Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why I love NASCAR

Two words: Bobby Labonte.

Not since Roger Daltrey's face graced my 1970's TV screen as the adult Tommy in "Tommy have I been so overcome with... well..... dduuuuhhhhuuuyyyyy is kinda the only way to describe it.
I cannot believe I am 42 years old and I have a teenybopper-type crush on Bobby Labonte!

Here is how I became a NASCAR fan:

My husband and I are at our favorite second home, the Woodland Roadhouse, eating at the bar as usual, when I glance up at the TV and catch a glimpse of probably the most beautiful man I have ever seen.

Yes, I have used that phrase before - many, many, many manymannnnymny times before - but this... this was different. Bobby Labonte has the dreamy grin of Mel Gibson and the quiet charisma of George Clooney. I was sooooo smitten!

I made a mental note to Google NASCAR and Cheerios when I got home, and I immediately put up all sensory antennae. I was able to discern that a Daytona race was experiencing a rain delay. I watched #43 interact with the sportscaster and fell HARD. I had no idea race car drivers could be so damned handsome.

I did Google him. Bobby Labonte. Early 40's. 2000 Winston Cup champion. And he drove the Susan B. Komen pink Race for the Cure car too. I should note here (as I will elsewhere) that I am a breast cancer survivor and embrace causes for a cure. Especially when driven by (IMHO) the hottest man to ever wear a team uniform.

Thanks to Liz Allison, author of "A Girl's Guide to NASCAR", I learned a lot more about NASCAR. I can't get enough of it! I have actually become addicted to NASCAR.

I sometimes compare it to Dead Tour (only I don't go to the tracks)... like a jam band, race car drivers play a team sport. Every track is a different venue with a different set list, and each member has a slew of "behind the scenes" supporters who aid in the final production. The fans may wear a lot less tie-dye, but the energy is the same. Fans have a Driver (or team), as opposed to a favorite song, and while I know Bobby Labonte may not get to Victory Circle without a wreck involving the 19 cars ahead of him, I am happy just to see the bright 43 speed across my TV screen.

I'll still go on occasional jam band tours, but I'll be sure to pack my Bobby Labonte baseball cap!

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