- ain't nuthin' more fun than bein' rednekkid

2001 spring race at bristol

Date: Tue Mar 27 13:27:14 2001
From: "Jason R. Heimbaugh"
Subject: Bristol / Earnhardt / Jr. / Harvick / Moonshine

This is so cool--I've illegally run moonshine from Virginia back to
Illinois! Woo-hoo!

Or, I should now probably say: Yee-haw!

But first:


Largely uneventful drive out. Got into Norton around 7 PM. Checked in. Ate.
Went back to Brownie's. Knew most of the people there. Started feeding the
jukebox money. Betty, the owner, started giving *me* dollars to pick songs
to offset the music the college kids kept playing.

Johnny's wife's cousin is a photographer and he has about 8 pictures he took
of Dale with him. One's really cool: you can only see that predator's blue
eyes scowling over the edge of the window much like a cat who has not only
stopped wagging its tail and is ready to pounce but is also really pissed
off. That mouse is *dead* on *this* pounce. He gave us one of Dale standing
next to his car, the 3 on the roof is reflected in his sunglasses.

Bruce showed up just before midnight. Not suprisingly, he didn't remember me
at first (the first year he forgot from Friday to Saturday night). "Oh yeah,
the Illinoise people." He started bartering for my fall tickets (the night
race) for some of his art (which Terry wants) but I'm holding out for a
spring ticket trade. He's never been to a race and I'm not giving up the
anniversary tickets.

Played pool. Basically split the games, but, as I found out on Friday, 
pissed off Ronnie by beating him. So it goes.

Closed out the bar and went back to the hotel.


Decided we would go to the track to get our purchases out of the way before
the real crowds of people showed up. Wasn't sure what Dale's haulers would
be like--at Talladega after Adam Petty was killed his hauler was very morbid,
very quiet, very sad. Dale's ended up much the same as they had always been,
but busier. Stuff is going quickly.

I went over to one of Jr.'s to buy my 8 hat. That was surprisingly hard to
do. I had to wait another 10 minutes before I could finally even put it on.
All Jr.'s stuff is red. I own no red clothes. Don't even like red clothing.

Got my slightly less than ostentatious 8 stickers for the side windows of
the truck. Went by Kevin Harvick's (the driver Richard Childress put in the
now white Goodwrench Chevy and who won Atlanta by .006 seconds in only his
3rd race on my birthday, Harvick!) but he only had a couple of ugly polos
for sale. Supposed to be a shipment arriving at 7 AM on Saturday.

Drove back to Abingdon to do some shopping but didn't find anything. Well
anything other than a little stuffed Bambi to feed to Chucky, my pet
velociraptor. Picture soon. Ate a disappointing meal at the Tavern, a place
we go to every year. Bummer.

Fun night at Brownie's. The local newspaper was there doing an artcile on
the place as it's supposedly the oldest bar in western Virginia. Got our
pictures taken, she's supposed to be emailing me copies. Helluva nice 
digital Nikon for such a small town newspaper.

Ronnie told me he'd be there until 6 AM if that's what it took to beat me.
Don't make such a challenge, you will lose. Ran 6 straight balls in and
finished him on the next turn. Oh OK, I did lose the next game to him. That
doesn't matter.

Tracy, the big, BIG, woman was wearing her size 40 vinyl hot pants with a
hot pink sweater. "Rather blimp-like in those pants," some outsider *might*
have said to his wife.

Terry and Betty thought I was pretty lit when I started singing with Ina.
But if you *can't* sing David Allen Coe's perfect verse of "You Never Even
Called Me By My Name" with a 42-year old grandmother of nine(!) who lives in
an old radio station converted into a house in a redneck bar without some
goodytwoshoes questioning your sobriety, well... World. Hell. Handbasket.
News at 11.

We were going to leave early since we had to leave early for the race but
early turned into 1:30. Oh well.


Walked into the stands to get to our seats, "Free Bird" was on the sound
system. Bristol is just *so* right on *so* many levels.

All of Dale & Jr's souvenir haulers are *covered* in messages. I wasn't sure
that I'd write anything on one or not but thought about the first thing I
would've ever said to Dale had we run into him at some point: "Thanks for
winnin' the 500, Dale." Got there but just didn't feel right or that I needed
to write anything. Walked by a temporary wall that Bristol had setup for
messages and after I got past started thinking of what sort of status message
would I give Dale from this side if I were able to. "Gordon still sucks." 180
degree turn around and back to the wall. Left this on it:

    | Dale--We're doin' just    |
    | fine. Gordon still sucks. |
    | See ya soon. JRH          |

Harvick! was on the pole for the Busch race. Led a lot of laps, had the car
to beat, got beat. The man in white followed in the footsteps of the man in
black and got black flagged twice at Bristol. He made an effort to come back
through the field, but his attempt to pass the 5th, 6th, and a lapped car in
one move damaged his car and relegated him to the 7th spot.

Went and got my Jr. shirt, flag for the last bare spot in my office, and
other "gorgeous little things". Told Terry he was definitely my driver.

T: Isn't that a little precipitous?

J: Of course not. Everyone else just sucks.

T: Oh yeah. You're still an Oakland Raider fan.

J: We're going to New Orleans in January.

Went by Harvick!'s trailer and got a 29 sticker and t-shirt for his first
victory (mainly because it had the date on it). Hats were kind of boring.
Have to wait for something better to come through the lines.

It was cold. Cold. High 40's. Our seats are up high. It was quite windy.
Terry enhanced her relationship with the column beside us. Sunday was to be
even colder.

Just a quick trip to Brownie's as we really really had to get up early the
next day and hadn't gotten any sleep on the trip. I overhead Tracy telling
Terry that pork chops were her favorite breakfast. Gosh. What. a. surprise.
Talked to a truly crazy guy who was at Chanute for awhile. Betty took me
outside to get a gift for us to take back home. Real moonshine. In a mason
jar and all! Cool. We're on the moonshine list--the first time we went to
Brownie's and the accompanying silence Terry said they probably thought we
were revenuers.

Got an invitation to stay at Betty's house next time.


It was cold. Terry lasted half of the race and went back to the truck. The
race was fun. Harvick! had the car to beat, again. And again, got beat. He
started 3rd, was leading within 10 laps. First pit stop, Sterling Marlin
backs into Harvick!'s car. Back to 38th place. Slowly worked his way through
the field to lead with less than 100 laps to go. 70 laps to go he cut his
left front tire and had to pit. Ended up 23rd. So it goes.

Scanner quotes (I didn't have Jr.'s frequencies so I listened to Harvick!
the whole time).

[caution at the start of the race, Harvick! is leading]
Hamlin: I'm going leave the flag to you.
Harvick!: Um, I'm not sure that's a good idea.
Hamlin: 10-4.
Childress: Green. Green.

Hamlin: You need to be savin' your brakes.
Harvick!: I'm letting up as I cross the finish line!
Hamlin: You're running faster now than in practise yesterday.
Harvick!: Oh. OK. I told you I was pissed off yesterday.
Hamlin: That's understandable.

[next caution merely 20 laps later]
Harvick!: I think I've got a problem here.
Childress: What!
Harvick!: The battery's down to about 12.
Hamlin: The alternator might need some RPMs to recharge it.
Childress: Go ahead and drop it in neutral and rev the engine a few times.
    See what that does to it.
[half a lap later]
Hamlin: Did that do anything?
Harvick!: Not really.

[next caution about 50 laps later]
Hamlin: How did the battery look when you was racin'?
Harvick!: It's back to about 12 now. I couldn't really see the gauge when
    I was racin'. Can you guys get me some smaller gauges? That way all 5
    would be right in front of me so I could see 'em easier.
Hamlin: That other driver we had needed binoculars to read his gauges. Now
    that we got a young set of eyes in the car we can get some regular
    gauges put in.
[That's one of my all-time favorite lines.]

[pit under caution, Sterling Marlin who is pitting in front of Harvick!
*backs* into him denting Harvick!'s fender]
Hamlin: I think we need to come back in.
Harvick!: Why? It ain't even smokin' or nothin'.
[back and forth, same statements]
Hamlin: Come in.
Harvick!: Awllrighteey.
Harvick!: I think that was a mistake. We shoulda stayed out. It wasn't even
Hamlin: If we'd stayed out and cut that tire you'd've gone straight into
    the wall and been more pissed off going home after 125 laps.
Childress: It's still way early. We can make this up.
Hamlin: Just be smooth and run your line.
Harvick!: Tell that dumb-ass next door if he's going to back up, stay in
    his own box.
Childress: That's just these damn Bristol pits.

[race ends with Harvick! in 23rd]
Harvick!: Man. We couldn't even *buy* a break this weekend.
Hamlin: You did a damn fine job. That's just Bristol. You ran the car good
    and we finished higher than we did last year.

Last spring: Earnhardt was leading and starting to lap cars. That idiot
Kenny Irwin wrecked and spun in Earnhardt ending his day. Mention of this
was made when we went back to Bristol in the fall after Irwin had gotten
killed. JRH: At least *that* won't happen again.

Nor will it. Again.

There was a lot of coaching from Hamlin and even more from Childress. Not too
surprising. Still, the difference in the scanner talk was black and white
(Sorry) from Earnhardt and the crew to Harvick! and the crew. But then a
7-time Winston Cup champ can get away with: "Richard, shut the fuck up.
You're cuttin' in when I'm talking." "I hate runnin' on scuffed tires. You
never think of THAT do you?" "Just give me 4 tires. That'll fix it. Like it
would've had we done that last time." "THAT STILL DON'T MAKE ME HAPPY."
"There's a reason some people have never won a race.[1]" "We now know who that
idiot in the 31 is helpin'. No one." "I ain't gonna help that son of a bitch
win." "Tell the 1's spotter to get him off my side.  I'M GONNA BREAK HIS

Harvick!: Awllrighteey.

Gordon, still sucking, hasn't yet learned that it's grudgingly OK to bump
someone out of the way to win (like he did to Rusty a couple of years ago at
Bristol, and of course Dale "rattling Labonte's cage") but you don't do it
for lower spots. Gordon, still sucking, bumped Jarrett for 3rd place 2 years
ago leading to a well-publicized encounter later. On the last turn of the
race he spun out Tony Stewart for 4th place. They've had many a run-in the
last 2 years. On the cool down lap all the cars are driving around at I'd
guess 40 MPH. Actually, I should have said, all the cars *except* one, as
there's Tony's orange car passing everyone at over 100 MPH. Actually, I
should have said, passing all the cars except one, as when he caught Gordon,
still sucking, on pit lane he spun and drove him into the pit wall. Wow!
Talk about a *loud* *loud* crowd reaction! [talk] Cheers and more cheers all
around! The 24 "fans" were standing there dead silent. Not a word out of them
or even to each other. Little whiny pussy deserved it and they knew it.

Oh yeah, Elliott Sadler won the race. His first career win. The first win at
Bristol for the Woods Brothers from nearby Stuart, VA. The Woods Brothers now
have 97 career wins in the following decades: 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's,
90's, 00's. But this really was their first win at Bristol.

Got back to our hotel room. Cold. Real cold. In-room heater only blew out cold
air. Had to be moved to a new room. Sort of warm, that heater also didn't blow
hot air. Lived with it.

All bars closed in Norton on Sunday. Offered to make Terry a gin & tonic.
Except without the tonic. And the gin might have to be moonshine. She, for
some reason, declined.


Crossed 3 state lines with our illegal moonshine. Didn't get stopped. But did
think that an Indiana state cop caught me, he slammed on his brakes to turn
around in the median but I had slowed to 75 before passing him. He followed
me for about 5 miles then took off, then turned back around.

Got home to a 46 degree house. The furnace (obviously) had shut off. Cats
were *annoyed*. They've never had a problem with us going on vacation before.
Not even the 2 weeks in Europe last summer. We've never left Stewie, maybe
he was annoyed and it fed into the others, but more likely it was the lack
of heat that pissed them off. And it was all four cats who were pissed.

OK, we're cold. We get the point.

Driving home after dinner talking about Harvick! I mentioned that he really
might be the one for the future as he's definitely for real.

T: So you just wasted all that money on Jr. stuff?

J: No. I can have multiple drivers.

T: But before it was Dale or nothing.

J: After you die I'm not going to replace you with just one. I mean, Dale
   and just Dale--you and just you. Afterwards, hey, might as well go all

T: Oh OK.

Home and typing this all in. Quick edit in the morning to come.

Jason "8" H.

P.S. Gordon sucks.

[1] In reference to Michael Waltrip's driving at Talladega. He won his first
    race, the Daytona 500 this year in a DEI car.


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