Race Weekend Central

The Tale of the NASCAR Fan’s T-shirt

Ah, the morning after an unexpected win in the Sprint Cup Series.  There ought to be a T-shirt in my dresser that can celebrate the place or time of Kyle Larson’s accomplishment.  I started digging through the drawer, then checked the other drawer where older shirts go to hide before getting donated.  Huh. Really? I never added a Larson shirt to my collection?  I’ve got two for Chase Elliott. There’s the Denny Hamlin first win, Tony Stewart’s double-duty, Matt Kenseth rookie one…Jeff Gordon, Jeff Gordon, and the new throwback paint job for Jeff Gordon…I must have a Target shirt!

No, I don’t.  Perhaps that was the jinx on Larson as he struggled through his rookie and sophomore years in Cup. I didn’t commit my belief that he would be an incredible addition to the Cup driver lineup into an active part of my wardrobe.  No hat. No sweater…oh, wait.  I remember now.  Two years before Montoya wrecked the jet dryer, I picked up a No. 42 Havoline jacket on clearance.  That had Larson’s number while I tried to keep the budget under control.

When I was a newbie to the NASCAR scene a couple or few decades ago, I really didn’t get this “never throw it out” T-shirt rule to which racing fans adhere.  I’d be at a car show and shook my head.  Could you believe the geezer over at the slot-car game with a faded Dale Sr. t-shirt? Did he have no self-respect? Why hadn’t somebody got him a shirt that wasn’t stretched, stained and torn?

Because, these shirts are part of our documentation of the best moments in our entertainment lives.

The Town Fair Tire 100 shirt I settled on I picked up the year I sat with Kyle Larson’s family in the grandstands and watched this unknown kid win the K&N Pro East series race at New Hampshire.  It was a great day.  We explained some of the NASCAR rules to his grandparents, who had flown out from California for the day. They had only watched Kyle win in his sprint cars, and didn’t know what they thought about these big stock cars. Kyle only knew he could drive them.

The shirt has long since lost its bright white background, and the graphics for the modified cars are fading.  You could say perhaps it has lost a little bit of its inexperience and traded it in for the polish of knowledge; a little like Kyle Larson.

Well, well. What a freakin’ weekend!  Three new winners in three series.    Three Young Guns finishing in the Top 4 of the Cup race. Ladies and gentlemen, the future of NASCAR isn’t coming.  It’s here.

I still gotta add a new shirt to the closet.


What about that burnout?  How often can you say you burned up your tires IN Victory Lane?  With the steering wheel hanging out the window? Fantastic celebration for Kyle Larson.


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