NASCAR is taking a break this week, as the teams turn around from Martinsville and head west again for next week’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. That’s all well and good — our favorite drivers and their teams deserve a bye week now and then. But what are tailgating fans supposed to do this Sunday?
Here’s a short list of our suggestions.
1. Go weigh in on the new Martinsville hot dogs
The new Valleydale hot dogs made their debut at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway last Sunday, replacing the Jesse Jones hot dogs that had been a track staple since the late 1940s. This has been the subject of much debate ever since the change was announced. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took to Twitter to give the new brand his stamp of approval; you can drive to Ridgeway and tell the world what you think.
2. Start raising the money to buy your own Xfinity Series team
A listing on RacingJunk.com shows us that Vision Racing has put their NASCAR junior series team up for sale. That includes four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas, a hauler, a support trailer and a golf cart to get you around the racetrack. It’s everything you need to become a bona fide motorsports owner. All you have to come up with is $416,000. Maybe you can have a really awesome bake sale this weekend to help raise the funds!
3. Review your fantasy driver lineup
If you’re one of the many people participating in NASCAR’s fantasy league, the break gives you an opportunity to reconsider your selections for this season. Namely, if you didn’t pick up Kevin Harvick, find a way to sneak him onto your team before next Saturday.
4. Take bets on when the Cheez-It 355 will change its name again
In August, NASCAR will head to Watkins Glen International in New York for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. At least that’s what it’s called right now. Mostly due to changing sponsors, this race has had 13 different names; several of which were eyebrow-arching (the ‘Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen’ just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue). This year will be Cheez-It’s third year as title sponsor, so start guessing how long it’ll be until they’re replaced by some other snack food.
5. Have a backyard barbecue
Just because you’re not tailgating doesn’t mean you have to change your weekend plans. You can still have your fellow race fans over for some beer and hot dogs; they’ll just be in your yard instead of at the track. Break out the grill, pick up a few bags of chips and catch up on everything in your lives that doesn’t include who’s the better driver. You can even plan a bigger tailgate for next weekend.
One word of advice, though: Sweep the place for bees first. You don’t want your backyard to resemble Xfinity Series driver Derrick Cope’s trailer at Fontana.
The important thing to remember is that NASCAR will be back before you know it. The Duck Commander 500 takes place on a new day next week: Saturday, April 11.