Yep, it's that time of year. This weekend is the big NASCAR race over in Bristol, TN.
Bristol, where I actually lived for five years when I went to college and the city where my gf was born, is down the road about 15 miles from us. So we are directly affected by the race, race traffic, and race fans.
Living near a NASCAR track means that once, or in our case twice, a year the red neck hordes from Indiana (sorry Liberality and Evil Spock), Pennsylvania (sorry Sherry), and everywhere else invade our little slice of northeast TN/southwest Virginia. Now admittedly where we live is not a MENSA capital, note to certain bloggers especially the one in Washington state who slams TN all the time, I can make fun of my state because I feckin' live here, you can't, but when NASCAR comes to town our collective IQ drops almost 100 points.
I'm not a fan of NASCAR but I'm smart enough to know that others are, many many many others. And they have every right to come out in droves to see their drivers and to hope for a horrific wreck to happen. If they'd modified those engines to run on used cooking oil then I'd be a lot happier with NASCAR but they're not about to do that anytime soon, anyway my point is thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people will be streaming into my home area this weekend.
Actually they started streaming in last week in vehicles like this:
Or in giant pick up trucks that are pulling these:
And they park over by the track and it looks like this:
For some local merchants the NASCAR races are like manna from heaven. The ones that benefit most are hotels and motels (there is not a room to be had within 100 miles of Bristol this weekend), liquor stores (NASCAR fans love some hard liquor), restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores. For them it's like having Christmas twice a year since they have a spring race in March and a night race in August. And of course the local city and state governments love the races because they generate so much in sales taxes.
We usually go out of town during race day in the spring, usually we drive across the mountain to Asheville and spend the day over there. But since we're going to the beach Labor Day week (yay!) we're gonna have to ride this race out.
We hate it and it won't be pretty. All weekend long we'll run into people who look like this:
And we'll probably get caught in bumper to bumper pre and post race traffic, you've never lived unless you've crawled at 5 MPH for twenty miles in between RV's being driven by people who have procreated with their cousins.
And then there's this type of thing:
This is a scalpers tent. They put those signs up saying they need tickets but what they really want is not tickets, what they really want is your money. I hate scaplers with a passion. Every time I drive by one of these assholes I yell out my window, "Hey scalper!" And when they turn to look at me I flip them off.
Don't let the sight of 100,000 thousand drunk wife abusing pot belly having NASCAR fans and their hideous off spring deter any of you from visiting the Tri Cities TN area. It only gets this bad twice a year, it's not like we're Knoxville, TN during Vol football games or something. Or like Spokane, WA during Sister Lovin' Daze. Or Texas on execution day, or as it is known everywhere else, Tuesday. This is a nice area to visit, honestly. Just don't come during the last weekend in March or the last weekend in August.