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My heart swoons when cars go vroom

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Rhiannon Mim, Photography Editor

Rhiannon Mim, Photography Editor

“Boogity Boogity Boogity! Lets Go Racing Boys!” Defiantly not ordinary language one would encounter in a daily casual conversation. Yet, this isn’t too uncommon at California Speedway on NASCAR race weekend.

Infield slot number BK-11-05, that’s where you’ll find me two weekends out of the year. My R.V. sits nestled between turns one and two among thousands of other people, either racing fans or just those here to relax and have some fun.

I’m here for both reasons, but mostly because I’ve been a die-hard NASCAR fan since I was young.

It’s my brother’s fault I got hooked; every Sunday afternoon on the television screen he has NASCAR on.

After watching it for an entire season, I can recite an entire roster. I can tell you who drives what car and which model it is. Speaking of car models I find it a little funny to be racing Toyotas in NASCAR…seriously?

For the past eight years I’ve been going to the races with my dad and little brother.

My dad says he only goes for his kids, but I think he secretly enjoys it. About two years ago we got lucky after years of waiting on a long list to get an infield slot at California Speedway.

Being in the middle of the action during race weekend is one of the most exciting experiences ever, in my eyes of course.

We are only four rows away from the track and at the top of our R.V. we have the best view of everything. It’s a real trip when you’re eating dinner and you can hear cars worth thousands of dollars racing around you at speeds well over 100 miles per hour.

A lot of people argue that NASCAR isn’t a sport. Well that’s fine and dandy but you won’t find more dedicated fans anywhere else. No offense to football or anything, you’re still my first love.

But I just have a thing for cars, especially fast cars; they fascinate me.

People say it’s boring watching cars go around in 250 circles and I actually have to say I agree. I can only watch NASCAR on T.V. for so long. But being right there as these racecars speed around you is an experience in itself.

My personal favorite part of the whole NASCAR experience is when I hear the words: “Gentlemen, start your engines!” That’s when 43 mean machines fire up their first-class engines and a reverberating sound echoes across the stands and the two miles of asphalt. The sound gets into your bones and that’s when you know: it’s race time.

The best part about being on the infield is that’s where the heart of it all is. These spectators come from as far as Arizona to spend the weekend at the Speedway. It’s like a party with thousands of your closest friends that begins Thursday morning and ends Monday night. Even though it rained during race weekend of the Auto Club 500, the infield was full as always.

True, typical NASCAR fans are easy to spot. The first sign is a bright shirt with the design of a car and a signature from the driver.

The next is a matching hat, displaying the same racing number seen on the shirt. Lastly is a letterman style leather jacket that also shows the same driver.

But for me, you can peg me as a NASCAR fan as the smile on my face grows when the cars hit the track.

Rhiannon Mim, a junior journalism major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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