Watching a race on television has its advantages. The viewer can catch the opening ceremonies, the military fly-over and the call to start engines from the plushy comfort of his or her home.
Then, the viewer can watch the first few laps of the race and go out in the yard and, with modern technology, either listen to the race live via headphones or record the race to be viewed at a later time.
This is all noble and honorable for the casual race fan.
It matters little whether or not the viewer has the the biggest flat-screen television in existence or the most supersonic speakers available on the current or future market.
It means nothing. No man can build a "man cave" awesome enough to compare to the sheer magnanimous experience that is a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Anyone can snootily "transcend" the unique atmosphere of a Sprint Cup race and liken it to nothing more than the goings of a major rock concert.
Consequently, if a parent (any decent parent) wants to treat their pre-teen or teenage children to an evening of sexualized entertainment at the behest of Lady Ga-Ga or the Black Eyed Peas it will cost said parent well beyond the expensive ticket prices for basic admission.
What are the children to drink and eat during the three-odd hours of this "quality" entertainment?
The concession stands offer relief in the form of seven dollar hot dogs, five dollar sodas and a guaranteed disgusting experience when the call of nature screams louder for a child than the blasting melodies of a concert or similar sports event.
The unique aspect of attending a NASCAR race, individually or with family, is that all of this firmly taken care of before the family or individual even swipes his or her ticket at the gate.
You can bring your own beer!
You can bring your own food!
There is no need to ever waste precious hard-earned money for a hideously cooked cup of french-fries!
It is perfectly allowable to bring a personal cooler (14''x14''x14'') into the track loaded with whatever you like. In other words, it is possible to provide for yourself and/or family completely within your own ways and means.
Sadly, all racetracks cannot guarantee a clean experience in the restrooms. But, that is beside the point.
It is possible to take a family of four to a Sprint Cup race for $99 plus whatever you care to pack in coolers, and still get some hot dogs and a race program out of the deal.
Before wincing at the cost of a 2012 NASCAR ticket, weigh the cost of memory versus money.
There is no experience quite like hearing 43 cars with 900-plus horsepower roar to life before your very eyes.
You will never forget it.