The Only Reason Anyone Watches NASCAR


Wasn't Daytona 500
Once I heard that no one died, I couldn't help but laugh at the beer can that kept creeping into the frame on CNN.
Jimmy Johnson doing victory donuts on the lawn was worth watching.
Massive, flaming crashes are still the primary reason people watch car races, right?
If you actually know what you are watching/looking for, the last three laps are fairly exciting, even without crashes.

The first 197, not so much.

My grandfather used to watch because he liked watching the pit crews work super fast. Takes more skill than driving the cars, I would offer.
I only like watching the pit crews. The actual crashes are kind of boring after a while.
New meaning to "spectator sport"!!!
Some may say that it's a fitting end for any NASCAR fan to have a 300 lb. flaming engine flying towards his head at 128 mph.
And unlike a foul ball at a baseball game, you do not get to keep an errant engine that landed in your seat.
Grant you are so full of shit on this one.

I say this as someone who use to go to the Indy 500 as a boy with my dad. It was very exciting to watch the cars go by at crazy high speeds, which most of us can only dream about. It was also exciting to be a part of a huge community, talking to strangers around us, sharing food and watching some people get silly as they drank. And of course as I got older it was cool chatting with and looking at girls in the stands. Especially on hot days when shorts and bikini tops were common.

Watching a race live is very exciting. Watching it on tv is not all that exciting, at least not to me, but then again I don't have cable and so don't watch much tv anyway. But sitting in a bar and watching sports, including racing, is sometimes fun as well.

Not everybody who watches NASCAR or Indy or Formula One is the stereotypical redneck fatass that you want to believe in. And certainly not the people who are drivers or those that work in the pit crew. The drivers especially have to very physically fit, not to the point of being astronaut material but pretty damn close. Driving 500 miles at 160 MPH without any breaks is very taxing on the human body. It requires very sharp reflexes that most people would not be able to withstand for long periods of time.

People watch racing for many reasons. For some it is the camaraderie and the culture. For some it is for the high speeds and the amazing views from the car cameras. For many it is the intricate and impressive science behind the sport. Not too many watch it because they want to see people get hurt or to see cars ripped to shreds.

Another reason why many people are interested is because of the triumph of Danica Patrick, who has accomplished a great deal in a historically all male sport. Most people want to see her do good. That is a huge deal and shows that our society is indeed evolving. After the race I happened into a bar in a suburb of DC in Maryland. There were two middle age men talking about how much she accomplished this weekend.

That is not inconsequential.
If the cars were powered with nuclear reactors I think the crashes would be much more thrilling!
I too once went to the Indy 500. It was a blast, and a lot more fun than I expected. Unfortunately the overwhelming presence of Confederate flags/racist white people at that race was depressing. And that was IndyCar, which is a lot less low-brow than NASCAR.

I might try the Indy 500 again, as that was over 10 years ago, but I can't ever imagine attending a NASCAR race.
I viewed that spectacular crash on Sports Center not a few times Sat. Thankfully, nobody was killed although I heard two fans were critically injured. Most unfortunate.

We've come a long way in auto racing safety both for the driver and fans. But nothing compares to what happened at Le Mans in 1955:…

More than 80 fans died gruesome deaths that afternoon. That accident changed auto racing forever, for the better. Yet, it remains dangerous. Recall Saturday's event and the recent death of 2 time Indy Champion Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas.
Insert "turn left" joke here.