It's that time of the year again. The Deeg gather up a hefty quantity of beer, whiskey, and camping supplies, hide what little dignity we have left, and make the four and a half hour trek to the Finger Lakes for a NASCAR weekend at Watkins Glen. Last year, I previewed the event with some background on the international speedway event, which you can find right here. We also recorded a roadcast version of the CrapTastiCast that you can check out. So, instead of re-hashing the same intelligence from 2011, I decided I'd use this space to recap last year's events before giving you a brief preview of the actual race. To the bullet points!
-Since we didn't arrive in the Glen until the early evening on Friday, we felt the need to catch up with the folks that had been drinking all day (including my dad, Papa Scizz and his buddies). This resulted in D-Roc's brilliant idea to shotgun a beer every half hour, on top of all the other booze we were drinking. D-Roc then slept the majority of Saturday.
-During the evening's festivities we witnessed a girl peeing in the road by our tent without even an attempt to hide it, two guys in the camping spot next to us taking a blacked out girl to the infirmary (we later learned she was well under-age and her family was none to happy), Canadians on the other side of the road which we decided we would "battle" with all weekend by chanting the ever-so-clever "Your side sucks" chant, and of course, middle aged women flashing middle aged men, thus creating what I still believe was the nexus of all sadness on the planet.
-Saturday during the day, all of us (minus D-Roc of course) packed up mini-coolers and sleeves of beer and set out to venture around the park. This was our first look at actual stock cars, as we caught a good portion of qualifying and Grand-Am practice from both the front straightaway and part of the track known as the "esses".
-Saturday afternoon we also experienced many intriguing events and circumstances. I tried to rate them below.
5. A grown man dressed in a full teletubby outfit.
4. A black man in full Tony Stewart garb with a southern accent who said he was from Rochester.
3. When singing the Buffalo Bills shout song, people will always join in.
2. Missing almost the entire Nationwide race because we were busy playing beer pong against some very competitive college students.
1. There are no showers provided for campers, instead they have portable stalls delivered that you have to pay extra for. Class.
-Saturday night we met a guy named "Goober" who had one of the most offensive shirts ever made. He also had an epic neckbeard and may have actually been J.P. Losman.
-We met an older gentleman named Bob who shared his craft beer with us, and upon taking a late night journey around the track, kept yelling for the Apologist to "take point" with him, thus us finding out that he has military flashbacks when he gets really drunk.
-We finished that evening by discovering a huge, fully stocked bar set up that was rolling about 300 people deep, and was serving free alcohol to anyone who wanted to party. We quickly joined in. There was also a grown man dressed as Batman there.
-It also should be noted that those last two events happened sans Barrister, as he had passed out in his fold-up chair at about 10:30 pm. Our resident soon-to-be father has promised to bring his A-game this year.
-Sunday it rained and we went home early. The drive home was one of the most exhausting experiences of my life. Upon arrival home, I showered three straight times, as well as washing my hair seven times. I could still faintly smell the stench of campfire smoke on my buddy for at least another three days. I obviously didn't take advantage of the pay showers while there.
Now for the racing!
Marcos Ambrose still has to be one of the favorite this year. He is now the premiere driver at Richard Petty Motorsports, is coming off of a strong race at Pocono, and has never finished out of the top five in any of his starts at Watkins Glen. The dude is nasty on road courses and should definitely not disappoint. If he can't do it, my other four pciks for the checkered flag are below.
Tony Stewart is a four time winner at the Glen, finished 2nd earlier in the season at Sonomo, the league's only other road course, AND he us defending Sprint Cup Champion. After a poor showing last year with a 27th place finish, look for "Smoke" (ugh) to have a big comeback race.
Carl Edwards is having a terrible season after being one of the top drivers in NASCAR the last three seasons. With driving in his first Nationwide race on Saturday as a warm-up, I could definitely see him sweeping the weekend's events.
Kurt Busch is a douche. I hate him, if you know racing you hate him, and if you know nothing about NASCAR, I'm pretty sure you would hate him too. However, the guy is a natural road course driver. even with a small independent team this season, and little sponsorship, he still finished 3rd at Sonoma. Last year he absolutely dominated the Nationwide race en route to victory, but ultimately wrecked in the main event and finished a disappointing 38th.
Kevin Harvick is a somewhat random selection, but he has yet to win this season and has put together some strong road course races in the past. With the King of Beers adorning the sides and hood of his car, this could be the week he gets on the big board in 2012.
And, since there was a first time winner at Watkins Glen last year, I decided to toss in a sleeper pick going for his first career win. Sam Hornish Jr. is a former Indy driver who tried his hand at Sprint Cup over the last few seasons, and although he showed some promise, his success in open wheel racing ultimately didn't translate to Stock cars. He took almost all of last year off from NASCAR, and this year has been running Nationwide full-time, but with the recent suspension of Scizz fave A.J. Allmendinger for testing positive for a still unknown banned substance, Hornish has inherited the ride. He has run well at road courses in the past, and has a great team behind him. (Sidenote: I have already made a "Free A.J." t-shirt for this event. White t's and sharpies FTW!)
Follow @DGWUSports all weekend on twitter for hilarious and sometimes scary updates, and make sure you look for Episode 34 of the CrapTastiCast early next week as we record from the Glen with some possible special guests!