This is it, folks.
Ten Nine more races until the Sprint Cup champion is, well, given the Sprint Cup.
In the beginning of the season I meant to put up an introductory post explaining how I got suckered into joining a fantasy NASCAR league run by my boss, but that of course didn’t happen (it’s sitting in my drafts folder waiting for next season). Long story short, it’s a way to win money and I like some friendly competition. I was also amused by the fact that I really had no clue what I was doing and have never seen a NASCAR race before.
I convinced my coworkers that I had figured out an algorithm for the whole thing and they believed me. Obviously I was joking, but I figured that I should probably come up with some sort of strategy, no matter how silly.
I checked out the drivers to see if I knew any, Jeff Gordon being the only one. I didn’t think Jeff Gordon still raced so I immediately started a grudge against him that I hold to this day. If I know nothing about NASCAR and know the name of a driver, it means he’s been around too long and needs to be put out to pasture. Hey guess what! I was right — he freaking sucked this season.
Seeing how I didn’t have anyone else to eliminate, I decided on a different approach: if I liked their name, I’ll pick them. First up, Greg Biffle. I mean come on, Biffle? That’s a hilariously great name and reminds me of waffles for some reason (I like waffles). Picked him right away, and might I add he was the points leader for most of the season.
I then picked Marcos Ambrose after finding out he’s from Australia (I like their accents) and his name is kinda cool. So far this meant I had two out of five drivers picked for Daytona. I needed to pick five drivers for each race, so my justifications got a little ridiculous as time went on.
To finish up my Daytona lineup, I decided to go with Tony Stewart because he’s sponsored by Oreo’s and those are yummy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. because I heard he’s supposed to be good and I feel bad his dad died, and Carl Edwards because he looks like he knows his shit (this assumption is based on the one picture I had seen of him).
I actually didn’t do too shabby! I blame this for getting me hooked. Daytona was merely the gateway race.
A few weeks into the NASCAR season (which lasts longer than a pregnancy, by the way) and I was still in disbelief that it was actually a sport. Maybe it’s because I don’t actually drive myself, but unlike other sports where skill and endurance come into play, driving a car and making left hand turns just doesn’t seem to be on the same level.
But one fateful March evening, that changed. I went to a bar with my then-boyfriend for a meetup event put together from members of his gym. NASCAR came up in conversation with one of his fellow gym-goers and I found myself actually having input in the conversation…until I let it slip that I didn’t think it was a real sport. Pro tip: never tell a NASCAR fan that NASCAR isn’t a sport.
About 20 minutes later, I then found a new appreciation for the art of racing. I decided to do some studying about race strategy and what every crew team member actually brings to the table, etc. and was surprised about how much is on the line. Winning or losing a race could depend on whether you decide to take two or four tires at a pit stop. I like strategy, it shows people are thinking and I’m a big fan of that. The fact that anything can happen and things are going at 200+mph just makes it that more intense for the people making those decisions. Arguably that still doesn’t make it a sport, but the adrenaline is indeed running high and it can get entertaining.
As the weeks progressed, I became more and more competitive and was actually doing pretty darn good (always in the top ten and also beating all of my coworkers). It got to the point where if I was ever upset about something, all someone had to do was bring up NASCAR and I’d forget all about whatever it was I was upset over.
I’m currently the points leader for the week and am first in my league, in case you were wondering. I have to admit, though, I probably wouldn’t have found NASCAR as entertaining if I wasn’t doing good in my fantasy league. It’s really fun to beat people at their own game, especially when they’re my smack talking 40+ year old male coworkers (I work in the service department at a car dealership).
I’m not too sure what I’ll be doing when the season is over in ten weeks from now. Hell, I don’t even know what I’m doing in the next hour. Maybe it’ll involve an intricate plot to become Jimmie Johnson’s mistress.
Maybe I’ll decide that NASCAR isn’t where my heart belongs and I’ll break free from it forever. Hopefully something comes along to fill the void. I’d end this post on a wittier note but my cat is flipping out over some asshole bird and he’s knocking things over, bye!