Sunday, March 25, 2018

Know Your Nascar Fans—Parking Lot Edition


If you’re going to a Nascar race, you might be wondering how you can tell one fan from the other—especially once you realize how packed the parking lot is despite the sport “dying” for the past ten years.  Well, thankfully you can figure out who likes what and for how long just by looking at their car!  “Stereotypes—they’re a real time-saver!”

A Fan Because of Their Kid(s)
This car is usually covered in Cars merchandise (Lightning McQueen, etc.).  You’ll occasionally find some M&M’s Racing decals as well, and once in a while some “they gave this away” bumper stickers (bonus points if its MBNA-related).  It’ll usually be a minivan, although don’t scoff—grocery-getters are sneaky-great tailgating vehicles.

Here to Party
No Nascar decals at all—in fact, the only decals you WILL find are usually PG-13-rated (i.e. “The Shocker” hand signal).  Usually an SUV with some years on it, occasionally it’ll wind up being a sedan that is typically driven to a white-collar job at an office complex.  After all, who needs to have fun ALL the time when you can just get black-out drunk every few weekends?  WARNING—don’t park too close or you might come back to vomit on your doors.

Pissed at the NFL
Look on the rear window for the logo of the closest pro-football team X’d out.  These trucks, usually pick-ups that look like they’ve never towed anything other than a U-Haul trailer, are relatively new, just like the fandom contained within.  Be careful not to engage these fans too much, lest you wind up hearing about how “all these Nascar guys are great, ‘cept for that Bubba Wallace kid.”

Earnhardt Sr. Diehard
3 decals.  3 flags.  3 posters hanging on the windows.  Almost always a well-maintained 90’s era Chevy, these are your hardcore “Fans of the Man”.  Helpful and handy, although getting up a bit in age, always willing to share their tailgate grub with you, as long as you’re willing to hear them regale you with Kirk Shelmerdine stories.

The Bandwagon
Freshly-applied Martin Truex decals adorn this newer car, although if you look closely enough you can make out the shadows of the removed 18 stickers from before.  Jeff Gordon brought them into the sport, but apparently it’ll take the local sports team winning a championship to take them out.  On the plus-side, they usually have the best limited-edition beers.

The Outside Insider
The rare car with no decals, this guy wanders from tailgate-to-tailgate wearing a polo shirt that looks like it MIGHT be official.  Typically falls into two categories—either a guy who claims to be a driver’s brother, or a woman who claims to be a driver’s baby momma.  Don’t ask why they’re not in the pits unless you want to get screamed at from behind some expensive-looking sunglasses.

In From The Hills
An ancient-looking pickup truck with somehow-older-looking decals—did they even make Harry Gant bumper stickers?  A surefire winner for “Biggest Beard in the Parking Lot” is on-board, and you’ll find them heading in early for the race, since their buddy the security guard lets them take the old entrance to their seats.  Best tailgate food, bar none.

The Smartass

Plenty of ironic decals on a small car that’s seen better days.  Wears a Timmy Hill t-shirt he bought online.  Seems to be there alone.  WARNING—might wind up including you on a list like this.