By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
·· ·The start of the race sounds like an AC/DC concert, or at least it would if the band were strumming and beating on amplified beehives instead of amplified guitars and drums.
·· ·One of the best ways to feel the legendary thunder of NASCAR race cars is to stand next to the spectator fence above the track wall as the cars whiz by. This is also one of the best ways to get swarmed by security personnel.
·· ·Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is so popular, women were lining up to have their picture taken with a member of his pit crew. Or was that Dale?
·· ·The average pit stop is 15 seconds, which usually involves gas and a new set of tires. A set of tires (three to four sets per race) costs $17,000.
·· ·Drivers drink lots of water during pit stops, what with race cockpit temperatures hitting 140 degrees. So what happens when they get the urge to pee? "Most of them don't," says NASCAR spokesman Scott Bowman. "They sweat a lot of that out...I've never seen the winner in victory lane get out of the car and then go directly to the bathroom. You just never see that."
·· ·Maybe not. But in an interview posted on NASCAR's Web site, rookie driver Brian Vickers offers a different perspective. "I hold it," he says. "Not everyone does that, though. Some go...They'll pour Gatorade in their lap [to cover it up]. But that's just what I've heard." How far off can the Evian Depends 500 be?