July 10th, 2011

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck does NASCAR have to do with WINE?!?” and “Are you serious?!?”  Yes!  I’m serious!  And hopefully you’ll read on and give me a chance to share this rather unique and unexpected trip with you. 

Now, I’m a city-girl who likes things to be new, clean and untouched — three things NOT in common with NASCAR.  However, I am a VERY curious person and am willing to try just about anything, at least once.  Come on!  Life’s too short!  Sometimes, you just have to close your eyes and say, “YES!”

Well, here’s the deal.  One of my most dear, closest girlfriends happens to be in love with Jeff Gordon and, thus, she’s Big-Big-Big time into NASCAR.  Match that with the fact that the Inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Kentucky Speedway was held yesterday in Sparta (only 40 miles from Cincinnati) and, well, I figured if I’m ever going to experience a NASCAR race — THIS was the time to do it. 

All the big names were there (okay, I’ll admit…I’d only heard of about 4 or 5 of them before yesterday) and although I still don’t understand the fascination with NASCAR {I mean: (a) you can’t hear any of the commentary unless you’re wearing a pair of those dorky earphones, (b) if cars are going by — which is THE WHOLE race once they break out of the starting pack — you can’t carry on ANY conversation=ZERO!, and-did I fail to mention-(c) all they do is drive around a mile and a half oval 267 times?!?}, anyway, besides all of THAT – I must admit seeing the bright-colored cars speeding around the track, the knowledge that the likes of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were actually BEHIND the wheel- in the flesh driving their cars, the rumbling the cars made in the center of your chest ,and the absolutely perfect weather — all combined for a lovely evening in rural Kentucky surrounded by 100,000+ complete strangers.

So yesterday, I arrived at my girlfriend’s campsite at about 2pm. I immediately unpacked the grilled salmon salad I’d packed and poured myself a cup of my homemade Sangria (no one said I had to “rough it”).  I choose Sangria because I knew I could make it all ahead of time and pack it in the cooler using plastic pitchers.  Grab a cup, add some ice, a little Sprite, pour in the Sangria and scoop out a few pieces of wine/brandy-laden mango, orange and lime = HEAVEN!  This was THE perfect wine beverage for the 88 degree, humid with a very slight breeze afternoon.  I just sipped my Sangria (I, of course, brought along blue straws to match my blue Solo cups) and sat in the shade.  Be aware – you need to pack LOTS of ice.  It melts incredibly fast in the summer heat.  Also, my rule is to have a drink, then drink a whole bottled water.  My goal, unlike the majority of other race attendees, was NOT to “get wasted.”  I was nice and relaxed, felt great (no icky tummy or headache) and was in complete control — VERY important given the venue, yes?!?  Okay, so the Sangria did not only taste great, was cool and refreshing, but also the fact that I was mixing it with ice and Sprite — enabled me to control how much or how little alcohol I was consuming.    It was a win-win-win NASCAR wine choice!

Well, in the end, Jeff Gordon didn’t win, but we had alot of fun!  I “camped” in my Saturn Vue Hybrid, woke up at about 5:30am and drove on home this morning.  I think it’ll be my one and only NASCAR race — been there, done that — but the best part…another great time spent with one of my girlfriends (plus! I have leftover Sangria in the frig!) – time to go enjoy a glass!  Cheers!

One Response to “NASCAR!”

  1. Chuck says:


    You need to go to a race with Chase, that way he can explain it all to you. And you have to admit TV really does not do cars going by at 140 MPH jusitice.


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