Saturday, July 8, 2017

“Hey, Let’s Race Two”—A Driver Between Same-Day Xfinity and Cup Races

This is the second straight week where weather has forced the Xfinity and Cup Series to run on the same day.  This makes things difficult for track staff, broadcast partners, race officials, but most importantly* drivers running both races.  Here’s a look what an average driver goes through between the checkered flag of the Xfinity race and the green flag of the Cup race on the same day.
(*—important as deemed by Nascar’s media partners)

—Pull Xfinity car up to the hauler.  Give interviews to PR flaks about how a race that’s half as long, pays half as much money, and has half the attendance and tv ratings is incredibly important to sponsors who pay half as much.

—Change out of firesuit.  Make sure there’s no cameras in the bathroom “just in case someone steals something”.

—Report to team conference room of hauler to debrief with crew chief and car chief over the race.  Make sure not to bring up bad adjustment call that cost you the race, since your Xfinity crew chief today could wind up your Cup chief tomorrow or, worse, a motor-mouthed broadcaster.

—Go to the infield care center for intravenous fluid transfer.  Deal with smart-aleck nurse asking if you want regular or premium.

—Check out Twitter account while getting fluids replenished.  See how people who take time out of their day to follow you hate you for ruining the Xfinity Series.

—Filled up with plenty of expensive fluids and feeling refreshed, check on your pit crew and THEIR replenishment efforts—remember to give them each a dollar to hit up the candy machine.

—Make the all-important change that lets the world know you’re not an Xfinity Series driver anymore, you’re a Cup Series driver for the rest of your night—change polo shirts.

—Check in for the pre-race tv show.  Get NBC and Fox confused.

—Change into Cup firesuit and debrief with team owner, checking to make sure he’s not under any sort of investigation.

—Report to drivers’ meeting.  Try hard to avoid sitting next to Brad Keselowski, not wanting to talk about the reality of consciousness again.

—Leave drivers’ meeting and check-in again on Twitter.  See how people who claim to only care about racing and nothing else are wondering if you’re gay.

—Report to drivers’ intros.  Try hard to avoid standing next to Brad Keselowski, not wanting to talk about the myth of self-determination again.

—Walk to car, meeting with sponsors on pit road.  Try to find polite way to tell millionaire who controls your career to stop leaning on your car.

—Stand for anthem.  Wonder why camera men keep shooting you when you’re just standing there.

—Get into car, waiting for call to fire engines.  Wonder why they call it that when a fire is the last thing you want in a race car.

—Start engine and do pace laps.  Try to understand what the hell Jeff Burton is asking you.

—Green flag!  Time to go racing in the most important race of the night……….until the competition caution.