fell asleep only to be roused from my impromptu cat nap by a bulging stomach/crotch of a corn fed, 215-pound mother of three.

Everyone was wearing earplugs.

The belly of the Bristol beast.

The wreckage after the storm. I would not be surprised if there were at least one million empties in the stadium. 1000000รท160000=6.25 beers per person. This may sound a bit preposterous to a "yuppie" yankee like myself who is used to buying $7 dollar Bud Lights at a Blazers game and who thinks drinking 6.25 beers during the course of three and half hour game seems like a lot.

However to a NASCAR fan, like this fine gentleman above, this is a way of life. Each sizable fan has the option to bring one cooler, 14" by 14", filled with beverages of their choice, into the stadium. Needless to say, I think this guy could dispatch 6.25 beers with ease.

The boys post race between turns three and four.

The next morning I learned that a young man named Kyle Busch, named after the illustrious brew consumed by many an avid NASCAR fan, had won after leading the majority of the race. It was news to me. I was too busy napping, hydrating, making frequent stops to the bathroom and taking photos to follow what was happening in the race itself.

Here a more links,
The Food City 500 (Picasa),
The Food City 500 (Vimeo),
Tailgating at Bristol (A.R.T.),
Bristol (A.R.T.).


Tailgating at Bristol

Tailgating is a big part of any outdoor American sporting event and a facet of the utmost importance at a southern NASCAR race.

Like the Christian religion that many NASCAR fans abide by, the tailgate has it's own trinity: drinking beer, eating copious amounts of red meat, and passing time with good company. In order to properly understand the NASCAR experience, we embraced the tailgate like seven-year-old at a McDonald's play structure.

Packing those patties.

Although small, the Webber Smokey Joe cranked out BTU's.

The finished product; you wont find any vegetarians at a NASCAR tailgate.

Edge enjoying the fruits of his labor.

and Panzer his.

Bruce grabbing two long necks.

Chris planning the next leg of the trip before festivities started.

These bros were tearassing around the parking lot the whole day with a sign saying "Beads 4 Tits." Note the Igloo cooler strapped to the front.

This is middle America.

After lubricating for three hours with hamburger grease and cheap beer, we walked down the Yellow-brick road towards the Food City 500.

Here are some more links,
Tailgating at Bristol (Picasa),
Beer Cooler (Vimeo),
Tailgating (Vimeo).