So you think today's drivers are a bunch of milquetoast nancies who drive while sipping their tea with pinkies in the air, do ya? That's just because you've never driven a car at over 160 mph yourself, slick.
Spencer Hall of SB Nation did just that over the past weekend at a little place called Talladega, and he brings us one of the most hysterical and yet terrifying pieces you'll read all year. It demands total immersion, but here's his take on what it was like driving at full speed:
Sound is obliterated by your surroundings, sight is limited to a tiny window in front of you, and all focus is directed to staying on track and following the line in front of you. A good comparison would be scuba diving at depth going 170 miles per hour. A better one would be going scuba diving at 170 miles per hour in a car full of roaring bees. How drivers do anything but avoid other drivers is beyond understanding, since at even higher speeds with more on the line they are prisoners of mechanical circumstance, half-blind conductors of forty bullet trains all running on the same track.
I will never wonder why drivers wreck in NASCAR ever again. Instead, I will wonder why they don't wreck on the first lap at speed every race.
And once he gets out of the car, he discusses his exploits with his colleage Holly Anderson (who, incidentally, contributes to the fine Dr. Saturday college football blog right here at Yahoo! Sports):
"It's like death is in the front seat with you."
"Is he wearing a trucker hat?"
"I think so."
"No, wait. It wasn't Death. It was the ghost of Dale Earnhardt, and he was smoking a Marlboro Red."
"And telling you, 'Son, a screaming pansy like you don't belong in a car like this?' "
"Precisely. That and he thanked the good people at GM Goodwrench at the end."
It's outstanding work. Make some time to read it today.