After Sunday’s afternoon-turned-night Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway, I kind of wondered if maybe there was a full moon. The race was rain delayed at the beginning and then about a quarter of the way through the 500-lap distance, turning it into a night race. That, though, wasn’t strange. After all, the August race at Bristol has been night event for years, decades even. And Carl Edwards was the winner. He may not win as much as he used to, but he’s still victorious every now and again, and he’s won at Bristol a few times. So nothing strange there.
But how often to you see toilet-papered race cars and a caution that seemed to come out on its own? If you watched the Food City 500 on Sunday, you’ve seen both those things, at least once.
By the way, I checked a moon phase website to find that the moon was, indeed, full on Sunday, March 16, 2014. I guess there’s something to that, after all.
First, the toilet paper. Landon Cassill made laps under caution with what looked to be TP streaming from the back of his car. Said TP came from the No. 23 of Alex Bowman after the battery fell out of his car. How often does that happen. Anyway, according to Bowman, the streamer from Cassill’s No. 40 wasn’t really toilet paper. It was some kind of packaging material that was common with the type of battery in his car, or the type of battery that WAS in his car.
Nonetheless, that didn’t stop FOX broadcaster from trying to solve the toilet paper mystery. Kind of a shame Cassill or Bowman weren’t sponsored by some toilet paper company. The incident would have been the perfect marketing opportunity for some TP brand. Maybe some toilet paper company should take advantage of the situation, after the fact, much like Tide did when the product was used for track cleanup at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway when Juan Pablo Montoya hit that jet dryer, causing it to burst into flames.
The strangeness didn’t end there. What about that freak caution with about two-and-a-half laps to go? The caution lights came on and nobody, not even NASCAR, seemed to know why. Come to find out, someone in the flag stand leaned against an override switch that turned the lights on, and when the lights came on, the natural thing for the flag man to do was to wave the yellow flag.
By the way, several years ago, NASCAR released a statement staying that those switches in the flag stand would be removed at all tracks. I guess somebody missed a switch at Bristol
Anyway, if you saw Sunday’s circus, I mean race, and wondered about the possibility of a full moon, the answer is yes, there was a full moon. Mystery solved. Meanwhile, maybe Sunday’s race will give one of the drivers an intro song idea for a return trip to Bristol — the theme to the Twighlight Zone.
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Before you go, here are some photos from Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol (photos courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR):