There’s a fine line between enhancing the racing experience with extra attractions and drawing attention away from the race, and the crew of Texas Motor Speedway’s Ringmaster, Eddie Gossage, tip toes down that line like a tight-rope walker, producing astonishing results. TMS has just enough stuff surrounding the race, like the circus theme, garage party, and random people walking around on stilts and in chicken costumes, to draw attention without distracting from the main event, the races.
The Wild Asphalt Circus at TMS also has a knack for making the Texas race unique, giving the public something to talk about. Providing their own flyover, as well as their new additions of an odd collection of carnival food such as the Hubcap and bacon-flavored cotton candy, and The SideSh@w, an in-race comedy show broadcasted to the scanners, made for an experience like no other.
The SideSh@w featured everyone’s favorite Twitter personalities and introduced a constant flow of humor throughout the race, humor that most people are accustomed to simply reading on their timelines at home. It added a less serious touch to the race, because rather than listening to lap times and intervals about their drivers, fans at the track were able to hear stand-up jokes that The SideSh@w came up with off the top of their heads.
During the show, ongoing Twitter jokes were built upon and new ones were introduced, just as they are on the web every weekend. It was almost like having your Twitter timeline read to you without the hassle of having to scroll. The stars, @TheOrangeCone, @nascarcasm, @TheMiniChad, and @NASCAR_Wonka, who are accustomed to sharing their jokes via tweet, did an utterly amazing job during their first-ever radio debut and at keeping the humor continuous throughout a total of 800 miles of racing over two days.
The members of The SideSh@w are even more hilarious in the flesh (and the plastic, and the cardboard) than they are online, if that’s even possible. At times, the comedy show was so hilarious that it became hard to focus on the actual race past all of the laughter that they caused. Cone pit road updates, drunk comments from Big Chad’s smaller counterpart, and witty remarks from Casm and Wonka never failed to cause an uproar of laugher from those listening, especially those in the suite next door.
Not only did TMS succeed in personifying the most comical members of social media by giving Cone, Casm, Mini Chad, and Wonka a voice, but the Wild Asphalt Circus yet again succeeded in making their race unique. Without a live stream to the radio broadcast at home, fans that weren’t at TMS were left guessing as to what the fuss was all about, and what kind of humorous shenanigans The SideSh@w was pulling off during the race. New jokes made by the group became a sort of inside jokes for everyone tuned in at the track, leaving fans at home wondering what was going on.
The SideSh@w, who are indeed campaigning to have their name changed to “Cirque du Solame”, will be returning for the November Chase weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Their hilarity will again be broadcasted only to those at the track, and it is truly a can’t-miss radio show. If TMS isn’t already on your list for this year and you enjoy a little humor with your NASCAR, make sure to come out and listen to The SideSh@w. And with TMS’s constant innovation and new attractions, who knows what, or who, else may be there come time for the November race.By Alanis King