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The beast of the Southeast is BYOB 

Revving up nightlife with NASCAR

Is NASCAR America's new favorite pastime? It sure as hell seems that way ... you could take a sold-out crowd at the stadium, arena and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, and that might equate to the monstrosity of a crowd between the All Star Race and Coca Cola 600, both held at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The bulk of this crowd was more like a band of traveling hee-haw gypsies that camped out in Charlotte slash Concord for a week to be sure to catch both weekends of fast cars going left. And I thought LSU fans setting up shop on Virginia Tech's campus a week before we played them back in 2001 was fan loyalty.

I personally love me some NASCAR. It gives me the opportunity to root for my favorite corporations ... like Go Jim Beam! Go Jack Daniels! Go Home Depot! Or my personal favorite, Go Viagra!

There definitely was enough alcohol at the speedway to spoil prohibition. People drank like it's their job ... literally. Many started tailgating eight hours in advance. I personally don't have the brand loyalty to tailgate a full workday, but the more I tailgated, the more fun I had -- I played football with some kids, I stalked Jessica Alba, and I aimlessly stumbled into a fancy trailer parked in the infield with huge signage reading "The Carolina Panther Pad" (the owners even had a card for their motor coach; tailgating really is a job for some of these fast car fans). After I got into a fight with the pavement, (the pavement won, by the way) I sat my ass down and watched the first half, or the first several hundred laps rather, on the roof of my homeboy Todd's HMS Worldwide motor coach, parked right alongside the track between the third and fourth turns.

After an hour of trying to have volume-controlled conversations wearing ear plugs, I hopped on a golf cart and somehow ended up in Ryan Newman's Alltel suite, where I played "I Spy" with the crowds below. I spy a man in a Confederate flag cape; I spy two mullets and a set of dreads; I spy a pregnant chick in nothing but a checkered flag bikini; I spy an eight shaved out of a man's back; I spy Hulk Hogan; I spy a drunk-driving wheelchair.

But I'm not gonna lie; from what I remember, I had a good time -- so much that I went to both races. What can I say, a NASCAR race is a great excuse to both get really drunk, like a redneck's Woodstock and to rev up your nightlife engine.

Speaking of 5.00000

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