If your like me these past two and a half months have been tortuously long waiting for the start of the 2009 Nascar racing season to begin. The elimination of testing has ground the information super highway to a screeching halt. Teams that are normally scurrying from track to track trying to find that magical setup that will give them the slightest of edges come race day, are now stuck at their shops methodically checking and rechecking every nut, bolt and template for days on end.
The normal trickle of video clips and photos of masked race cars circling vacant speedways have all but disappeared. In essence, Nascar has gone cold turkey on us. The complete lack of a 3500lb. "stock" car circling a track has me in the mitts of full blown Nascar withdrawals.
I have turned into that trembling, shaking hulk of a human being normally reserved for nicotine junkies and crackheads. Well manicured fingers are now reduced to bloody scabbed nubs, and if the evils of time had not taken it's toll on this middle-aged body, I'm sure the toe nails would be next. The flowing mane of hair I was so blessed with at birth has now become but a tuft of straggly locks, trying to burn off the intake of Amp, Red Bull and Jeff Gordon energy drinks I have become accustomed to drinking on race days.
Sleep has become impossible as I scan my cable guide looking for anything that remotely has some kind of motorized competition to it. Sports car races with engines that have barely more horsepower then my Hoover vacuum cleaner have taken on great importance in the wee hours of the morning. Renaming the various drivers Happy, Smoke and Jr. somehow make the racing more tolerable as that Nissan Sentra blazes past the Mazda 3 at a blistering 50 miles per hour.
The endless parade of import car peep shows designed to titillate teen graduates do nothing to satisfy the insatiable need for American horsepower. Sideshow demolition derby's and trailer races only exacerbate the feelings of hopelessness.
Through my haze of cold sweats I hear the sounds of familiar voices...Roberts, McReynolds, Hammond...is that Nascar Preseason Thunder? Can it be that teams and drivers are at Daytona? The 500. The Duels. That...that means the Shootout is THIS WEEKEND! I can hold onto my sanity for another few days, I can do it. The fix my mind has waited so long for is with-in reach...smoking tires, military flyovers, beer and hot dogs, and those four words that are salvation for a Nascar junkie...GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES!