fa•nat•ic adjective \fə-ˈna-tik\

Fanatics; you know the type, guys with the number 3 shaved into their back hair, or talk as if they’re an actual team member. I’ve always regarded the term fanatic as derogatory. Merriam-Webster defines fanatic as someone marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. This is why I’ve always considered myself more of an enthusiast. I might buy the team hat or put the sticker in my window but I never crossed the “uncritical devotion” line. At most I usually only go to one race a year. It’s not necessarily budget but I don’t like crowds, I don’t like lines, I don’t like crushing traffic that lasts longer than the event. It simply sucks all the fun out of it, and we all know the view from the couch is better.

We all went to sleep after last year’s silly season, and hear it is racing season again. There are race tracks fighting to remain open (Mallory Park, UK @SaveMallory). There are rumors IMS is for sale ( http://jalopnik.com/the-indianapol… ) There are drivers without rides, and drivers pleading with the public to stay in them ( http://savedannygeorge.com/ )

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We all know it’s an offshoot of the economy; investors and advertisers are looking for the best bang for their buck; and if racing venues can’t fill their seats, those advertisers will look elsewhere. So this year I’m not only buying the swag I’m going to the races. I’m going to the 500 and 400 at Indy. I’m going to the Stadium Super Trucks race in Chicago (hey Alex Lloyd; you going to be there?) and I’m even going to go to Lucas Oil Raceway to watch them slide around in midgets. Heck I might even drive down to Bowling Green to see some drift car action.

I know you’re thinking that’s a lot of racing or even that’s a lot of money. True, but it’s time for me to give back to the sport I love the most. It’s time for me to put up with the crowds and the lines. It’s time for me to become a FANATIC!

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And I’m going to start by sending Danny George $35.

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