Really, how good would your wine have to be to please our palates? Now this is the good stuff! It's been aging ever since Talladega.
Hey, Richard, they better not find out about this in Darlington. They'll think you're French! They'll storm your garage with shovels and torches! My Lord, they nearly stone Jeff Gordon to death just for combing his hair!
Childress ain't scared. He's got the Fast Track Wine Club, and at his online store you can buy Finish Line gift baskets 'cause wine and stock cars both rely on good finishes.
But isn't Childress turning his back on NASCAR's roots? After all, this is a sport that began with moonshiners outrunning cops on the back roads of the Carolina hills, right? Now a NASCAR icon is selling unassuming bottles of Cabernet?
Put it this way, you think Richard Petty would've ever won Daytona, stood on top of his car and taken a sip of Syrah to celebrate? He'd sooner stand in front of the world and admit he needs a pill to get sexually aroused. (Oops. Sorry, Mark Martin.)
The Childress winery is on 65 acres north of Charlotte, with a faux Tuscan villa and a gift shop. The other night they entertained a pack of sportswriters and sportscasters. Childress even had three NASCAR rides out front, including the Intimidator's ol' black number 3. They've started having jazz concerts there, too. Somewhere, Billy Carter weeps.
In fact, there's a tour this Saturday that stops at Richard Childress Racing headquarters, the Childress winery and then the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center down the road in Kannapolis. Tipsy NASCAR fans at Dale's memorial? They'll hug his bronze statue so hard you'll need a tow chain to get 'em off!
But wouldn't you love to tour that winery? "We run a very streamlined operation here at Childress," Lurleen, your tour guide, would say. "Notice that the mechanics working on the engine have their shoes and socks off and are stomping grapes at the same time. In this way, we can pass the savings on to you!"
You'd be standing at the tasting bar when two guys in overalls started arguing in the back room. "Dammit, Luther! I told you 100 times! The Chardonnay goes in the blue barrel and the antifreeze in the green!"