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A Writer’s Nirvana and Nascar

May 19, 2013

A panoramic view of the turquoise ocean sparkling in the bright Florida sunshine, warm sea breezes caressing my skin, delicious gourmet food, divine wine, and a friendly attentive wait staff combine to create a writer’s nirvana for me. I can’t speak for other writers, but I know what sparks my creativity and nourishes my soul—the covered deck known as the Ketch Bar and Restaurant at the Singer Island Hilton in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Today I arrived on deck feeling cranky and stressed from the annoyances of the day. Ten minutes later, I felt happy and relaxed. The sea air has always had that effect on me. The mellow guitar player singing Layla added to the ambiance. A steady parade of grinning vacationers and the faint scent of sun-tan lotion wafting past my seaside table infected me with positive vibes. Next thing I knew, creative ideas were flowing into me. This is a place where writer’s block is nonexistent.

My thoughts drifted to the Daytona 500. I have attended the Great American Race many times. Television does not do it justice. When forty-three cars crank up their 900+ hp engines, an indescribable roar rises to the grandstands and brings the track to life like a mighty dragon awakened from a long winter’s sleep.

One alpha female will battle forty-two alpha males for the win on Sunday. Forty-three teams of manly men will go to war in the pits. Forty-three spotters perched high atop the tallest grandstand will perform duties similar to the rear intercept officer in the backseat of a fighter jet. They will advise their fighter pilot drivers on the location of enemy race cars and how best to avoid the carnage in a massive multi-car wreck.

The crew chiefs must be master players in a 200-mph chess match with 43 teams on the board. Pit strategy is a key element in the battle plan. Pit road is almost as dangerous as the active deck on an aircraft carrier. One mistake could result in a lost race or a lost life. Anyone who thinks a NASCAR race is nothing more than a bunch of cars running in circles has never experienced the thrill of a live race. Nothing compares to it. Nothing.
The Daytona 500 is so inherently male the air is filled with testosterone and vibrates with raw masculinity. Female spectators become mesmerized by the hormone-infused atmosphere. Sex is literally in the air. It’s a good thing the men are focused on the race. Otherwise the event might lose its PG rating.

The powerful race cars streak by at speeds in excess of 200 mph. They pass by so fast the human eye is incapable of registering anything more than a blur of color. The high-speed intensity of 43 race cars super charges the electromagnetic energy pulsing through the spectators in a way that keeps their hearts racing long after the event has ended. It truly is the Great American Race.

I hope Tony Stewart wins. Danica can win next year.

NOTE: 5-time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson won, Danica came in 8th, and Tony was caught up in a massive wreck on lap 35. Danica led several laps—the first woman to do so.

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