This evening DH and I went to the NASCAR Nationwide Race at the Daytona International Speedway. I am not much for crowds or noisy environments, but I make an exception for car races -- for some reason I can't explain. We rarely stay for the entire race, but it's fun to stop by and get a taste of the event. This evening we stayed longer than usual. It was a pretty good race, with few wrecks or cautions and a lot of passing.
We like to sit near the entrance to Pit Road where the cars are coming out of Turn 4. There are several reasons for our preference for that spot. One is that lots of wrecks seem to happen in or around Turn 4. Secondly, lots of wrecks happen entering Pit Road. (Did I mention DH likes races with lots of wrecks?) Thirdly, there is a Jumbo Tron directly in front of the section where we sit, so we can watch the racing going on in the parts of the track we can't see. Finally, it is easy to get out of the grandstand and back to the walkover to the parking area.
Tonight, the stands were filled with Earnhart fans, which is more or less normal for Daytona. What was new to me was that many of the fans were women attending the race with other women. NASCAR's marketing efforts to attract women seems to be working, I guess. I find it hard to believe that they could be so excited about every single lap!! As I women I found it embarrassing. I wanted to stand up and shout, "Down, girls." But I didn't want to poop on their party.
There were also a whole lot of families, with children ranging from babies to teenagers. There were three family groups in front of us that were fun to watch. The little kids were excited and having a great time. (I have to note here: Only one of the three families were using ear-plugs for their children. As a person with hearing loss, I find that inexcusable.) One family in particular caught my eye. They had little girl (a toddler) and a boy who was perhaps four or so. Both of them got very excited every time the cars came around. The little girl in particular had a very good time waving two American flags, one in each hand. Her brother became ecstatic every time the cars went by. (Not unlike some of the women in nearby rows.)
And so, another generation of NASCAR fans is born.