Brickyard 400: Observations and Questions

Went to the Brickyard 400 (aka “The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard”) today with some buds. This event occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here are my observations.

  1. People talk about the whole White Trash Gone Wild thing. But the people I saw today were well-behaved, bordering on completely docile. You can get into style of dress and whatnot, but you see the same assortment of white people that you see pretty much anywhere around here: fresh and fluffy, skanky and scruffy. I would not call the Brickyard a snarkable fest any more than your average walk in the Indy Parks System.

  2. Now I will note that the whole topless thing is pretty in your face. For women that means they’ve got their tatas going boyoing-boyoing in some bikini thing. I saw one oldish slunker with a tatt ring around her navel, which was further pierced, and her dugs were all punchy in their sacks with cutoff jeans below. It was a sight.

But her man was letting it all hang out. There are two types of bare-topped man at such an event, and he was one of them. The first is the Skinny White Guy. He is usually about five inches thick, has a ripply belly, blurry tatts, and underwear protruding from his shorts. A subtype is the Mean ‘n’ Skinny White Guy, who’s got a mean look on his face.

But this dude was of the Huge Sack of Shit White Guy type. They’ve got these monstrous hairy guts that are just disgusting. How could anyone show such a tum-tum without ultimate shame?!

There were not many black people at the track (NASCAR is basically WT only, it appears), and some were beefy but they kept their shirts on.

  1. I had hoped to receive my first golden shower, if I even wanted one at all, from a woman, but I ended up getting one in the men’s room. I bellied up to the piss buffet, and there was a big ol’ dude with a chunky pud doing a firehose into the trough.

Now, I had already started (cock over tighty whities, not through dick hole, my standard MO) going and could not run for cover when, to my dismay, I felt delicate drops of wee on my hand! I couldn’t believe it, wanted to deny it (hadn’t professionals designed the trough to prevent just such unhappy events?!), but still the drizzle continued. I scooted to the left and away from the splash source just as much as I could, but I was already as far over as I could go without pissing in the aisle. But I was finishing and perhaps he started to sense my discomfort and somehow the whole event ended.

What is really gross is that it probably wasn’t the dude’s piss but rather many dudes’ piss splashing over as a result of his high-pressure stream. Lord Jesus, please don’t let me get herpes or AIDS.

  1. Can the IMS and NASCAR just totally create their own legal regime by writing whatever they want on the ticket? “You attend this event totally at your own risk, nothing that happens to you is our fault, etc.” Is that legit?

I know that a spectator was killed at the Indy 500 in 1987 when a tire flew up and took him out. So was it like, Whoops, you’re dead! Nya, nya, we’re not responsible, see you at the funeral Or was there a lawsuit despite the boilerplate next to the raincheck stub. I’m truly curious.

  1. Speaking of danger, there were several wrecks today that looked no better or worse than the one that did in Dale Sr. in 2001. You can check out the footage on YouTube for that–it just doesn’t look like something that would kill someone.

  2. What of the mental level of the sport and the spectators? You know, I can totally understand the appeal of seeing and hearing things that go vroom. Vroooom! It sure is fun. But I can’t really understand why people would follow this thing as a sport and spend lots of money on tickets and whatnot. Sure, it’s mostly people with IQs around 80 watching, but even such folk get board of doodads spinning around a track, don’t they?

  3. There were also some mystery drops of “rain” that I presume were toilet effluent from the two blimps flying overhead. Or something equally disgusting. There was also a rain of beer or whatnot as you walk under the stands, etc., from beer cans overturned or whatnot.

  4. I must also say there were some hot chicks there, too. Even some skanasauri that would be doable with suitable protection.

OK, maybe you were there, or maybe you’ve got some observations about NASCAR yourself. Please feel free to contribute, racing fans!

My understanding is that NASCAR has oriented its marketing efforts over the past 20 years to attract just the clientele you saw. Besides that, my impression is that most of any reputation for crowd wildness at a NASCAR event would most likely be from the infield-RV crowd, not those in the stands.

Well, there’s a lot of energy to be absorbed when one hits a wall, even obliquely, at nearly 200 MPH, and if those crashes don’t look as hard as they are, some of it has to do with the extremely strong structures of the cars. Consider what happened when Princess Diana’s Mercedes hit a concrete barrier at a mere 70. Those are hard hits.

In addition, two things have changed since Earnhardt Sr’s accident: universal use of the HANS device to help prevent spinal injuries of the type that killed him; and b) the installation of the SAFER energy-absorbing barrier system at many tracks, including Indy. Indy is particularly notorious for extremely hard crashes into the outside wall at the corners, and a couple of the incidents (Jimmie Johnson’s in particular) seem like they could easily have resulted in injuries had the softer barriers not been in use.

This has been discussed endlessly on these boards. If you don’t care for it as a sport, that’s fine. You’re not obligated to enjoy or understand anything you don’t want to. I will admit that I haven’t attended a live Nextel Cup event, but I’ve seen a lot of stock car races at lower levels in the sport, and for me the attraction lies in at least three things: relatively close racing, drivers who in general seem to have more thoughtful and interesting personalities than players in many other sports, and a high degree of strategy involved in keeping cars running and knowing how and when to pit for track position. Er, and then there are the crashes, of course.

Today’s race had its dull stretches (most of laps 50-100 were run under caution due to numerous crashes) but the end was fairly exciting, with Harvick and Stewart dueling, and nearly wrecking, each other for the lead, while ‘rookie’ (to NASCAR) Jaun Pablo Montoya closed in. Overall, IMO, one of the better races of the season, if not quite up to the spectacular conclusions of both Daytona events this year.

Anyway, they’ve got to go in circles, because if they didn’t, they’d only go by the crowd once and that would be it, geddit?

Thanks, El. Now that I think about it, I’m not really a sports fan in the first place, so maybe NASCAR is no more repititive or boring than any other major sport.

Is NASCAR going to come down on Tony Stewart for his use of the term “bullshit” in the post race interview?

I thought they went to a 15 second delay a few years back just to avoid that kind shit.

Maybe ESPN didn’t have it set up properly. This was their first broadcast after all.

Does the fact that it was on ESPN (not FCC-bound) make any difference to anybody?

Edited to add: Or what about the fact that it was said as part of a positive comment regarding the loyalty of Tony’s fans? Does that make a difference?

A few weeks ago on TNT, a driver said “who the fuck was that?” and it came out over the airwaves.

One thing about Dale Sr.'s crash was that it was head on. It snapped his head foreward, and that was that. The HANS device prevents that from happening now. A lot of tracks have softer walls now too.

No one has died since Senior.

Another aspect contributing to the deadliness of Dale Sr’s crash was his helmet - he didn’t have a closed faceplate like most other drivers. Apparently he preferred it that way, but it’s not really a good choice.

White trash, people with IQ’s of 80…Man- you aren’t a snob at all, are you?

Have you ever been to the Brickyard 400? If not, don’t judge him, he’s just reporting the facts. They aren’t ALL that way, but it sure seems like it when you are outnumbered by them. It’s scary.

I don’t know how that contributed to it.

They were finally pretty conclusive that it was a result of his head snapping forward at impact.

Jimmie Johnson had a nice fiery crash yesterday. He scooted away from that 48 car pretty quick.

They did, then TV stopped using it, as it no longer would match up time wise with the other broadcasts (internet, radio, and incar Hotpass - Hotpass is a Direct TV program with a dedicated reporter for each car featured, along with incar views & team radio broadcasting)

He’ll be hit with a fine on Tuesday, that’s NASCAR’s regular day for such things. I’d expect 25 owner/driver points, and a monetary fine (same as the other s-bombs in the past, most notibly Dale Jr. a couple of years ago)… FCC has no juristiction on this one, as it’s a cable channel broadcast (ESPN).

Trunk - As for the “What the fuck” from the Infineon race (It was from their ‘incar reporter’ Kyle Petty), it came from team radio, not from an interview. In general, team radio broadcasts are not subject to fines/penalties, as they are not “part of the programming”, and in this specific case, TNT screwed up by broadcasting it… AND it was a replay, not live… (TNT, as a cable channel, would not be fined by the FCC).

Aeschines- #4 - Sometimes. The legalese contract on the ticket will help them fight some actions, but not everything. There was a lawsuit, I’m not sure what happened with it though.

#5 - Even those watching it didn’t expect the Dale Sr. crash to be a fatal one. It was a combination of horrible things that lead to his death. Improperly installed (or failed) seatbelt, openface helmet, lack of head-neck restraint system, lack of softer walls (SAFER Barrier), near 200mph impact (vs. 160-170 in the off the corner crashes at IMS). On TV, the DE Sr crash didn’t look “that bad,” but of course we all know now that it was “even worse.” :frowning:

#6 - Be careful with the <80 IQ judgements. I’d have to say that both My & Mrs. Butler’s IQs are well over 80. I’m sure there are plenty of morons that watch NASCAR, just as there are morons that watch Football, basketball, and other sports. There is actually quite a lot to watch at a NASCAR race, but it’s tough to take it all in from beside the track. Unless you have a good scanner, and headphones, and can pay attention to all that’s going on, you’ll miss a lot. But you do gain the VROOM VROOM, noise, smell, and excitement that you can’t get at home. In NASCAR fandom, there is a lot of details. Strategies in the pits, some amazing driving on the track, and the randomness of spins, crashes, bumps, and mechanical failures. It took me a while to understand all that was going on, and I’m still not 100% there, even after years of watching. One can make the same sort of “what do they see in this” about so many sports, if you’re not invested in them. Basketball, golf, tennis, hockey (fights excepted to this), soccer, and baseball all come to mind as snoozefests for me. There is an occasional race that I do more fast forwarding than watching (California, and Chicago come to mind).

I’m not sufficiently motivated to pit you for spouting crap like this, but I would probably join a pile on if someone else started it. I’ll just leave it by reminding you that you are painting with an overly large brush there. Besides, you seem to contradict yourself. You were one of the people in the stands. You did say, “It sure is fun.” If it’s fun, what’s so hard to understand about going to a race?

In regards to some of the other stuff, it sounds like you had more problems with Indy’s facilities than with NASCAR itself.

I’ve been to plenty of races.

I find the general “mentality level” pretty low. But, I find the same thing at football games. And outside the bars at O’s games.

But, it’ still quite generalizing. There are plenty of intellectual NASCAR fans.

You don’t see quite as much waving of the confederate flag at football games.

Actually, I was there all week long. Damn the rain.

I’m going to wager (from your name) that you are in that area…Do you like being painted as a moron with an 80 I.Q.?

Furthermore, how are these “facts”, exactly? Were tests given out? How do you know you are outnumbered by them, without knowing how many are there in the first place?

As for the OP, sounds like the “people who aren’t nearly as good as me” crowd provided your entertainment for the afternoon. Curious as to why you were in attendance. It’s obvious you are not a fan so I’m guessing you were a guest of a friendly ticket provider, who by your broad brush strokes has an IQ of 80.
As for the ESPN broadcast, the only thing I didn’t like (I didn’t stick around for the post race interviews) was the insistence of ESPN’s announcers in using some kind of 1970s CB Radio speak every time they talked to a driver. About the only term I didn’t hear was “good buddy” - but they may have used that one as well :eek:

I don’t understand how anybody can make a blanket I.Q. judgement of a couple hundred thousand fans without speaking with at least a few hundred. That’s just bad science. Besides, I don’t think aeschines was talking about Indianapolis people in general. The crowd at the track came from all over the country

A NASCAR race is a goof-optional zone. Most people act and dress like regular folks, and nobody notices them. However, those who want to make a spectacle of themselves are free to do that. They are the ones you’ll remember.

The OP asked that we contribute our own observations about NASCAR, so here is my two cents worth.

Now, I have not been to a NASCAR event, but have seen a few on TV and talked to people who have been to one. With TV coverage as good and extensive as it is today, I think that one can get a fairly good overview of a NASCAR crowd and fan from watching the coverage.

I do not think that the crowd at a NASCAR event is much different from that of many other major sports events. I would expect there to be a little more of the “Yeehaw!” crowd than at some events, but I expect that is because a race is a less formal event, and the overall feeling is more laid back and “let it all hang out” style.

I don’t think a NASCAR fan is less intelligent than other sports fans, but I think there is one thing I find surprising: From my observation, the average NASCAR fan is not a “car guy”. In an automotive sport such as drag racing, most of the fans are knowlegable about the cars on the track, how they are set up, what modifications have been done, and lots of technical aspects of the cars and drivetrain. Many of them have a hot car of their own that they have worked on or had modified. The running of the races is merely confirmation of the work that has gone into the engine and chassis and the technical aspects of both.

NASCAR fans are all about “the show”. Driver image and personality are formost in the fans mind. Most have limited knowledge about the technical design and modifications done to the engines and chassis. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, or in anyway reflects poorly on the intelligence of the fan, just that it surprises me.

Having been a “car nut” for over 25 years now, I know much more about the engines and history of NASCAR than who is driving the cars nowadays. Being in the automotive business, most of my friends have been car guys and few of them would bother to watch a NASCAR race. The politics and big money has made it into more of a show than a race. The cars have become so much removed from anything you can buy at a dealership, that the makes and models don’t carry the same importance they used to.

I’m not trying to start any trouble with fans of NASCAR. I would much rather build an engine than watch a car drive around in an oval, but that is just because I am more into the technical “hard parts” area of auto racing than the actual event. My point is, I just find it strange that the NASCAR fans I know have little interest in cars themselves, yet will watch a race from beginning to end, fully enjoy the spectacle of the show, but couldn’t tell you a Ford from a Chevy engine if it didn’t the driver there to tell them.

I’ll explain my snobbishness a bit–a kind of personal confession. Growing up I never felt I could just melt into a crowd and be part of the cheering throng. I was always “outside.” At the same time, like most Dopers I have an IQ above 100. I suppose these things led me to feel participating in crowd activities to be less than intelligent. You know, the whole sheeple thing.

I must admit, it still bugs me. At the Brickyard, the race itself, as butler1850 aptly argued, the race itself is not stupid. But I found myself wondering why hundreds of thousands of people would pay $75 apiece (on average how much? Our tickets were $75 and they were just fair to middling bleacher seats) to come see this. I’m glad I went to see it once; both the race and the social side have interest. But I can’t imagine making this regular thing in my life.

So you have the whole crowd thing and then, as others have pointed out, the whole driver personality thing. The faux rivalries. This all seems to me to be the primitive part of human cognition–like getting into soap opera characters.

All of sports plays upon this part of our minds, but NASCAR seems to do it more and better than most. My 80 IQ crack was shorthand for this. As far as “WT” goes, it really is 99.9% white people (probably not even one black person in a thousand) in a city that is 25% black. I bet even Black Expo has a higher percentage of non-black attendees. It kind of makes you wonder.

The city population has little to do with the any race % attendance as a large portion of those in attendance are not from Indy. Same as with other NASCAR venues. Look at Bristol for example. While Bristol itself (both the TN & VA sides) has a population of less than 50,000 the track seats 160,000. Even if you include the entire Tri-Cities area you would still have fewer than 500,000 population.

This is a sport that fans travel for and go to multiple races a year. While it may have deep roots in moonshine runners, the current fan demographics are vastly different from those early days.