Notes, observations and other nonsense from All Left Turns writers Joe Donatelli and Chris M.’s trip to the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday:
- During the second verse of the National Anthem, we both thought, “That’s weird. The sound cut out.” But that’s not what happened. The sound didn’t cut out. Singer Jesse McCartney’s brain cut out. Guy missed the second verse of the National Anthem. Totally not a problem, as NASCAR fans tend not to be patriotic.
- While pulling into the media parking lot, we almost traded paint with a golf cart carrying Kasey Kahne. Little did we know Kurt Busch would later finish the job. It was like the universe wanted something to crash into Kasey Kahne today. Mission accomplished, universe.
- Stood front and center on the track during the driver introductions. Fans in California LOVE Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson the way fans in other places hate them. Hey, did you know applause and praise make Jimmie Johnson want to throw up?
- You know how you can make a good sandwich great by adding coleslaw and fries on top? You can make watching a NASCAR race live great by adding the Twitter accounts of the Scene Daily writers, AP, ESPN, The Daly Planet and a scanner. Being there live, plus the scanner, plus Twitter, KILLS TV coverage. Also, add hot dogs and beer.
- Few things in sports are sadder than a start and park team’s pit stall. It’s like if a baseball team brings just one bat to the game.
- Scott Speed recruits his pit crew from Urban Outfitters. Replete in fire suits, trucker hats and hipster stubble, the crew looks as likely to read the indie music blog Pitchfork as Jayski. If NASCAR awarded points for sitting on a stack of tires ironically, Speed’s crew would walk away with the championship.
- NASCAR pit boxes are better equipped than sports bars. These pit boxes are pimped out with multiple satellite TV feeds broadcasting NFL games, pro bowling and pre-race shows as well as high-speed internet, DVD burners and coolers for beverages. All they need are brats and peanuts. (Start and park teams? Their pit stalls are mainly tin boxes filled with shredded newspapers and discarded apple cores. See above.)
- NASCAR teams wait longer than we do for gas during the race. There is one set of pumps for all the teams and they line up for gas.
- They serve cake in the media center. So if every game story you read from this race has a lead or headline with the word cake in it, and you’re like, "What’s up with all the cake references?" that’s what’s up with all the cake references.
(Chris M. contributed to this story. Mainly the funny parts.)