Its All So Clear

Share:
I'm reminded of the short take from Steve Martin's years-ago standup routine.

“I can teach you how to make a million dollars, and NOT pay taxes. That's right, make a million dollars, and NOT pay taxes. Well, first, get a million dollars, and then …”

After all these years, I think I can help you get that million dollars. Not being plugged into the U.S. Patent Office, I can’t guarantee someone hasn’t beaten you to this idea, but hey, I can’t be your idea-man and researcher at the same time.

Anyway, here goes: I’m thoroughly convinced there’s money to be made for the first person to design and mass-produce a clear plastic cooler. Sure, we're talking about a niche market, but a large one – perhaps several million fans who attend automobile races each year in this country.

The need has become obvious with recent news that Bill France’s race tracks (along with some others) will no longer allow Bubba Baker and assorted other boys from Waycross to bring along their own refreshments.

Sure, compared to what so many have gone through in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, all other inconveniences are minor. BUT, among those minor inconveniences, the banning of coolers comes closest to major-pain status. Imagine sitting through a Southern 500, knowing the only way to relieve yourself from the 100-degree swelter is to go stand in line at the over-priced concession stand – thereby leaving the action for a while.

Racing, compared to our more traditional sports, is unique in many ways. Among its favorable quirks is the willingness of most track owners to let you bring your own food and drinks. This fits in nicely with a sport that doesn’t have built-in breaks (not by design, anyway).

But in recent years, as racing (NASCAR in particular) has become more and more “mainstream,” the tailored suits at Bill France’s International Speedway Corporation have picked away at your seemingly inherent right to salt away a few beers and those pimento-cheese sandwiches mama packed for you. They’ve instituted the no-cooler policy at its new tracks, knowing it’s much harder to take away a privilege than it is to simply not allow it from day one.

When the Homestead track was built, it had a no-cooler policy, reportedly part of a deal with local politicos whose city benefits from concession sales at the track. When France’s company bought that track a few years ago, it stuck with the no-cooler rule, but a massive outcry from its statewide fans accustomed to bringing coolers to Daytona may have been what led ISC to cave in at Homestead.

Now, of course, with this new ban, Homestead is dry again – except for those concession lines, of course.

From a public-relations standpoint, ISC appeared to be sliding pretty well on this, given the terrorists scare and Americans’ general willingness to join in the sacrificing at any level. But then Humpy Wheeler and the folks at Charlotte announced they’d still allow you to bring your coolers to Lowe’s Motor Speedway this coming week. They’ll be opened and given a quick look-see by security at the gates, but that’s nothing new.

Humpy’s announcement set off a minor flurry of e-mails from people convinced – and I mean CONVINCED – that Bill France’s gang was coveting the day when they could ban coolers, and are using tragic circumstances as an excuse.

I sorta believe they’re half right. Yes, there are a few people on very high rungs of the NASCAR/ISC ladder who will tell you that you shouldn’t be allowed to bring a cooler to the Daytona 500 because, “Hey, do they let you bring a cooler to a Yankees game?”

Well, no, but you can still get into a Yankees game for less than $100. And the place is thick with walk-about vendors. And if you need to go to a concession stand, you can go between innings and might not miss a pitch.

Assuming the big problem is holdups at the gates while guards check coolers, that problem will soon be solved. Just as soon as one of you goes to work on my clear-cooler idea.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2001

Photos

  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
Click to View More

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2016 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites