Britney Dearest: An Affordable NASCAR Experience [GUEST POST]

/ Thursday, August 30, 2018

An Affordable NASCAR Experience [GUEST POST]


My son loves all things cars, specifically the movie franchise that stars Lightning McQueen and most recently, NASCAR. He doesn't really have a favorite driver; however, when he was able to go to the store and choose cars as a gift, he'd go on to select Chase Elliot's #24 and #25 NAPA Auto Parts cars and whenever there was a race on TV, he'd be the driver he was looking for (I once chose a Dale Earnhardt Jr. car for him because, besides Danica Patrick, he's the only other driver I know). I didn't have the chance to take him to see a Cars movie in theaters, as the first two were before his time and Cars 3 he saw with his dad, so being from Kansas City, I thought it would be nice to take him to an actual NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway, which is less than a 30 minute drive from our home.

If you know anything about NASCAR, you know that those tickets are not cheap! A youth ticket could be free; however, an adult ticket could range from $75-$100 depending on the race. Considering I'm a mom who is single, on a budget, doesn't know anything about these races, and had a 6-year-old boy whose attention span wouldn't outlast the whole race, I needed another option. Fortunately, there is such a thing called a qualifying race and those tickets were more affordable.

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying ARCA Racing Series saved the day! A short history lesson: ARCA stands for the Automobile Racing Club of America and was founded in 1953 as the Midwestern Association for Race Cars. It is considered a minor but professional league of stock car racing and was acquired by NASCAR this year. I found this information via Wikipedia and an April 2018 article written on motorsport.com, but the most important part of this racing series for me is that general admission is $10 and you can sit wherever you like(!). Also, you can bring in your own snacks and drinks to the races! That was a major plus that I knew nothing about prior to searching the Kansas Speedway's website. I even took the extra initiative to call the box office to make sure that this $10, open seating and snack bringing experience was real! Even parking was free! The only expense I incurred outside of our $20 tickets was purchasing myself the suggested earbuds ($5) and my son a pair of protective earmuffs for $15. So I spent about $40 in total, but it was still less than the $75 ticket for myself plus the ear protection. Nonetheless, we packed our snacks in BJ's "traveling backpack" and were off to Kansas Speedway to spend a chilly October night at the race!


Honestly, it was a bit awkward, as we were only two of five people of color that I could see; however, I was more focused on how much fun my son had. As soon as we walked through the gates he yelled "I can't believe I'm here!" and did a little dance. :) When the cars came around to the side where the audience was seated, he'd stand in excitement with everyone else. It was an awesome feeling to see him enjoy himself on one of our Mother-Son outings and for me to be able to provide that memorable moment for him. As suspected, he gave the race about an hour and a half of his attention, which was probably lap 75/200 (I can't recall) and then he turned his focus to the two or three cars he packed in his backpack and started playing with those. And since it was chilly and watching the cars go around in a circle started making me a tad dizzy, I made sure that he was ready to go so we could head home.

On the way out, we got a ride from one of the really nice golf-kart driving employees right to our car then headed to Culver's for our late dinner, where we sat and ate together, still hearing the roar of the cars from the speedway. 

I cherish these moments with my little boy. We may not have the same interest, as I've never entertained the idea of NASCAR in my whole life, but the most important thing was to spend that time with him and make him smile. It doesn't matter how awkward, cold or dizzy I felt. I was going to find a way to make attending a NASCAR race a real thing for him. Again, I am grateful for those $10 ARCA tickets. I didn't have the funds for a "real" NASCAR race and now, almost a year later, he doesn't talk about NASCAR or much less play with cars anymore. Nope! He's into sports now, but I think I'll leave the NBA game attendance to Dad.

Until next time!
-Cris

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About Me
Hello! My name is Crystal and I am a native Kansas City, Missourian.  I am the mother of a 6-year old video game connoisseur, car-loving son affectionately known as BJ.  I am an Avila University non-traditional graduate and am very proud of that achievement. My contribution to Britney Dearest is to reveal a perspective that is opposite of the hostess; however, share that life as a mom who is single (but dating), working two jobs, maintaining a home (that I purchased on my own in 2016) and having a balanced social and parenting life is possible.  I hope to be an inspiration to those whose lives may not be that of a wife (yet) and mother of 2.5 children, yet still able to live it as prosperous and customary as possible.
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About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. Britney Dearest is a family lifestyle blog where I share my personal experiences as a wife, mother, homeowner, and creative to provide a virtual space where moms can find encouraging tips and inspiring resources for family, home, and mom life. Read more

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