Never wear lip gloss to dirt racing

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, April 29, 2012

A few weeks ago my husband’s cousin, Rhonda, invited us to meet her and her husband in Pike County at the dirt race track.

     I had never been to a racetrack and wasn’t thrilled when Dennis said we were going. But I was game, and even though I grumbled under my breath, I was being a good wife and cousin-in-law and I went.

     Just to explain a bit. I don’t even watch car racing on TV. What is so exciting about watching a car go around in circles for several hours?

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     Before I get a bunch of e-mails and calls from all of you NASCAR fans, I’m not knocking your sport, I’m just saying it ain’t for me. My son, Jeremy, is a big Tony Stewart fan. He watches enough racing for me and him.

     I really don’t know much about car racing either … and when I say much … I really mean I don’t know anything about car racing.

     When I asked Dennis how long would we be at the races, he said, “Oh, about an hour and a half.”

     I thought, well, I can make it for that long.

     He lied.

     We get to the racetrack about 6:30 p.m. We pay to get in, and find his cousin and her friend, Annette. They had apparently been doing this for some time. They came prepared with stadium seats and tote bags filled with blankets and snacks.

     Dennis and I just showed up.

     When Rhonda said dirt track, she really meant soil-of-the-earth dirt track. I’d say the oval where the cars raced was about a quarter mile long and filled in with a reddish clay soil.

     When we first sat down on the wooden bleachers, the cars were warming up and racing in heats to determine the pole positions. Most of it was Greek to me. The journalist in me asked a million questions. I’m sure Rhonda was wishing I’d quit chattering and asking so many questions.

     I learned a bunch of new terminology for cars like modified, limited modified, street stock, pure stock, stingers … you name it. To me, all of the cars looked like junk-yard rescues of ’80s model cars that had been stripped down to just the body of the vehicle, except for the modified versions. Those looked pretty interesting and weren’t patterned in any known body type to me.

     The stingers were kind of cute and sounded like little bumblebees. They looked to be all sub compact cars that, again, had been stripped of everything except the motor and a seat.

     By the time we’d been there for an hour, I finally got what all the hype of racing is about. It’s the wrecks.

     There really weren’t many wrecks the night we were at the races, but there were a lot of near misses.

     The one thing that no one bothered to tell me was how dirty dirt track racing actually was. Rhonda said it was a good night, not as much dirt and dust as usual. But there was still dirt and dust.

     I apparently also didn’t dress appropriately for racing. I wore a black skort (skirt with built-in shorts), black jacket and flip-flops. I also made the fatal mistake of wearing makeup, which included lip gloss.

     Do you know what happens when you’re wearing lip gloss and there is flying dirt and dust everywhere?

     Well, let’s just say, by the time I got to my husband’s truck at 11:30 that night, my lips were coated with grit. By the time I got home I felt I needed to soak in the tub for a few hours.

     Needless to say, Dennis owes me big time for this one.

     I feel a shopping trip coming on.

     And how was your week?

     Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILY LEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 134, by e-mail at or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602.