10 Tips for Surviving NASCAR Season...When Youre Not a Fan

By: Heather Leigh Clark

It happens every year: NASCAR dominates your life every Sunday (and sometimes other days) from February through November. But what do you do when someone you live with is a Race Fan (RF) and you're not? From coping with the temporarily impaired ability to carry on a coherent conversation (don't worry - it usually is just temporary) to wondering why a 39 year old suddenly starts to behave like a 12 year old every time a race is on, here are some tips to help you cope with your very own RF, whether they're 10 or 90 or somewhere in between.

  1. NEVER walk in front of the television if a race is on. If your dog is trying to crawl up the fireplace, let it go. If your arm is falling off, just duct tape it back on for now. Just don't walk in front of the television. Seriously, this piece of advice could possibly save your life.
  2. Throw the word "drafting" into anything you need so say to your RF while the race is on. Since drafting is a popular racing term, you stand a small chance of actually being heard.

  3. Invest in a drink holder that has a long arm. Why? It makes your RF feel like he's being handed a drink while sitting in a race car, and more importantly, it keeps you out of harm's way.
  4. NEVER plan anything on a Sunday during race season – unless you want to go alone. If you do want to go somewhere alone (or with friends), Sunday is the perfect day.
  5. Refer to all bathroom breaks as "pit stops". You may actually need to remind your RF to take some pit stops during the race, too.
  6. If you're going somewhere during the race and you need to make your RF aware that you're leaving, use the phrase "4-tire change" somewhere in your sentence. You'll at least get a baffled stare.
  7. If your RF has some rowdy friends over for the race, you might think about implementing a flag system. In racing, a green flag means the race is on and there are no problems. A yellow flag is a caution, which means all drivers must slow down and use - what else - caution. A red flag means the race has been stopped due to debris or an accident. A black flag means that a specific car must leave the race. These same flag colors can be used as a behavioral barometer for a rowdy NASCAR crowd, and it involves symbols they already understand. If they don't behave, you can always slap 'em with a fine.
  8. Make sure the food served during a race is only from NASCAR sponsors. You don't have to serve the food, but unless you want to hear a lot of bellyaching, makes sure the "approved" food is available.
  9. Invest in some good earphones. You can listen to music or books on tape and not have to get sucked into a discussion of who really should have won the 1976 Daytona 500.
  10. If you can't beat 'emScience Articles, join 'em. And remember: it's perfectly acceptable to choose a favorite driver based on how cute he is or how cool his car looks.

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