'Hole' humor helps many through Patch-tastrophe

Hole-ly moly, it’s Potholemageddon!

Some may have wanted to scream when what is now arguably the world’s most famous pothole reared its ugly head during Sunday’s Daytona 500, delaying NASCAR’s premier racing event. But for many, the bizarre occurrence brought out their inner comedian.

The pesky patch in Turn 2 at Daytona International Speedway spawned two red flags as crews tried to repair the area. NASCAR’s Super Hole – er, Bowl – was at a standstill for nearly two and a half hours total.

Fans at the track could wait out the “hole” debacle or leave. But those at home who had set aside their afternoon to watch the race were left looking for a way to pass the time. Journalists at the scene also had no choice but to stay put during this “rough patch.”

Enter Twitter, the popular social networking site in which users “tweet” to one another in 140 characters or less. The site has provided a platform for NASCAR media, personalities and fans to interact. On Sunday, fans and reporters turned to Twitter to express their frustration the best way they knew how: making light of the “hole” fiasco.

SB Nation reporter and popular Twitter user Jeff Gluck incorporated the following puns into his up-to-the-minute blogs: “Potholemageddon,” “Patch-tastrophe” and “Hole-y Cow,” among others.

Scene Daily reporter Bob Pockrass started his own comedy act at the 500. The following tweets from Pockrass were retweeted by many NASCAR fans: “Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had so much free time today, he's shaved his beard and it's grown back” and “No truth to the rumor that they found Jimmy Hoffa's body underneath the Daytona surface.”

ESPN reporter Ryan McGee, known for his wisecracking tweets, said: “Ordered my wife a dozen red roses from a Daytona florist for today. I may have accidentally ordered a dozen red flags. My bad.”

And this goody from SPEED reporter Tom Jensen: “I've patched up marriages in less time than this.”

Fans were eager to chime in with their own “hole” humor.

“Like most I meant it in fun, not to bash NASCAR. It definitely helped pass the 2.5-hour red flags,” said Brian Neudorff, a Rochester, N.Y.-based meteorologist. Race fans on Twitter may know Neudorff as @NASCAR_WXMAN, the “Unofficial Twitter Meteorologist for NASCAR.”

Neudorff’s jokes during the pothole saga included:

“Breaking NASCAR news, you really can dig a hole to China we see it in turn 2 at Daytona.”

“I'm thinking the "Red" flag was NASCAR's tribute to Valentines Day”

And a weather-related pun: “I had 0% chance of rain today but didn't look at the PHI (Pot Hole Index) - My Bad.”

NASCAR fan Lacy referenced the popular American Idol “Pants on the Ground” audition when she tweeted, “Hole In Da Track, Hole In Da Track. Looking pretty Lame with a Hole In Da Track.”

Andy Bradford and Kelly Crandall tweeted suggestions on how to patch the hole. “Just get the duct tape out and fix this damn hole and go racin’,” Bradford said. Crandall suggested, “At this point someone go hire Bob the Builder. He'll fix it, yes he can!”

Farrah Kaye said the humor was welcome during the delay. Both red flags lasted longer than initially expected.

“My BFF and I are having more fun reading Tweets during the red flag than we were during the actual race. LOL,” she tweeted.

Kaye also chimed in with a few puns of her own, such as “Look! They're creme-bruleeing the Daytona track!” (when they were sealing the hole) and “My bff just asked ‘wonder who will have to test the hole to make sure KB (Kyle Busch) doesn’t fall into Narnia or wherever ...’”

When Jimmie Johnson damaged a tire and blamed the hole, Aaron Rosser was reminded of a certain Geico commercial.

“Wonder if that pothole said to Jimmie "Ohhhhh nooooooo! Your tire's all flat 'n junk! Awwww....," Rosser tweeted.

Twitter users offered their own explanations for the pothole. Wesley Kirk tweeted, “The drivers didn't go to church today, so God had to make this race holy somehow.”

And of course, fans and journalists took advantage of Potholemaggedon to blame an often maligned figure in NASCAR: Digger, the NASCAR on Fox mascot:

Kelly Crandall: "I think Digger put a hole in the track on purpose so that we would end under the lights ... No I lied, I actually did it."

Ryan McGee: "Cannot confirm that Digger has been taken into custody by Volusia County Animal Control for causing hole in Daytona track."

Among the flurry of jokes, some Twitter users were confused when Associated Press reporter Jenna Fryer tweeted, “I think NASCAR might be collecting bondo from the teams to help fill the hole.” Fryer was reporting the facts!

The number of tweets regarding Sunday’s pothole ordeal was enough to make “hole” a trending topic on Twitter during and after the Daytona 500. Nearly three days later, fans and insiders continue to tweet “hole” references.

While the debate on repaving Daytona International Speedway continues, one thing is for sure: "hole" humor helped many survive the Potholemageddon.

Heard any good "hole" jokes lately? Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

Photo: Track services workers fix a pothole that developed in Turn 2 of Daytona International Speedway on Lap 123 on Sunday. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
'Hole' humor helps many through Patch-tastrophe 'Hole' humor helps many through Patch-tastrophe Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 Rating: 5