Late last week, I got an e-mail from NASCAR.com entitled “Fast and Fabulous: NASCAR lifestyle, insight, and recipes for the female fan.”
It was filled with links to great recipe ideas and a full page spread about “NASCAR’s most eligible bachelor,” Tony Stewart.
I am betting with 100-percent certainty that the male fans of NASCAR were not privy to this type of absurdity.
The more I thought about it, the more laughable it seemed. Just who does NASCAR think they are—trying to buy me with their pink baby-doll driver tees and glittery tank tops?
Sure there will always be women at the track donning ill fitting t-shirts with iron-on messages like “Mrs. Lil E” or “Driver Butts Drive Me Nuts,” but for the majority of female fans, we’re just like the rest of you, only prettier!
Statistics show that NASCAR’s female fanbase is nearing 50-percent, but the sport itself is still perceived by many as a “boy's club.”
Being a knowledgeable female fan at the track is much like being a lone mare in the middle of a stud farm.
Men have it pretty darn easy when it comes to attending a race—throw on some shoes, pants, and an optional shirt and you’re good to go. The fairer sex has to worry about all of the sugar and spice and everything nice that goes along with being a woman.
There are countless websites out there that cater to the female fan, providing tips for your day at the track. They answer the burning questions, like what the best waterproof mascara is to wear to the track to prevent your “eyes” from melting down your face in the summer sun, or just how many tampons to bring to the track.
Hey guys, have you ever thought about packing some antibacterial wipes to clean the toilet seats with before sitting down on it, or adding your “in case of emergency” number into your cell phone just in case you meet with certain danger?
Seriously, how many of you have carried a small bottle of hairspray on your person so that you can “fluff up your hair” when the hat comes off, or some antiperspirant so that you can “freshen up” during caution flags?
This is what women are fed all the time: “a girl has always gotta look good!” Give me jeans, a t-shirt, flip flops, and a baseball cap any day. It’s a stock car race for God sake, not a freaking fashion show!
There will always be that girl who makes the rest of us look bad; you know the one. She’s had way too much to drink, and during a caution will stand up and flash the entire race day community.
The instant gratification is astounding, as people will take notice. There will be a lot of cat-calling and a handful of “hell yeahs,” but ultimately, in the end, it is her drunk ass who gets escorted out in a shiny pair of designer handcuffs.
Way to represent ladies!
Yes, at times being a girl at the race is like being that sweet little black feline who is stalked by smelly ol’ Pepe Le Pew.
"Ze arms of Pepe are upon you, I am ze captain, and you are ze first mate. Promotions will follow quickly!"
One year, during the spring race in Richmond, I was caught in a crowd with two of the drunkest souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing company with. They both had foot-long hot dogs, and as they bumped up next to a lucky lady they would ask the question that we all long to hear: “Wanna see my wee-nah?”
While I found it oddly amusing, all fun and games came to a screeching halt when one of them disrespected me by reaching out and grabbing a handful of my left breast!
He was like the redneck version of “Arthur.” Instead of introducing himself in proper British fashion, he slurred, “I’m from Salisbury Merle-and,” as if it were a proper handshake.
I leaned into him and whispered something that is not fit to print, but let's just say it was a fair warning about what was going to happen if he didn’t remove that hand post haste!
“Hey mah bad, mah bad, it’s all good,” he replied as he raised both hands up into my line of vision, right before he high fived his buddy for making the play!
Got to give him props for trying, he made it to first base without even buying me the obligatory cocktail.
Fast forward years later to the 2009 spring race in Richmond, and I am still getting no respect! I mentioned to a fellow writer and seasoned media center veteran that I had obtained press credentials.
"Just what NASCAR needs...another media babe in the garage area. You rock it, baby! (hehehehe...could rock me :-p ). Yeah...you groupie you!”
Are you freaking kidding me!?
While it could not be farther from the truth, it is still the perception of some NASCAR Neanderthals.
While NASCAR Dads delight in the fact that they can share the racing experience with their brand loyal spouses through sponsors like Little Debbie and Betty Crocker, there are many female fans who consider themselves true gearheads.
They are the ones who will challenge even the most seasoned good ol' boys to a hardcore lesson in NASCAR trivia. She'll spout out team stats and qualifying lap times without blinking a made-up eye.
Sure, some might be dazzled by the feminine exterior, but get to know the inside before assuming that we female fans are only at the track to get hit on or lost in the baby blue eyes of Kasey Kahne.
Forty million female NASCAR fans can't be wrong!