It started back in January or February. We were at a Superbowl party to be exact and Lilsaej and I got to talking and as it turned out, we were both 2 very attractive and stylish girls who had a thing for NASCAR. Well...I had a thing for NASCAR. Lilsaej, born and raised in NC, is a NASCAR PhD. Seriously. The extent of my NASCAR love meant I diligently entered each race into my calendar and did my best to watch and that I could probably name 5 drivers and their numbers. Lilsaej has been going to races for years and knows everything there is to know about each and every track, team and driver. She's like some kind of NASCAR savant.
Anyways, she mentioned how she always goes to Martinsville every year and I mentioned something about thinking about making it to an actual race this year (possibly Darlington) and she said that the 2 tracks she dreamt of going to were Bristol and Talladega and suddenly I was pulling up the NASCAR schedule on my computer and we looked at dates and of 2 'Dega races and 2 Bristol races, the August Bristol race was THE ONLY ONE that worked with our busy lives and we agreed right then and there that we were going. Ok - so yeah y'all - this was back in January (or February - crap - I can't remember when the Superbowl was and I am too damn lazy to look it up). I know - right?
So yeah. This Bristol race has been in my calendar FOR A VERY LONG TIME. And here's the thing about Bristol - it's impossible to get tickets. It's like, they are all owned by season ticket holders and you have to know someone to get one because they don't sell them to the general public. UNTIL THIS YEAR! Score one for the economy being in the toilet and NASCAR attendance being down because OMG...yeah...regular peons like me and Lilsaej could actually buy Bristol tix.
Only - we didn't. I mean, I found them online, but the deal was you had to buy a combo pack of tix for both the Friday night Nationwide Series Race and the Saturday night Sprint Cup and frankly, who gives a damn about the Nationwide Race? NOT ME. That didn't stop me from believing that I would actually find myself in Tennessee for the Sharpie 500.
And over the months, Lilsaej and I would exchange emails on the subject or discuss it over our favorite lunch (nests with 1 scoop, no fruit, no croutons, ranch on the side, unsweet tea and 20 packets of Splenda please) and we both were sort of in denial about the whole thing because we both kept assuming that somehow, we'd find a way to Bristol. I can't tell you how many party invitations I turned down because I would tell people: Sorry. Can't. I'll be in Tennessee. Really. Even last week...with race day less than 2 weeks out and no lead on tix, I told people I would be in Tennessee.
And then Sunday night, as I was reviewing my calendar, it hit me. We weren't going to Bristol. Clearly. It was not meant to be. And so sadly I sent Lilsaej this message:
"I am still sort of in denial about this weekend. I keep thinking that somehow we are going to Bristol. And yet - it doesn't feel that likely....what are you thinking darlin?"
And she replied that she pretty much agreed and then I replied some more and then we both agreed...Bristol in 2010. Sigh.
This was Sunday night into Monday morning.
And then...Monday...right after lunch...I saw an email in my inbox simply titled: Bristol Tix. My heart stopped. My blood pounded in my ears. My head spun. My pulse raced. My wonderful and amazing friend, who I will simply call Miss Wonderful Amazing, had been given some tix to Bristol for Saturday night and had I been able to procure tix yet or was I interested? Less than 4 hours after Lilsaej and I accepted our fate, here we were being given a second chance.
There was a flurry of emails, IMs, and phone calls and long story short: WE ARE BRISTOL BOUND BABY! WOOO HOOO!!!!
This is exciting for me because it is my first race. It is also exciting because OMG it is BRISTOL - the shortest short track with extremely steep banking and in general home to some very exciting (and often yellow-flag laden) racing. It's also a wee bit terrifying because everyone keeps telling me how rough and red Bristol is. I don't know if being rouge is going to cut it...
I am already being schooled on a number of things including the need for headsets and scanners so I don't go deaf and can actually following what's going on (thanks to my buddy at Childress for loaning me his not to mention a poncho because apparently it ALWAYS rains at Bristol). Lilsaej also said something about clear race bags and tacky seat cushions and an old Junior cooler for tailgating.
Also, no small miracle but we were actually able to book a hotel room although not at the PRICE-GOUGING DAYS INN. $800/night? At a Days Flipping Inn? I don't think so Days Inn peeps.
So yeah...now the only remaining challenge is: WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO WEAR??? Lilsaej said something about a sparkly Jack Daniels tee or maybe a Bud Light tee. All I know is, whatever I wear is definitely going to be as RED as possible!
And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...
PS I once again have to thank my friend Miss Wonderful Amazing for being so amazing and so wonderful and so thoughtful and so generous and for turning our Bristol dreams into reality! MWAH sugar!!!
2 days ago