Young and Old – Nan Loves Drag Racing

Some sports and pastimes are special. Drag racing gets into your blood after just one exposure. At least, it did for me—and most of my diehard friends. We can watch and talk about it for hours on end. It’s great for male bonding, whether you are into the cars and their modifications, the drivers, or the stats in different countries. UK fans have their favorite races to be sure. We are a smug group. I suppose there are cultural differences, too. As a whole, however, I think it is like a universal subculture as an offshoot of other types of auto racing, and it seems to largely be a male-dominated enterprise. But you would be surprised how many women sit and watch with the men, chugging the same beer, and eating the same snacks. It is practically a family event in some circles. And now there are some female drivers that have changed the nature of the sport.

As with poker and other card games, men do not always relish the entrance of women into their private chambers. A man cave is what the words denote—women keep out!. As for me, I have made concessions and anyone and everyone is invited over to watch a professional race or go with me at the drop of a hat. I do not discriminate. Even Nan, not a day under sixty, puts away the sewing machine and lays down the knitting needles to cheer her favorite racer on. Even the state-of-the-art one she got online from starts to collect dust. She can sit there rapt and at attention. She asks the right questions and often has the answers to mine.

And she knows the ins and outs of drag racing well. I am no longer flabbergasted, although my friends still are. That is the true definition of a fan. I don’t care if you are talking about soccer, boxing, tennis, football, or cricket. True aficionados take the time to learn the rules and regs and absorb the stats. They know the odds and the anomalies involved. They can evaluate before the announcer fills you in and spot a winner a mile away. They have the insight, always with an ear to the ground to learn more. I almost expect to come home one day primed for a big event to find Nan and a bunch of old ladies hogging the seating. You might mistake the gals for a sewing circle or quilting bee. I imagine they would ignore me and keep on with their feminine chatter or allow me to enter in if I behave.

I am not sure how Nan got started with drag racing but when she did, it took hold fast. I suppose I am to get the credit. In any case, now I have a permanent drag racing buddy if when my usual set doesn’t arrive. Family obligations and the regular burdens of life sometimes keep them away. But with Nan, I have a well-informed avid companion for my favorite sport–I never have to watch alone.