Rednecks ‘n Red Rhones 2013 – “Danica, DANICA, DANICA”
Or “Grenache, you made me do it, but I didn’t want to do it.”
If the 2011 NASCAR season needed (and held) a revival and the 2012 NASCAR season gained redemption, then this is the year that NASCAR sought comfort in the arms of and did everything but climb in bed, complete with sponsor stickers tattooed on dimpled derrières, with race and media Go Daddy babe, Danica Patrick. Rac’n fans yawned when the 2011 season produced side by side racing and a points tie to the last lap of the last race. NASCAR nation all but nodded off as the 2012 season produced an outspoken, come from behind, daring do (not to mention hard drinkn’) champion. Fan interest, TV ratings and sponsor dollars need a reversal in 2013. Well, by golly, it’s time to open the Bunny Hut, sew some bust darts in the fire suit, hope for a costume malfunction and sell the sexy side of NASCAR. As if sprung from the mind if not the loins of babe-mcdaddy Hugh “Hef” Hefner himself, Stewart-Haas Racing, the larger NASCAR community and the entire sports media jumped Danica’s bones. Not that she seemed to mind. And that was just speed weeks leading up to Daytona.
The attention, glitz and glam was more than our Over The Wall Crew who organize Rednecks & Red Rhones could take. We could just imagine Fireball Roberts, after lip reading through a sample of headlines, huffing, “This ain’t rac’n!” As if in unison, the crew seemed to throw a collective Jan Brady hissy fit, complete with foot stamping, while wailing, “Danica, Danica, Danica; all I ever hear is Danica!!” Eschewing (Rednecks might not be edjucated, but we can use a thesaurus as well as any other word challenged media hound) Daytona as the occasion to justify besotted minds and red eyes for our annual gathering, we opted for a more staid race. Our hope is that the salivating media dogs might abate the All-Danica-All-The-Time headlines as the race season clips on and by the time we hold our annual cork-fest. But like a tainted wine that confounds the crowd, the Danica dominated race stories dulled our senses and played with our timing like a lugnut air gun with a slow trigger.
We need a race that wouldn’t command too much attention from the media, the redneck crowd or anyone else for that matter.
K-A-N-ZZZ-A-ZZZ is just the race for burnin’ rubber, slurpin’ Syrah and charrin’ red meat. After all, if the word “Kansas” is in the race name, how much excitement, not to mention attention, will it generate? More time for wine, right? But the Kansas race is nevertheless on a respectable 1.5 mile variable banked track and the presence of Richard Petty as grand marshal lends an air of redneck respectability. We thought we might could pull off another R&RR without surrendering our PBR cred. But sometimes, when you live on the edge like the Over The Wall Crew, you take a misstep and slip off the cliff. Of course, if and when we do fall, it helps to be good an’ limbered up with alcohol, particularly high flying Rhone style vine juice.
But after so many years of overindulgence Redneck style, the collective braintrust between our event planners apparently slowed our planning capabilities to possum speed. We should have knowed we were about to take a step too far when Colonel Bob Cuozzi, our crew’s Chad Knaus, set our theme pace for both event days as “wines made from anywhere BUT France.” Ok, we’re fans of Rhone Rangers from all around this great big world – you might say we’re global rednecks – and we’re BIG fans of REAL Amer’kin made wines; Alban Reva and Phelps Syrah both come to mind. Heck, I can even throw in a Horton Sparkling Viognier. But the Colonel musta been dipp’n in the squirrel gravy a bit too frequently. He next leads us a step times 50 over the edge with the idea of all Saturday wines being Grenache based from anywhere but France and Sunday being Syrah based wines from anywhere but France. And like soused lemmings, we charged over the cliff. No, it was worse than that. We were more like a group of Wine Advocate point chasing groupies with The Colonel as our Arpy. NEXT=>