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Crazy Fans, Tailgating, and NASCAR Chicagoland Awesomeness

By September 15, 2014 No Comments
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nascar-adventure-chicagolandWith a NASCAR race going down in Chicago this past weekend our good friends at NASCAR thought it was a good idea for G-Hunt and I to get an all-access look at all the awesomeness that went down. We previously worked with NASCAR when they helped us throw the Ultimate NASCAR Bachelor Party which ended with us in the winners circle and on SportsCenter with Jimmie Johnson. Since that was a ton of fun we knew that round two in our backyard would also be a blast.

Our Rob and Greg’s Excellent NASCAR Adventure consisted of two parts: Media Day (which was on Thursday) and the actual race (which was on Sunday). This is a collaborative photo and video diary of the tailgating scene and vehicles, the random jerseys, the intersection of NFL fandom, the cool and crazy and famous people we met, and everything in between that we experienced. Our goal was to share this experience in the least NASCARy way possible, something the casual fan could get behind. We know that not everyone is a fan of NASCAR, but we do know that a lot of you like bacon, sports, beer, tailgating, and having fun. Going to a NASCAR race has all of those elements and more and is just like going to a Cubs game. The only difference is that instead of loosely watching a last place team play while you drink you are loosely paying attention to cars going 150+ mph.

Greg and I just recorded a podcast about our Excellent NASCAR Experience for those of you who’d like to hear some of the stories we’ve got. No doubt no one else rolled up like we did.

DSC_0502This was the first time ever that we’d been credentialed for a media event but we rolled in ready to bring a level of fun that most of the media there hadn’t seen. The 16 drivers that qualified for the Chase were there and we got a chance to kick it/talk with them. This is what it looked like.nascar-chicagoland-speedway-fans

It’s no Stanley Cup but I dig it. DSC_0512 DSC_0524

Our new favorite driver is Carl Edwards. He was cool as hell and kick it with him was like having a beer with your friends at the bar. He is also a fan of bacon and Top Gun, so he can be our wing man any day. IMG_9755

When I think of Jeff Gordon the first thing that comes to mind is him calling Wrigley Field “Wrigley Stadium” when he sang the 7th inning stretch. After meeting him the thing I think of is how normal of a guy he is, which was the case for the majority of the NASCAR drivers. Gordon was super friendly, he told us about his fantasy football team and drinking beer after his first win.
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Some call us the FAB 4.

Brad Keselowski was a trip and definitely one of our favorites. We brought a custom made penalty flag with us and he decided to give it a toss plus show us his end zone dance. Keselowski later went on to win the race at Chicagoland. Ball so hard!

IMG_9766NASCAR drivers are like us too, they check social media all the time.  IMG_9780

Just your typical Jeff Gordon fan rocking a Brickyard hat at the outdoor media thing we went to on Michigan Ave.DSC_0550

The Seahawks played the Chargers on Sunday in San Diego. This was Thursday in Chicago. Apparently Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman Seahawks jerseys are acceptable NASCAR pre-race attire.

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Race day at the Chicagoland Speedway and naturally we are greeted by the Stars and Stripes. NASCAR is very pro-patriotism. DSC_0569

We are pro-koozie so we were happy to give our guess at how many koozies were in here. I guess 1249. By the way, if you like koozies then you should get one of our CANADIAN BACON PUNTS ON 3RD DOWN koozies.
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Our first look inside the media room. I wonder where they keep the kegerator?
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There was a drivers meeting in a giant tent that was very reminiscent of what Perry’s tent at Lollapalooza was like about five years ago. It was super hot and people everywhere minus Girl Talk crushing it.

We only stayed in this tent for about five minutes before we headed back outside. While waiting to go on our next adventure we ran into Carl Edwards, who gave us some dap, as well as Dougie McBuckets.
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There was a red carpet that we got to walk down lined with fans on both sides. Naturally we took advantage of this to strut our stuff like Double J Jeff Jarrett, that’s J-E-DOUBLE-F J-A-DOUBLE-R-E-DOUBLE-T.IMG_9882

No you are funnier.IMG_9911

Back inside the media center we ran into the host of Top Gear America, Rutledge Wood. Cool dude.IMG_9904

Someone left a pair of socks in the stall which always begs the question, how did they get there? Let’s hope that persons story is as good as George Brett’s was when he told us all how he crapped his pants in Vegas.
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The Cat crew was watching NFL pregame so we were bout it bout it. Despite this being a NASCAR race there was a crazy amount of TV’s with NFL games on (both on pit road and in the infield)DSC_0591DSC_0596

Four TV setup. Sure would be nice to be able to roll one of these bad boys up to you tailgate.
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The inside of the NASBUS.

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You know that scene in Days of Thunder where Cole and Rowdy rent rental cars and race to a meeting with NASCAR? We broke it down scene by scene to take it next level.
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To take their race experience to the next level many of the buses were equipped with on-the-roof platforms where you could see the entire track.

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The view.
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Derek Lee in the house.DSC_0612 DSC_0614

Da Bears bus was a thing of tailgating beauty.DSC_0616 DSC_0618 DSC_0619 DSC_0621

Reminds me of the movie Almost Famous.
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Say hello to Bongzilla. DSC_0623
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Little did I know that by the end of the day I’d be one unhappy Jamaal Charles fantasy owner. BOO!

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This Alfred Morris Redskins jersey gets the award for most random jersey of the day.

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This is what you call a beer bump. It’s like a speed bump except it’s 13 cases of crushed Busch Lights.DSC_0644

This was the crew that created it.DSC_0650

Sweet entertainment setup which had the Panthers/Lions game on.DSC_0652 DSC_0653 DSC_0655

Who says White Sox fans have given up on the season?DSC_0657

The winner for most complex/sweet tailgating setup was this crew. It looked like it was something straight out of Panama City Spring Break. DSC_0658

And the creator of it was rocking a Brett Favre Vikings jersey.DSC_0660

We head back to the race and on the way make a pit stop to get down with the Sunoco crew. Did you know that NASCAR teams get free gas for their cars?DSC_0662 DSC_0663

NASCAR on top, Redskins/Jags on the bottom. Times be tough.DSC_0664 DSC_0671 DSC_0681

You know what we think of pink jerseys.DSC_0697

This is our first encounter with the Real World Chicago cast. Despite living right down the street from G-Hunt this is the first time we’ve come across them. DSC_0699

Can Head in the house! DSC_0700

This is the second time we’ve run into Can Head. The first time was when we did our Opening Day Diary at Wrigley.DSC_0707

Shout out to Leavine Family Racing. We met the owner earlier in the day and he was cool as hell. He told us that it costs them $200,000 for their race car and another $200,000 (all expenses included) to run one race.DSC_0708
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Jerry Punch in the house.

We were able to get right up to pit road so I was able to capture this Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s pit crew do their thing at their first pit stop.
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If you haven’t heard our Burger King Calls where G-Hunt’s work phone number was mistaken for a Chicago Burger King then you’ve gotta check them outDSC_0736

This is where ESPN does their thing.DSC_0737 DSC_0739

Back to the infield where you can watch the drivers go by like you are at the zoo.DSC_0743 DSC_0747 DSC_0749

Just like football, NASCAR fans gamble too. In their pool they pay out 1st, 11th, 31st, and 41. DSC_0755

Next level tailgating brings in trailers of Bud Light that has multiple taps. Good lucky trying to do this at an NFL stadium.IMG_0080IMG_0073 DSC_0757 DSC_0759

After standing on our feet for hours we crash this tailgate.DSC_0761 DSC_0769

They had a pig roasting and instantly we knew that we’d found home. Bacon + Sports + Tailgating = we are happy.DSC_0770 DSC_0771

And of course they also had packages of bacon.
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The Real World Chicago crew was kicking it on top of this RV. IMG_0118

They jumped down and were more than willing to do a photo shoot with us (oh the beauty of having a camera that makes you look like you are legit.)DSC_0795DSC_0804

G-Hunt quickly made friends with the bro of the group. His levels of brodum were commendable as evident by this arm around Greg.DSC_0806

Apparently MTV cameras were rolling during this Bromance and both G-Hunt and I had to sign waiver forms. DSC_0788

Back on top Da Bears bus.

G-Hunt is the current title holder in girls arm wrestling. While we waited on the pig to be done he defended his title three times against worthy competition.
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Pig is done! Now slap that ass Greg!
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Kudos to the chef who straight crushed it. DSC_0819 DSC_0821

If only all UPS trucks looked like they were from Hot Topic.DSC_0822

10 laps to go and this is what the media center looked like. This is the last photo of our experience at the track.

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5 minutes from home we saw this minivan proudly waiving a flag out the window like it was the World Cup.

Once again NASCAR delivered on our core principals: bacon, sports, and beer. We can not recommend enough that if you get an opportunity to go to a NASCAR race that you go and experience it first hand. It’ll change your perception of the sport forever and no doubt you’ll have a blast!

This post has been submitted to a NASCAR sponsored program.

Rob Cressy

Rob Cressy

Sports loving free throw specialist and yinzer living in Chicago who is awesome most of the time, has run with the bulls in Spain, and is a graduate of Second City's Improv program.