Thursday, February 07, 2008

Start Your Engine With Tailgating Tips for Race Fans

(MS) - Considered the top spectator sport in the country, the auto racing industry is a multi-billion dollar business with 75 million fervent fans. Attending an auto race is unlike any other sporting event. NASCAR races regularly attract more than 100,000 fans, many of which travel from track to track in RVs decked out in the colors and paraphernalia of their favorite drivers.

Tailgating is taken seriously, with weekend-long activities culminating with Sunday's big race. Whether you're a racing enthusiast or first- time fan, take the track in stride with some simple tailgating tips offered by CN8's Lynn Doyle.

The eight-time Emmy Award-winning host of CN8's nightly "It's Your Call" is spotlighting auto racing in a year-long series, "Trackside 101," which explores the thriving sport, its devoted fans and talented drivers. Throughout the year, "It's Your Call" will report from NASCAR tracks, speak with auto racing experts and even visit a few tailgate parties.

"Auto racing as a sport, a business and a cultural phenomenon is truly remarkable," said Doyle. "I'm excited to explore all facets of the industry with 'Trackside 101' and there is no better way to get in the racing spirit than by taking part in a tailgate."

Following are a few of Doyle's tips to throwing a triumphant tailgate party:

· Arrive early and stay late. "For auto racing fans, the weekend tailgate is almost as enjoyable as the race itself," advises Doyle. "Scoring a prime location is key to setting the scene for a successful party." While some fans set up camp a few days before the big event, plan to at least arrive several hours before the event kicks off and stay for a couple of hours after the race has ended to enjoy the tailgate, avoid traffic and make the most of your race experience.

· Show your colors. "Tailgates are a great place to meet fellow fans and form friendships that can last a lifetime," says Doyle. Whether you're cheering on Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon, get out your gear and show some spirit. Wear a shirt or decorate your vehicle and you will find that fellow fans will flock to you to discuss your favorite driver and the big race.

· Food, food, food! Arguably the best part about a good tailgate is the food. Even those new to auto racing can impress their friends and fellow fans with the right food. "Have some fun and create a themed menu honoring whatever city you're in or after your favorite driver's hometown," Doyle suggests.

· Hit the highway. With racetracks all across the country, take a road trip and see your favorite sport somewhere new and different. "This is a great way to experience a new city, see some of the country and enjoy the thrill of racing," said Doyle. "Trackside 101" will showcase several of these locations including: Daytona International Speedway, Dover International Speedway, New Hampshire International Speedway, Richmond International Speedway and more.

A year-long series showcasing all things auto racing, "Trackside 101" airs on "It's Your Call" on CN8, The Comcast Network. The show will visit several racetracks, featuring live reports, exclusive interviews and an in-depth look at the popular sport.

"It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle" is an Emmy Award-winning, issues-oriented talk show that begins where the nightly news stops. It's part news/talk and part barometer, gauging the attitude and emotions of CN8's viewers. The show airs live weeknights from 9-10 p.m. on CN8 with a 30-minute version airing Sundays at 9 p.m. that highlights the hot topics making headlines through debate and personal stories.

To learn more about "It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle" or to watch the show online, please visit www.CN8.tv. CN8 is the nation's preeminent regional 24-hour cable network, producing live, original and interactive programming covering the worlds of sports, politics, personal finance, issues, entertainment and more.

CAPTION: CN8's Lynn Doyle talks racing with Dave Charpentier, Crew Chief for driver Paul Menard.

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