On October 6th, 2005 I went to IMAX to see their NASCAR movie, but I shouldn’t have.
My parents had paid a very rare visit to Ottawa just a few weeks earlier, spending a few days motor home camping in my driveway. The two of them (and by extension my brother) are big NASCAR fans. My mom even raced stock cars at the local track when I was a kid – I have a big trophy upstairs to prove it – and my brother was pretty successful on the east coast racing circuit for several years.
The love of watching cars turn left never really caught on with me, (though I will say there’s nothing quite like being twelve years old and seeing your mom crash a racecar into a concrete wall in front of a roaring crowd) but a lifetime of exposure makes me appreciate the “sport” more than the average bear I suppose.
Somehow I had come into free passes for this IMAX NASCAR thing, and passing them off to my museum-averse folks when they were in town would have been the smartest thing to do and would have eaten up an afternoon for them, but having the tickets in my possession had completely slipped my mind. So in the end, I went.
And while the cars in the IMAX movie were turning left on a massive surround-screen and in quadraphonic sound, really it was just a lot of cars turning left. Though the crashes were pretty cool and plentiful (and massive and quadraphonic), and of course any casual follower of NASCAR is only really in it for the crashes and maybe the last lap, don’t let anyone tell you any diff’ernt.
I guess crashes are to NASCAR what fighting is to the NHL, without all the controversy. Like, who’s gonna lobby against crashes in NASCAR? Which reminds me of the time my brother got into a fistfight during one of his stock car races, but I don’t have a ticket stub for that one.
Ps. “racecar” is my 2nd favourite palindrome.