The Frontstretch: Too Much NASCAR… Are You Kidding Me? by Dennis Michelsen -- Sunday October 30, 2005

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Too Much NASCAR… Are You Kidding Me?

Dennis Michelsen · Sunday October 30, 2005


Can you really have too much of a good thing? Perhaps if that good thing starts taking over your every day life it has crossed the line. Friends, family members, and people at work think I have crossed that line and my NASCAR addiction has gotten out of hand. But let me appeal to you, the great NASCAR fan, and see what you think. After letting you see all of the evidence I hope to be found not guilty of NASCAR obsession.

Traffic around the Chicagoland area continues to get worse every week it seems. The old joke about us having two seasons, winter and road construction, is too accurate to be funny any more! After spending so much time in the car inching along in traffic, it dawned on me that there had to be a better system to get me to work and back quicker. Why not employ some NASCAR logic to beat the traffic? All I would need was a good Crew Chief and a Spotter…and I would be zipping through traffic in no time!

Now arranging for a Crew Chief was easy. The season is over up in Rockford and I have connections. Tyson Jenson, Crew Chief of five-time Late Model champion Ricky Bilderback, was available but he didn’t come cheap! But setting up a system for a Spotter turned out to be quite difficult. After all this is no little oval track. The Northwest Tollway is the ultimate road course!

I was ready to give up on this crazy plan until I saw an advertisement for a new helicopter travel service for businessmen in the area. Since most of their work is later in the day than my morning drive, perhaps they could give me a good deal. If I ran a few NASCAR style stickers advertising their business maybe I could even get their service at a steep discount. It was time to make a few calls and explain my concept to these folks.

Three weeks later we had this system perfected. The helicopter service would pick up my Crew Chief and my spotter “Sparky” in Rockford and meet me at the entrance to the toll road hovering overhead. They radio me which lane to go through at the toll…and then give me advice on picking the fast stream to weave through traffic. I have been able to cut my travel time down by 4 minutes with no speeding violations since I always know where “Smokey” is hanging out! All of this service comes for a scant $4000 per week, which is quite a bargain indeed. Now I know what you are thinking, why not just take the helicopter to work instead? But I love to drive…I just hate the traffic headaches!

So I ask you the fine men and women of the jury…does this sound like I am watching too much NASCAR to you? So what if I have a few decals on my car. Doesn’t everyone talk on his or her cell phone nowadays? So is it that weird having your own spotter in your ear telling you which way to go? Before you render your decision I would just like to thank the good folks back at the fab shop. Tweaking the shape of that front valance really has given me better handling in the corners. My thanks also to the folks at Yokohoma for their great tires and to Discount Tire for the regular rotations that have let me drive with confidence! OK now I am ready for your verdict ladies and gentleman. Have I taken my NASCAR addiction too far?

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