The Daily Caller’s S.E. Cupp and TV’s Andy Levy, who plays ombudsman on Fox’s “Red Eye,” brought a little New York City down to Dover, where they took in a NASCAR race. Huge racing fans themselves, they were like two kids in a candy store (or two fans at a race). But steadfast reporters that they are, they put aside their giddy anticipation to answer a few time-honored questions, like: Is Michael Waltrip a boxers or briefs kind of guy? Turns out, neither. And, What do camouflage suspenders actually camouflage? And finally, What exactly is pit stall etiquette? Spoiler alert! Sitting on the tires is frowned upon.
8:00 a.m.: It’s off to the races! But not until I get some coffee and Advil. Andy and I wake up early with His-and-Hers hangovers, thanks to the “slurp ‘n’ burp” oyster shooters we “had to have” the night before at one of the Dover Downs bars. Is it possible we’re too old for novelty shots?
Couple points: First, I should mention that all timecodes in this piece are either approximate or wholly made up. With that out of the way, S.E. neglects to point out the fact that the “slurp ‘n’ burps” were her idea. Also, it seems unfair for her to blame everything on the one of those we each had, while absolving the four shots of Patron she gulped (and the six or so Makers and Cokes I had) of any responsibility whatsoever.
9:01 a.m.: We set out for Michael Waltrip’s trailer, somewhere on the infield, deciding that nothing—not even the fetid, undigested oysters still wreaking havoc in our stomachs—will keep us down today. What we don’t know at this point is that we will end up walking 17 miles before we actually get to Michael. In all fairness, one of the track officials did tell me at the start of the morning, “I hope you’re wearing comfortable shoes,” but I thought she was just being bitchy at the time.
In retrospect, 17 miles seems like an overstatement, though I’ll agree it felt like that at the time. And as you’ll read later, S.E. didn’t just think the woman who told her she hoped she was wearing comfortable shoes was being bitchy “at the time.” In fact, this belief continued throughout the day (and if I had to guess, continues to this day), despite the fact that the woman was being perfectly nice. If the opposite of a saint is a sinner, it’s safe to say S.E. has the patience of a sinner.
9:30 a.m.: We make it to Michael’s trailer, which is nicer than my apartment. Michael’s happy to see us, but seemingly obsessed with Tim Wilson’s parody song, “Jeff Gordon’s Gay,” which he sings repeatedly, and directs us to the YouTube clip. He tells us about his upcoming comedy tour, which kicks off in Roanoke on July 24, and features Tim Wilson, who will undoubtedly sing “Jeff Gordon’s Gay.”
Just to prove we were actually at Dover because of NASCAR, I should point out that I asked Michael to explain to me what exactly it means when they say a team is making a “wedge adjustment” to a car during the race. If I’m reading my notes correctly, it has to do either with adjusting the amount of tension on a spring in the rear suspension, or it’s an homage to the only Rebel pilot to be part of the attack on both Death Stars and survive. (My handwriting sucks.)
9:40 a.m.: We tell Michael about the bit we want to shoot with him, which requires Andy to put on my tight Tony Stewart t-shirt and climb into Michael’s bed. Michael is surprisingly into it, and suggests that Andy wear a pair of his boxers. Or better yet, a NAPA Auto Parts Speedo, which mysteriously materializes from a drawer in Michael’s bedroom. Andy says he’d prefer to just wear his jeans, and I self-importantly question his commitment to comedy. He is annoyingly unmoved.
I’m still unclear as to why Michael happened to have that NAPA Speedo sitting around the coach, but I’m not at all unclear as to why I refused to wear it, or the boxers. I apologize for nothing, including my half-assed commitment to comedy.
10 a.m.: We move on to Mark Martin’s trailer, where we have a scheduled appointment. My plan going in is to ask him what it’s like to be the oldest driver on the NASCAR circuit. I wanted to ask him if he misses his Model T, or if he ever met Napoleon. But when I get there, I don’t have the balls…he’s just too nice. Besides, I saw his abs and he could definitely kick my ass. So instead, Andy talks to him about his favorite rapper, Gucci Mane. (See aforementioned video).
S.E. is straight-up lying here when she says she saw Mark’s abs. As you can see from the video, I tried to get him to show them to us, but he refused. I can’t tell you why she’s lying – you’ll have to ask her yourself. Or maybe Freud.
10:30 a.m.: We leave Mark and walk around the track to get our bearings. I see a real-life bearded lady. Not just a woman with some facial hair, but a woman with a full-on Fu Manchu. It is awesome. I write this down.
I didn’t see the bearded lady, so I can’t vouch for this. I do vaguely recall S.E. later saying, “Maybe it was a man.” I guess she left this part out because to some people a bearded lady is more interesting than a bearded man. (Not to me, though.)
11:01 a.m.: Walking by one of the parking lots outside the track, we spot a confederate flag, which is obviously alarming. Not because it’s a symbol of racial divide, because we’re a full two states above the Mason-Dixon line. Like, what’s it doing there?
11:02 a.m.: Second Confederate flag spotted.
11:03 a.m.: Third Confederate flag spotted.
11:20 a.m.: We walk through some of the merchandise haulers and come upon a checkered flag thong. Andy makes a funny pun about “victory lane.”
That really was a funny pun I made! (Full disclosure: I kept another one, about a “dirt track,” to myself. Because I’m classy like that.)
12:02 p.m.: We head back into the infield for the drivers’ meeting. I’m one of four women under the tent and thus have a hard time blending in. I am fairly certain Juan Pablo Montoya just checked me out, but he might have been looking at Andy.
12:22 p.m.: Tony predictably arrives late to the driver’s meeting. We get it, Smoke. You’re a bad ass. No need to constantly play to type. (Although I admit, it was pretty hot.)
Pretty hot? She was basically squealing. Oh, wait, that might’ve been me. Really, who can say? And who are you to judge?
12:30 p.m.: We head over to driver introductions with the Michael Waltrip Racing team. I’m chatting with Martin Truex Jr, who tells me he’s going to a Phillies game after the race. I tell him I hope he doesn’t get tased. He seems appreciative.
Drew Brown from MWR just couldn’t have been nicer. He took us right up to Martin. Plus, we were totally in Fox’s pre-race coverage. It was cool to be on Big Fox—I felt like Shep Smith on election night!
12:35 p.m.: Richard Petty is five feet away. He looks like a wax statue of Richard Petty. Or someone pretending to be Richard Petty. Or how Richard Petty would look if Seth McFarlane drew him.
At this point I’d like to disassociate myself from any comments that are not completely worshipful of The King, who looked absolutely fantastic. (Call me, King!)
1:08 p.m.: Spoiler alert!
1:20 p.m.: Andy gets a tweet from “Trish,” a big fan who just spotted him near the media center. He introduces himself and she gets a picture. I guess “Trish” isn’t a “Hannity” fan.
Trish Drury (@diggintony14) was working security for the race and was nice enough to tweet me that she saw me standing in Truex’s pit stall, so I went over and said hi and we took a picture together. It was obvious she had absolutely no idea who S.E. was. Needless to say, S.E. was in a mood for the rest of the day. Trish and I are now living together in a delightful little cottage in Monterey, Calif.
2 p.m.: I sit down for a minute to rest my feet (that bitch was right, I should have worn more comfortable shoes) but am promptly asked to move. I guess the tires aren’t meant to be chairs.
I guess they “needed” to put them on the car. Whatevs. Rude.
So at around 2:00, I asked Drew if I could “go over the wall” and do something with the pit crew, like maybe change a tire or be the guy who scrubs the area around the splitter. He says no. WTF? I AM TV’S ANDY LEVY!!
At around 2:05, Truex, who was running around 5th, comes in for a pit stop. I mention that I think he could use a pretty big air pressure change, and that they should probably raise the trackbar. The crew agrees to try it. Shortly after the green flag drops, Truex is running 14th or so. I’m told to leave the pit stall, and asked never to return.*
*Most of that paragraph is completely untrue.
3 p.m.: We watch the majority of the race from Truex’s pit stall, which was pretty gnarly. We got a great view of Montoya’s numerous trips to the garage during the race, which seemed a little extreme to me. If he wanted to ask one of us out he didn’t have to fake car trouble to do it. We also earned our racing stripes—literally. Thanks to the sun, we both left with two stripes around our necks where our media passes were.
I don’t know what “gnarly” means, because I don’t live in the ’90s anymore, and also because I actually lived in SoCal for 10 years and nobody out there actually uses that word. But it was totally rad, if that helps. Unlike the drive home, which took 19 hours.
At least we got to cuddle. I miss you Michael.