NASCAR has a passionate fan base in Devils Lake
Although NASCAR doesn't run any races in North Dakota, that doesn't prevent local enthusiasts from following the races fervently. The season, which kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend and runs to November, brings a perhaps surprising amount of folks from Devils Lake together to watch the top drivers compete.
Shane Diseth, who owns Lotta's/Ye Olde Tavern, describes the atmosphere at his bar on race day.
"We're the only official NASCAR bar in the state of North Dakota. We have a little fantasy league we do, we have about 30 to 40 people in it. At the end of the year, we have a little party here and bring in food, have fun."
Diseth also describes that he has been a NASCAR fan for almost his entire life. "I've been a NASCAR fan since I was a little kid. Rusty Wallace was my (favorite) driver. I raced cars for a number of years myself and it's always been an interest (of mine). I try to follow a bunch of them, but I'm not loyal to any one driver."
This year's Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 21 at noon CST.
Because NASCAR's closest events to Devils Lake are in Kansas City and Chicago, the fact that local race enthusiasts have a place to watch NASCAR events with other fans is certainly appreciated.
"The fan base is pretty heavy for this bar," Diseth said. "I encourage everyone to come in, enjoy it with us, talk about racing."