NASCAR is a puzzling conundrum. On the side of common sense, one thinks, "Gas is $4 or more a gallon — should these guys really be making 250-mile-long left-hand turns?" But the voice of common sense is summarily drowned out by the throaty roar of a precision-tuned machine that howls by on the boss side of 120 MPH while the Speed Racer theme song cycles through your head, and you just stop thinking. The Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250, the 21st race of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, returns to Gateway International Raceway (700 Raceway Boulevard, Madison, Illinois; 866-357-7333 or www.gatewayraceway.com) at 8:30 p.m. this evening. Reed Sorenson won it in 2007, but Carl Edwards won the 2006 edition — and he's currently third in the standings, so don't be surprised if the Columbia, Missouri, native nabs another checkered flag. Tickets are $25 to $65.
Sat., July 19, 2008