“Don’t Be The Lobster”: A Guide to Tailgating

MichiganWhile in Kansas City with Drive to End Hunger this weekend, we got stuck in traffic. Horrible traffic. Sitting outside the speedway traffic. One fan’s advice: get an RV! Tailgate! (We like this idea.) We asked AARP’s Kristian G. King for a few tailgating tips, and here’s what she said…

1.) Take your RV. Seriously. And if you don’t have one, consider renting one thru goRVing.com. The NASCAR experience is a few days long. And you won’t want to rush in and run to your seat. There are numerous free opportunities to meet professional drivers, win free stuff [like I don't know, say visit the Drive to End Hunger tent], and sample free food. So, if you’re sitting in traffic and then rushing to your seat, you will definitely miss these experiences. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to stick around after the race to relax and engage in post-race commentary — we’re all Monday Morning Quarterbacks, don’t even deny that you’re not. It’s also a great way to make new friends. You’ll find the racetrack camping areas full of friendly folks who are happy to chat NASCAR and just about anything else under the sun. And you’ll never be without a race ticket or something good to eat & drink with your new circle of friends.

More after the jump…

2.) Research the racetrack and know EXACTLY what is allowed inside the stadium (food and drink). I can’t tell you how many bottles, freezer blocks and igloo coolers are left with no owners around noon every race day. You’ll also want to check prices on food. Here’s a hint: Martinsville Speedway is known for having a great and reasonably priced hot dog. And, ever heard of “race track chicken?” So, you don’t need to pack as much food and can save on space when packing your beverages.

3.) Sunblock and a hat. Ok, this should be a no brainer. But I have yet to see a racetrack that sits in the shade and yet I still see lobsters in the stands. Don’t be the lobster.

4.)Grab your gadgets. If you have a Sprint phone I highly recommend using it to its greatest potential at the race. With the Sprint NASCAR app you can listen to the race while you watch. Of course, you’ll also need a headset to follow along. If you don’t have one, you can rent a headset or handsets from Sprint – well worth the money to maximize the experience if you don’t have a race scanner or a Sprint mobile phone.

5.) Be aware of traffic. If you didn’t rent the RV, then you need to leave with 50 laps to go. Sorry. You don’t want to sit in traffic, do you? Well, if you don’t leave now, you’re gonna be sitting there for hours.

(Photo of RVs at Michigan Speedway via Flickr user Ben+Sam. Drive to End Hunger will be in Michigan next! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up.)