Monday, July 20, 2015

Burnin' Rubber, Baby

You don't have to know me too terribly well, I don't think, to recognize that the local drag races is not a likely spot to find me on a Saturday night. And yet, there I was. In fact, there we all were – my family of four. Hubby seems determined to give our girls a well-rounded education. "We should go to the races sometime," he said. So we went.

We had no idea what to expect. The website was pretty vague; we weren't even clear about what time the festivities started. We showed up at about 6:30 and parked in the grass, as instructed, so we wouldn't be mistaken for a racer. 

Cuz this was apparently a "run what ya brung" night, as my FB friend called it. Anybody can race any vehicle they want. For an extra $8, we could've added our van to the mix of competitors. It amused us that the woman at the gate asked to clarify that we were just there to watch. Did she really expect us to race our old minivan? Surely she was joking.

So. My first impression of the San Antonio Raceway? Burning rubber STINKS. Phew.

There were only a smattering of people in the stands, and frankly, our family seemed to be one of the most animated of the clusters, due mainly to the great classic rock music playing over the loud speakers. (Just take those old records off the shelf! . . . We will, we will rock you . . . More than a feelin' . . .) And probably to the fact that nobody was sitting close enough to us to pay any attention to what we said or did or how clearly ignorant we were of the proceedings.

Our youngest spent the first half hour or so wanting to be the announcer – which would have been hilarious considering she doesn't know a darn thing about cars. "And now, folks, we have a . . . pretty little red thing in the Napa Auto Parts lane, and a black car with some contraption on the hood in the other lane . . . yeah, I don't know what that is, but it looks like it might make the car go fast. On a side note, you can see Yours Truly in a production at Crystal Sea Drama Company August 1st and 2nd; buy your tickets now!" The rest of the time she focused on her eerily accurate predictions of racers' times when they crossed the finish line. Wish that was a marketable skill.

Our oldest admired the purple flames painted on two of the racing vehicles (one of which pretty much smoked its competition every time). She also got quite riled up every time a race between a Chevy and a Ford was announced, rooting wildly for the Ford (after asking her father, "Which one's the Ford?"). She also got tickled imagining her sister running down the track with a dog chasing her and spent ten minutes or so cracking herself up over that.

A few cars had little streams of steam shooting out of their hoods at the starting line. The announcers used the term "purging" to refer to them. Hubby googled that on his phone: something about . . . nitrous . . . something . . . I just labeled them the "bulimic" cars. We'll figure out the details when we're studying chemistry next year or something.

We enjoyed some interesting t-shirts. "F-- Your No Skateboarding Sign" (uncensored) stood directly in front of us for quite a while. (Wish I could  channel that passion into a more meaningful cause.) Another gentleman informed us in huge letters across his front, "I LOVE BEER," prompting my husband to threaten to wear a shirt next time saying "I LOVE PINOT NOIR AND A SMALL SLICE OF CAMEMBERT." We would probably be the only ones amused at that.

In the end, we spent two hours (in remarkable pleasant weather for south Texas in July) watching cars drive as fast as they could down that quarter-mile stretch – and a couple motorcycles, one of which gave me heart palpatations when it crossed the finish line going 150 mph (that's insanely dangerous, people!!). And I was amazed at how fast the time went and how entertained we were. I even got used to the burnt rubber smell. Gettin' a little less prissy all the time, people.

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