Digger: NASCAR’s F1-hating gopher (Video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Gather round young ‘uns! Digger’s gonna teach y’all’ ’bout the evils of foreigners and their funny-lookin’ racin’ cars…

NASCAR’s cartoon gopher Digger lampoons F1 in this hilariously bad cartoon from a recent race.

Yeah, it sucks, but it’s a lot better than Talladega Nights…

In case you’re wondering what a gopher called Digger has to do with NASCAR, apparently it comes from the ‘gopher cam’ which is mounted at kerb height to give an impression of the speed of the cars. That’s an idea F1 should definitely nick.

57 comments on “Digger: NASCAR’s F1-hating gopher (Video)”

  1. F1 has had socalled gopher cams in several years. They are mounted inside the kerbs, in the groove. They just do´t use them very much

    1. the ones on the chicanes in magny cour were awesome

    2. That’s always the way isn’t it? We had thermal imaging cameras once or twice last year, but hardly ever after that. They had crash helmet cameras in 1994 but we hardly saw them again until Coulthard last year.

      Hell, you can watch Digger in HD but not F1…

  2. Strange that they have a French-gopher to stand for everything that’s Formula One.

  3. graham228221
    14th March 2009, 11:00

    and americans wonder why we take the ****. jeez.

  4. Eddie Irvine
    14th March 2009, 11:08

    Let these american people to enjoy cars doing circles- It’s even faster than carousel…- F1 is the queen of motorsport, NASCAR is a fat, scruffy-looking, slow king!

  5. what on earth did I just watch? I’m speechless!

  6. The video has been taken off YouTube

    1. No it hasn’t.

  7. That’s probably a good thing, Phil. I’m not sure if I can handle any more shame and guilt as an American than I’m already dealing with!

  8. Mouse_Nightshirt
    14th March 2009, 14:25

    Classic sporting xenophobism! Love it!

    F1 fans are as guilty as well, but at the end of the day, I see it all as good natured banter. Except when it’s not good natured. Then it makes makes me sad.

  9. I can’t watch 10 mins of a nascar race, since 5 mins is caution because someone spinned.

  10. I think the French gopher actually sold F1 pretty well.

    1. Here, here!

      Apart from the fact that the French gopher was a crap driver (or a good one since he was playing a guitar while driving!) the Yankee lost that argument. :-)

  11. I’m not saying that NASCAR fans are more racist that other sport type fans… but I SWEAR I hear something different when they sing: “Digger.. the little digger

    1. i heard it too. and yes, nascar fans are plenty racist – they can’t stand northerners, never mind foreigners (which are all french) and non-whites (which are, apparently, diggers).

      rupert murdoch is under the impression the lowest common denominator need not be a whole number.

    2. hmm… I think we’re in danger of reading too much into this!

  12. C’mon…that wasn’t bad. It was good natured and they both made fun of each other.

  13. They did get one thing right: the only way a souped-up Chevy could beat a Renault F1 would be if a tree fell on the Renault.

  14. I’m not saying that NASCAR fans are more racist that other sport type fans… but I SWEAR I hear something different when they sing: “Digger.. the little digger“

    You’re right. Not all NASCAR fans are racist. That would be a generalization, but if a Lewis Hamilton ever entered the sport I think people dressing as gorillas would be the least of his problems.

    The racing hasn’t evolved much over the last 50 years, neither have some of its following.

  15. Ha Ha Ha. You’ve got to laugh really, a cartoon?
    Why not put a NASCAR driver in an F1 car and ‘THEN’ compare the two series! Still highly amusing, and as I have always suggested, this is why F1 will never be
    hugely popular in America the same way soccer isn’t
    compared to the NFL and the World Series.
    The reason I am upbeat, is that I know for a fact that
    ‘REAL’ racing fans don’t care as long as they are
    being entertained, whether it be the IRL or F1 or NASCAR.
    As one of the proposed founders of America’s new F1 team said recently that ‘NASCAR has only just conquered
    the United States in terms of viewers where as F1 is
    watched globally, and races globally’.
    Also, F1 has a whole array of drivers from different
    nations and continents, not just Europe. The two are
    about as alike as soccer and cricket, thats about it!
    And with stunts like this being seen on the internet, lots of luck getting the rest of the world interested in NASCAR Y’ALL!

  16. in the immortal words of lurch from the adams family: uuuuuuuurrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.

    gotta hand it to them, though…like all the rest of nascar they sure do know their fan base. i think there will be triple decker chili nacho cheese bacon jalapeno barbeque tater tot stuffed road kill gopher burgers on the menu at talladega!

  17. but i gotta put you straight, keith. it’s spelled as it sounds —-they’re furriners, not foreigners.

    1. Ah well I’ll know next time! :-)

  18. Nascar is a lot like every other American sport….by Americans, for Americans. Albeit the world does pay slight interest in it, the sport is directed at the American market and if they win their respective sport all of a sudden they are the best in the world at it. eg:

    1) Baseball
    2) Ice Hockey
    3) Gridiron ( a football is round you freakin idiots)
    4) Basketball
    5) Nascar (North American Smash Cars and Repair sums it up quiet nicely)

    1. I don’t think ice hockey belongs in your list.

  19. My brother who’s a NASCAR fan cannot stand ‘Digger’. We can both agree that it’s stupid stuff like this that give all US racing a bad name.

    1. fox has tons of this crap all over their sports coverage. as a matter of fact, it’s all over their news and everything else.

  20. Say what you will about Bernie and FOM, Keith.

    But this atrociousness actually spent ten minutes on debut during the pre-race show on FOX for the Daytona 500. Something tells me if you were American and could watch F1 from afar and NASCAR every week with its endless hours of brainless programming (other than the actual race, but even then, you get this) you wouldn’t have such a fascination with it.

    I watch every week and I have all my life but I’m not sure why if this is what FOX deems connects its fans.

  21. Yea I saw this when it came on I thought it was a trip. Silly funny. It is over the top but all in good fun. I mean come on F1 fans trash NASCAR and vise versua.

    1. we dont’d do it as part of the broadcast though. imagine martin brundle…

  22. Someone needs to make a parody video with a NASCAR gopher that can’t fit in the car and don’t know how to make a right hand turn.

    1. haha from zoolander…. “I’m not an ambiturner”

  23. I wonder how many emails this has generated?

    It’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” in a cartoon format.

    And by the way, Speed Network who carry F1 in the US, are owned by Fox.

  24. Well, I was hoping for something that was at least comical…

  25. Terry Fabulous
    15th March 2009, 1:04

    Hey NASCAR is very very smart. We get the smirts because half of our circuits are Tilke dromes… %90 of their tracks are freaking ovals!!!! The NASCAR people have taken a pretty bog standard products and made it very popular. And it is becuase of things like Digger, marketing straight to the kids who will buy the shirts and watch the races for the next fifty years.

    I wish F1 would at least acknowledge that there are kids out there, instead of ignoring them.

  26. ive tried watching nascar once.
    and no joke i fell asleep after like 5 laps.

    1. absolutely! with f1, i’m good for at least 10 laps.

  27. I was embarrased just watching that.

    That “digger cam” thing has been used in various forms of racing for a long time. I think they were using it in midget racing some 10 years ago, and F1 has been using it for a number of years too. However, NASCAR promotors are very good at claiming ownership of things like this. Kerb cameras, safer barriers, HANS-devices… if you listen to the commentators, NASCAR invented all of them. They also invented the fake yellow flag for commercial breaks and to let their stars catch back up with the leaders, but they don’t mention that very often.

    1. DC: They also invented the fake yellow flag for commercial breaks and to let their stars catch back up with the leaders, but they don’t mention that very often.

      That is the primary reason why I think of Nascar as more like the WWE Wrestling than an actual race. Since Nascar became a public company it went from racing to entertainment. I could care less, but you gotta see it for what it is. F1, IRL, etc anything .. Motocross, Supercross, Moto GP .. any of those are actual races … Nascar, because of what DC said cannot be called traditional racing.

  28. In response to the video above, a little video of my own.

    LINK: http://www.racingeagles.com/2009/03/in-response.html

    1. Classic Onion – of course it is an american parody, not yours. I especially found it funny that the f1 gopher was french and at the moment the only french driver on the grid is Bourdais who dominated Champ Car series for years…

    2. Oh my God.. that must of being the dumb’ist and most stupid’est video i have ever seen… that must of being a joke, c’mon they can’t be that stupid… can they?

  29. Some of you guys are taking this too far. It’s a cartoon!!! It’s is funny! I am American and I don’t watch NASCAR, bit I laughed. I am not embarassed by a cartoon that makes fun of F! because guess what, IT IS A CARTOON! The character does not say “digger” in any other way. You guys are really digging deep to find something as silly as that to try to talk about. Some people just go way too far and over analyze things way too much in an attempt to sound cool in their comments. My goodness….

  30. First, most Americans don’t like nascar. Second, a large majority of those that don’t like nascar haven’t ever seen an F1 race. The only thing that nascar has over F1 is marketing in the US. Some of you could probably enlighten me, but I honestly don’t think the FIA or F1 management have really tried “selling” F1 in the US since maybe the 70’s.
    There is hope though. With the new American F1 team set to join the grid in 2010 we could see a renewed interest in the sport. Especially if they get one of the big names from nascar. I think that Jeff Gordon would be a good choice. He has historically been good on road courses and has a very dedicated fan base.
    Back to the video. HORRIBLE!

  31. I’m From the US, i and many don’t say yaw’ll, 90% dont! love f1, watch some nascar, not much! Digger is trying to say, after the first 5 laps in f1, thats how the race ends up, and they a race every 2 or three weeks, little boring for nascar fans(NOT ME). Nascar races every week, plenty of passes, bumps, some crashes, lots of speed, never predictable and good old american men.
    So make fun of Nascar fans, not americans!!
    USA has more foreigners than any other country does!
    I think its pretty funny how all the foreigners come here to get rich though!
    As far as talent goes? hard to say why Montoya was very competitive in F1, and never up front in nascar!

  32. FourNinerTango
    15th March 2009, 19:18

    I HATE DIGGER!! Nascar is doing amazing here in America but man this digger cartoon makes the whole thing look like a joke! Its embarrassing it feels so childish.

  33. I dont mind watching nascar. Ch10 here has been starting to show some races, & its not bad racing at all

  34. @Derek.

    What you must remember about Montoya’s career in F1 is that he drove for two of the very best teams in his five years as a driver there. The problem being, and especially
    between 2001 and 2004, is that Ferrari were producing cars that just did not let them down.
    The number of times we saw Williams leading races, with Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, and then blowing up half way through, was soul destroying. You cannot say that Chip Ganassi is a front running team in NASCAR, they are politely put average. Rick Hendrick and Roush
    Fenway are far more competitive and well managed, providing their drivers better machinery.
    We have all seen the video of Jeff Gordan back in 2003, driving the F1 Williams around Indy, and the thing was a rocket ship. Just not good enough over a whole season to win the title.
    By 2006, with the McLaren car a complete dog and options running out, who can blame Montoya for wanting to change series? He, like his team mate Raikkonen, had
    tired of racing good cars that blew up three laps from the finish.

  35. Oog. I was kinda hoping this would disappear quietly before it was used as yet another avenue to eviscerate NASCAR fans.

    Ugh. Look, guys. We NASCAR fans here in America are pretty much in agreement on the subject of Digger. He’s an embarrassment to us that people think he’s representative of what we want or believe.

    Here’s some of the Digger hatred among NASCAR faithful on Twitter:
    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Digger+%23NASCAR

    Look, a lot of us like F1 too. I feel like we have to ask (again, unfortunately) that you don’t judge all of us by the antics of a few fans or misguided broadcasting networks.

    Waiting for Melbourne,

    –Ben
    Proprietor of RestrictorPlated.com

  36. Boston F1 Fan
    16th March 2009, 2:38

    – That’s 3 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

  37. From the US and HATE NASCAR (Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks). It is just marketed very well in the US, just like Professional wrestling which is about as real as NASCAR. They also market Danica Patrick as “the best open wheel driver in the world” I know she isn’t NASCAR but it burns my $#%

  38. how gay was that? lol wow. im not surprised at this since it was produced by FOX. FOX is known to be bias and subliminally racist. i expect no less from that network.

  39. On behalf of America I apologize…actually all of America’s fans hate it too to be honest. The idiots at foxsports/NASCRAP continue too make racing less of a sport and more about merchandising/advertising/stupidity.

  40. All forms of motor racing rock. I watch everything from F1 to drags to the guys and gals who race at the local oval speedway. Doesn’t matter whether it’s Monster Trucks or sleek open-wheel racers… all of it is fun, to me. :)

    Digger is nothing but silly and rather cheaply done, too.

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