By Marshal M. Rosenthal

NASCAR is all about fast cars and crazy tailgates, not necessarily in that order. The parking lots — and the party — stretch for miles and miles. The infield is a hot mess of barbecue smoke, cold beer and roaring engines. The race may be just one afternoon, but the party can go on for days. These people know how to tailgate.

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While NASCAR tailgating isn’t for amateurs, everyone has to start somewhere. Even the champion tailgaters were once at the back of the pack.  Tailgate Fan has the basics — food, drink, music — to get you through that first tailgate.  We’ll circle back in the weeks ahead with more must-have NASCAR tailgating gear.

Photo Credit: Char-Broil

Photo Credit: Char-Broil

Char-Broil Tabletop Grill ($45)

Beer should be cold, but heat’s what you need for hot dogs, burgers, wings or pork. So heat’s what you get with this portable grill (12,000 BTUs and 187 square inches of cooking area), once you’ve attached the propane and fired it up. The grill is lightweight, with folding legs, for easy carrying and assembly. And the porcelain-coated wire grates make cleaning a snap.

Buy the Char-Broil Tabletop Grill.

Photo Credit: Coleman

Photo Credit: Coleman

Coleman Ultimate Xtreme Wheeled Cooler ($180)

This cooler can hold ice up to six days at temperatures up to 90 degrees. So go ahead and fill it to capacity (106 beers) and get the party started. The rugged wheels will let you move the party. And the no-tilt draining lets you dispose of the runoff without the heavy lifting. It’s like a portable refrigerator you don’t have to plug in.

Buy the Chrome Ultimate Xtreme Wheeled Cooler.

Photo Credit: Micro Matic

Photo Credit: Micro Matic

Draft Beer Keg Tap Chrome Party Pump ($56)

Get someone else to spring for the keg, because you’re ready to tap it. Built to take abuse, this party pump uses the American Sankey system (like all the big breweries do). The chrome body can withstand the constant use it’s sure to get. The lever handle allows for easy tapping, and the squeeze trigger for easy pouring. The drinking is up to you. We’re guessing you can handle that part of it.

Buy the Chrome Party Pump.

Photo Credit: SuperTooth

Photo Credit: SuperTooth

SuperTooth Disco 2 Portable Stereo Speaker ($99)

Who needs a mix tape when everybody’s carrying music on their phones? So forget about hosting and party along as everyone else’s playlists stream over Bluetooth. This stereo speaker’s got plenty of power — 16 RMS worth — and plenty of rechargeable juice to keep the sound blasting loud for hours and hours. And the cool design comes in stand-out or fade-back colors.

But the SuperTooth Portable Stereo Speaker.

Happy tailgating!

Get all your team gear for the big game.

Find more cool gear for your next tailgate.

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.


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