The vintage “throwback”-themed Southern 500 race at Darlington has emerged as a highlight of the season for Nascar fans, with vintage paint schemes, tv personalities dressed in the clothes of the time, and stars from the past returning for the event. Interest is so high, in fact, that Nascar will now offer a “Full-Immersion Throwback Experience” for fans throughout the weekend:
—The race will only be available on a handful of tv cable services and “Big Ugly Dish” satellite providers. Cable subscribers will get constant ads for local Pontiac dealers, while satellite customers will get in-commercial coverage of cameramen focusing in on pretty girls in the crowd.
—Fans will have their internet coverage suspended from Friday night through Monday morning. The only coverage available will be from Winston Cup Scene and a local newspaper AP preview banal enough for a six year old to find it pandering.
—For fans wanting the “Deluxe 90’s Experience”, however, a dial-up service will be available to provide links to fan-curated websites bashing popular drivers, as well as 240x240 JPEG images from qualifying (estimated load time of five minutes).
—Meanwhile, fans who attend the race itself will be able to purchase t-shirts and hats from a bevy of gray-market and bootleg purveyors. Be on the lookout for the blue-and-white car with the “Junior’s Last Run 2017” lettering above it, sold by a guy in a horse trailer.
—“Glamping” will be strictly prohibited. Instead, fans will be required to sleep either in their own passenger vehicles or in pop-up tents, with beer being the only cooling agent allowed.
—While tobacco use will be encouraged, fans will also be required to buy a life-insurance policy with sky-high premiums, as well as agreeing to give at least one of their kids lifelong asthma.
—The race itself will be run twice—the throwback version will feature none of the recent “enhancements” to the sport—no stage racing, no free pass under yellow, no wave-arounds, and no double-file restarts. In short, the race will be expected to finish under yellow with about five cars left on the lead lap.
—The modern version, meanwhile, will feature the usual changes to the race format, and produce a thrilling last-lap battle for the lead. Fans who did not participate in the throwback experience will witness this, cheer, then go back to bashing how boring Nascar is these days.