Off Air Comments

Demolition Derby 500

I don’t like NASCAR. I never really saw the appeal. I don’t even consider NASCAR drivers as athletes, I think of them more as daredevils.  Obviously there’s more to this sport than I understand or care to understand, but the only reason you’ll ever see me watching cars go fast around a track is if it’s highlights of a crash.

All that being said, LAST NIGHT’S DAYTONA 500 WAS GREAT!

For those of you who didn’t watch the greatest demolition derby ever, and failed to catch the highlights on ESPN, allow me to break down what happened. Chaos. Usually in a race you have to watch for an hour to see a crash. Not yesterday. Lap two took out Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson (two of the only four drivers I could name).

Then with 40 laps to go and the caution flag up (The caution flag is the dumbest thing in NASCAR. These people are driving at 200+ mph, all of a sudden the caution flag goes up and now they should be cautious?) Juan Pablo Mantoya comes out of a pit stop and speeds away to try and catch up to the rest of the pack. Immediately something goes wrong with Pablo’s car and he spins out of control. In an act of extreme irony he drives his car directly into a safety truck which is carrying a tank containing 200 gallons of jet fuel…. WHAT?! BOOM. Fireball. Car explodes, truck explodes, jet fuel pours onto the track and ignites. That’s right people the track was on fire. If this were a Hollywood production people would have talked about this scene and how it never could have happened in real life.

Everyone was OK which, side note, is the only reason we’re all allowed to admit how awesome this was.  It took over two hours to clear the track of both vehicles, put out the fire, and clean off the track. In the end they decided the only thing that could really clean the track and make it race-ready again was Tide laundry detergent (I like to imagine the head of NASCAR turning to an intern, giving him a few hundred dollar bills and telling him to run to the nearest CVS and buy all the Tide he could find).

What were the drivers doing during this break? They all gathered around driver Brad Keselowski’s iPhone so they could tweet. Nearly every driver was filmed running to the nearest porta-potty and taking a leak. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

So finally, with the track no longer on fire and now stain free thanks to the cleaning power of Tide, the drivers got back in their cars to finish the race. That’s when it started to rain. Rain, as we all know, leads to accidents. Yet again there was another high-speed pileup, this time with 13 laps to go taking out seven cars. With five laps to go there was another accident. Holy crap! Of the 43 cars that started the race only 22 actually went around the track all 202 times.

If every race were like last night’s Daytona 500 I’d watch every moment of every event. Unfortunately for me, it’s usually fast cars hanging a Louie for three hours. Not interested.


-Jeff Kahn

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