Courtney S. Barr

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

A weekend in the country... redneck country...

Okay, now I am from small town USA. Actually SMALL TOWN SOUTHERN USA. Meaning that the terms "country" and "redneck" have floated in & around my vocabulary since I opened my eyes to this world. I have had many redneck moments in my life, I am quite proud of the endearing way the term is used in Camden as well as when it is used purely to explain crazy actions by a male or female who live in the country. I am also very proud to have grown up in a rural community. Camden is truly rural Alabama. You cannot get to a mall within an hour, you cannot find a Wal-Mart without crossing multiple counties & truly putting some mileage on your car, you cannot find a true fine dining establishment nor will you find anyone who does not know you or your parents or some form of kin. That being said there are many pockets of "country/rednecks" all around this great state & the rest of the US. This past weekend I was introduced to not only a large number of these great people but also introduced to a past time that I knew existed, but had never witnessed: Dirt track racing - no I'm sorry - Knockout Racing. Let me start from the beginning:

We spent the weekend in Shelby County, Al. Wilsonville & Columbiana really. Kerry (Marcus' best friend is no living in that beautiful house I posted below in the slideshow & it is gorgeous!) We went up on Friday night & just watched a movie & relaxed. Saturday was lunch at PaPaw's (one of the BEST bacon cheeseburgers & onion rings I have ever eaten) then Marcus & I went to the Galleria for Regan's "Libby Lu" birthday party. Holy Crow! Lets just say that the store in the Galleria is not big enough for a bunch of little girls, their parents & extended family to view a party. Regan had a great time & that is really all that matters, but I will say Libby Lu needs a bigger location. (see pics below of the girls all dolled up). Marcus & I shopped a bit in and out of the party - found a great new purse btw :) Then we headed to the Summit to meet Kerry for dinner at The Tavern. The day was BEAUTIFUL! We ate on the patio & people watched. I had a great Watermelon Martini - ooh so good. Then we headed back to Columbiana for "the Races".

Okay - this is an oval red dirt track. The infield is grass with 4 light poles to help light the track. There is a press box (about 2 stories high) the bleachers are on one side & at the end of the track you can pull your truck up & watch on the tailgate. The turn embankments are at a pretty steep angle with a cement wall at the top then a wire cage that climbs above the bleachers to protect the spectators. The opposite side of the track is merely a drop off. (no caging, no wall, it just drops off the hill) A wrecker, ambulance, & four wheeler sit on standby in case they are needed.

The first few races are super modified & time trials. Now these cars really are race cars, they are sponsored monte carlo's & such that travel everywhere to compete. It was interesting to watch, then you have different categories. There was one that one just Ford Pintos on the track racing, then one was just old Camaros. But then there was the event. The 50 Lap Knockout Race. This race was what people came to see, this race is what got people off the bleachers & against the wire fence. ANY car, ANY car can enter. Just make sure you don't want that car to survive. They do not have a Caution flag for this race, it is no holds barred. There was a cadillac, a pinto, a cavalier, a camaro, a lumina, a mazda if it runs & you want to drive it for $500 dollars then come on down. There is no glass in the cars, the drivers are people like you and me only with helmets on & the object is to be the last man standing - knock every one else out of the race & you win. Literally KNOCK everyone else out. It is basically a demolition race. Rubbing, bumping, slamming, is allowed.There was a point where the 37 car a maroon mazda type thing actually was pushed off the track, disappeared over the hill & when the ambulance & wrecker went to check on him he wasn't even there = no car, no driver. 3 minutes later he re-entered the track from another direction!!! YEP! The craziest though was yet to come. A white lumina actually went into the embankment & flipped upside down 2 times then land up right & even with the front end hanging on for dear life continue to race. YES CONTINUE TO RACE!! He did eventually T-bone a green car, the lumina then caught on fire. No one was hurt. I watched back quarter panels fly off, tires roll across the track, multiple car fishtailing around the turns. A small white cavalier won the race. IT WAS CRAZY. People were shouting "TAKE HIM OUT!! HIT HIM FROM THE SIDE" madness - total madness. It was fun in the "scary, exhilirating form of spectatorship" I now though have a great deal of respect & belief that all the rednecks I grew up with are actually of a higher IQ than previously thought & some choices I questioned before were actually brilliant ideas compared to what I watched grown men do Saturday night. Anyway, a few pics below (the one with the two cars behind the light post is right after the white lumina T-boned the green car & right before the lumina caught fire) Sorry for picture quality this was with my cell phone:).
*Please do note that I truly had a great time & would actually attend this event with Marcus & Kerry again, now I will know what to expect - which will help. It really was a great time, I found myself smiling at the concept & realizing that in my teen years there were some guys I would have cheered on if they had gotten behind the wheel, would have gasped in horror as they took a turn too sharp, & would have scolded on their idiocy with all the love in the world had they participated. No matter what type of redneck/countrified persons I encounter they all make it worth getting up & smiling about. :)


4 comments:

  1. Is that Reagen in the pink with the long hair! She looks just like Regina! Holy cow!
    I love the quotes from the books on the side of your blog!

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  2. Oh and I would have loved to hang out with your redneck country folk down at the races, just don't make me live for too long away from civilization!

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  3. I laughed so hard at this post! This really could have happened in my hometown. Isn't it funny how country rednecks transcend all boundaries of time, space and location? I think Aubrey has you beat, though, for coming from Small Town, USA. He has us all beat...

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