Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hear The Engines Roar

Last night we went out on a date to the Brighton Speedway. Now, I'm not normally into the whole stock car subculture, but this weekend we had a good friend racing and a few of us went out to cheer him on. The noise was, as I remembered from the one previous time I'd gone, painful and deafening. The air was a miasma of exhaust fumes, flying dust, and cigarette smoke. But the races were awesome.

The skill of these drivers really hit me while watching these pure stock cars skidding and sliding through curves, then screaming and bumping their way down the straightaway. Serious skills are required. The sheer adrenaline that drives these races is contagious, and although at another time I would probably say it's just a bunch of dirty, smelly, polluting machines going in circles a gazillion times, up close I could not help being in awe and cheering at the top of my lungs for a favourite car. While I can't understand people wanting to poison their lungs, damage their eardrums, and risk their lives, I can certainly understand the thrill that draws people back to the speedway week after week.

So today I'm not going to talk about green issues - the environmental concerns raised by automotive racing are obvious. And I'm not going to moralize about health - we all know of unhealthy activities that each of us have taken part in from time to time. Today all I'm going to say is "Good for you!" to the people who have skills and passions, and who use them to the best of their abilities. I'm looking forward to cheering on a friend in the next racing season!

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