Talladega bound

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Well, guess I never told too many people this, but I am a Winston Cup racing fan, besides being a conventional sports fan.

By that, though, I mean I enjoy watching the crowds watching the race.

The last time I was at the Talledega Speedway I had more fun watching the "side show" entertainment then the race.

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From the ATVs in the big field beside the campground, to the people on the infield, I definitely got my money's worth, even if the race had not gone on.

Two three-wheelers, on the Thursday before the race were playing chicken, from a good 200 yards apart.

Well, I don't know n it could have been adrenaline, or it could have been spirits, but neither of the riders wanted to give in n so neither one did.

In the aftermath, both riders jumped off their speeding vehicles at the very last moment, then the two three-wheelers collided, at probably better than 45 miles per hour.

But the best part was the fireworks display. Not from track officials, but rather from those two colliding trikes.

As they impacted there was a tremendous explosion, and a fireball erupted from the point of impact, and extended a good 60 or 70 feet in the air.

The worst thing that happened to the riders was that they had grass burns on their butts, but those ATVs were toasted.


Then, although the IROC 400 (tells you how long it has been) was rained out on Saturday, the sun prevailed on Sunday, and the race was on.

Can't remember too much about the race or who won it n I was too busy "cruising" the infield.

As were everyone else on the infield, except for those on the roofs of campers and trucks.

One of the greatest parts of the "infield show" was when a big Ford truck, you know, the kind on one of those lift kits with tires as tall as a

grown man in height; well, it had the misfortune of rolling the wrong way down a hill.

It would take about 15 minutes to make it completely around the inner infield road, and apparently this guy was impatient, so down by the big turn, where the infield road has a drain going under it and is elevated a good 30 feet, this guy decided to pass around the cars and jeeps, like the one I was sitting on, by going onto the shoulder.

Imagine a 45-degree embankment, and I don't think you will still be giving this bank justice, but when he pulled off the pavement onto that shoulder, his truck rolled, over and over, sideways until it got to the bottom.

Landing on its roof, the driver emerged from the passenger window, climbed up onto the overturned chassis, and held his arms up in the air, as all of us sports fans were cheering for the fabulous show he gave us.

Someone on the radio, who was broadcasting the race, said it was the greatest wreck of the day.

It took three wreckers, six guys, and two police officers to clean the mess up, get the truck out, and carry the driver off.

Guess those officers weren't as happy to see a good show as we were.

But there was all sorts of fun to be had that day, nonetheless

My entourage will be departing from the Camellia City on Friday night, Oct. 19, after the last page is sent to the press for the football games, and we won't be back until late Sunday night.

I am, though, going to bring pen, paper, laptop and camera, and promise to have at least a word or two to report on the ending to the points race, and by the way, I am a "Die Hard Earnhardt fan," no matter which generation it is.

Tracy is one of Junior's most devoted fans, except for maybe her husband Daniel, and I just go along with anyone who is racing against Jeff Gordonsorry, fans of #24.

But you know what, I'll bet you even at NASCAR, they have a Deep Left Field, which is where I will be found.