Why You Should Watch… NASCAR

Why You Should Watch

Daytona, NASCAR, 2013The 2013 NASCAR championship starts this weekend with one of America’s best-known races: the Daytona 500.

The race has already grabbed headlines as Danica Patrick has become the first woman to take pole position for the 500-mile race.

And there are plenty more reasons to turn in for this year’s series as Dominik Wilde explains.

The basics

NASCAR is sometimes derided by fans of European-style motor racing for its frequent crashes and oval-heavy schedule. There’s no denying a lot of the action takes place on ovals – all bar two of the 36 races on this year’s Sprint Cup are.

But the two road course events are always among best races of the year. They take place on two fantastic tracks, Sonoma and former F1 venue Watkins Glen. But with only two tracks with right turns in the whole championship, why should you watch oval racing?

With 43 cars on track, all racing together closely at speeds reaching 200mph, the competition is undoubtedly tough. It demands accurate driving: too high and you go too slow and hit the wall, too low and you again go too slow, and are likely to spin. Oval racing isn?t as simple as it seems.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013Just ask Juan Pablo Montoya: Since deserting F1 for NASCAR in 2006, the seven-time Grand Prix winner is yet to score his first oval victory. Both his Sprint Cup wins came on road courses.

Likewise 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has also given NASCAR a go, running 19 races in the past five years across all three main series without winning.

If talented F1 racers like Montoya or Villeneuve can’t dominate, surely you don?t need superhuman talent to compete? Not quite. F1 and NASCAR are completely different. Put a top NASCAR driver in an F1 car and it’s likely they’ll be quick, though not the fastest.

Part of that is down to the specific skill required to race ovals, but even IndyCar stars like Dario Franchitti, AJ Allmendinger and Sam Hornish Jnr failed to convert their success from single-seaters to stock cars. Racing in NASCAR demands a different and very specific kind of talent.

Races tend to last around three hours. That might sound boring, but you?re likely to see more overtaking in one lap than during an entire F1 race. And for some there is the added appeal of fairly frequent crashes which can involve dozens of cars or more.

In F1, drivers rarely win if they don?t start from the top five on the grid. In NASCAR though, due to the competitive nature of the sport and the length of the races, it is possible to win a race after starting 43rd.

The cars

Kyle Busch, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013An F1 car is a 600kg fine-tuned laboratory on wheels. In comparison a NASCAR stock car is incredibly simple. It weighs about 2 tonnes, is made of sheet metal and has a simple small-block V8 up front.

F1 cars cost millions, NASCAR machines cost about ??150,000 with several cars being built throughout the season for different kinds of tracks to suit the different sizes of oval tracks. Engines are 5.9 litre iron block V8s and produce 700 to 900bhp depending on the circuit.

Formula One steering wheels are littered with buttons and teams rely on an array of computers and sensors to monitor the car. All of that is alien to NASCAR.

The cars don?t even have fuel sensors: instead teams must calculate tyre wear and fuel use to make sure they last the race and the driver has to perfectly describe every single sensation they feel so the team can understand what is going on with the car.

There’s no power steering either. And with 42 other cars generating huge turbulence, wrestling a two-tonne beast and keeping it going in a straight line is no mean feat.

In 2007 NASCAR introduced the Car of Tomorrow. It was developed following the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500. Although it proved much safer than previous NASCAR chassisit was introduced to widespread criticism.

Kyle Busch claimed “this car sucks” after winning the first ever CoT and fans disliked how each manufacturer’s car (looked virtually the same.

Just as F1 has tweaked the appearance of its cars this year, the new ‘Gen 6′ NASCAR is aesthetically an improvement over its predecessor. Each car is easily distinguishable from another which is not only good for fans, but also manufacturers who of course want to advertise their product.

Drivers have also praised how the car performs on track. NASCAR strives to make sure all the cars are as equal as possible, without making the series a spec series, to ensure that it stays interesting and competitive.

Boys have at it

There?s no stewards enquiries, no expensive courtroom battles; drivers in NASCAR settle their own differences. In NASCAR, if a driver hits you unnecessarily, you hit them back. So long as things don?t get massively out of hand, drivers get away with retaliation too.

However, things often turn sour. Take Phoenix last year for example ?ǣ an on-track spat between drivers Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer resulted in an ugly brawl in the pits. Gordon was fined, which many considered too light a punishment.

Fights are not uncommon in NASCAR, but drivers tend to receive more severe punishments for their language. Kurt Busch was banned for one weekend in 2013 after using foul language to a reporter having been put on probation for a similar incident at the end of 2011

The chase

In most respects Formula One is more complicated than NASCAR. But NASCAR’s convoluted points system is an exception.

At each race the winner scores 43 points, second place gets 42 and so on down to to last place. On top of that the winner receives an extra three points and a further point is awarded to each driver who leads a lap and whoever leads the most laps, raising the maximum available for a driver at each round to 48.

In an effort to ensure the championship remains alive until late in the season, NASCAR introduced the Chase for the Cup in 2004.

Heading into the final ten races the top ten drivers in the championship standings plus two other drivers who have scored the most wins have their points tallies reset to 2,000. Got all that?

But wait, there’s more: The drivers who were in the top ten receive an additional three points per win, plus one point for leading a lap. The driver in the top ten who has led the most laps also gets another point. From that point on these 12 drivers are the only contenders for the championship.

While this has drawn criticism for being complicated, arbitrary and not necessarily rewarding the best driver, it has placed more emphasis on winning and contributed to the championship being decided at the final race of the season for the last three years.

Should you watch it then?

Danica Partrick, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013Yes! OK, the points system is a mess, the cars are as technologically advanced as an IKEA bookcase but the racing is fantastic. I?m a fan of both F1 and NASCAR: I started off an F1 fan and grew to love NASCAR.

Despite its simple-looking tracks, every lap keeps you on the edge of your seat. And the drivers are a world away from F1’s PR-trained corporate clones.

Over to you

Do you watch NASCAR? What do you like or dislike about it?

Have your say in the comments.

What motorsport would you recommend other F1 fans to follow? If you want to put the case for your favourite non-F1 category write a guest article and send it in. More information here: Write a guest article for F1 Fanatic

For more from Dominik see his website Dominik Wilde Motorsport

Why you should watch…

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185 comments on Why You Should Watch… NASCAR

  1. NASCAR has always been too crude for my tastes: I like the complexity and top-class engineering in F1. That said, F1 could learn some things from the drivers on how to “be a man” – not crashing into each other obviously but the reigns that sponsorship imposes on the drivers should be released; many people thoroughly enjoyed Kimi Räikkönen’s radio antics and more of that would be welcome!

    • Brace (@brace) said on 24th February 2013, 2:08

      @vettel1
      Well, aren’t you a marketeer’s dream come true? Do you also believe that F1 is all into green energy if they run through pits on electric power?

      Truth it that NASCAR drivers are more PR robots then F1 drivers, but the difference is that they have different sponsors who have different target audience. Namely rednecks who like seeing their heroes acting like cowboys in a bar brawl.

      F1 sponsors mostly target high-end markets and drivers are expected to behave accordingly, while giving a bit of a wild-card or playboy attitude that the rich snobs just don’t have the guts to live themselves.

      • @brace – absolutely the target audiences are different, but you can’t disagree that the NASCAR driver’s shackles are much more loose. I for one like to see the driver’s personalities which is a rare showing these days in F1; a shame because Hamilton & Vettel for example are actually quite funny guys.

        And for this:

        Well, aren’t you a marketeer’s dream come true? Do you also believe that F1 is all into green energy if they run through pits on electric power?

        For a start, they don’t and aren’t for a while yet. For seconds, even if they did I am not stupid: they still are belching out carbon emissions from the engines (although significantly less now in 2014): Le Mans already has that as a regulation, but they still have (on the Audi R18 Ultra) 3.7 litre engines – bigger than the current F1 V8’s (although probably more efficient). That all said though, F1’s carbon impact is minuscule in the general scheme of things: the sport isn’t single handedly slaughtering polar bears. And McLaren are now at the point where they do less environmental damage than a lot of other businesses.

        So to answer your (I assume rhetorical) question, no, I don’t. I think that is primarily to prove, as in the case of Le Mans, that the electric power is capable of powering the car solely for some time. But the technology could filter down to road cars, and there it absolutely would have an environmental effect.

  2. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:11

    i really dont believe that a nascar driver could jump into an f1 car and be quick, with the exception of montoya

    • @scuderia29 – I too don’t quite believe that: F1 is a huge step up from NASCAR, with much higher g-loads and a much wider variety in the skill-set needed to be competitive. The cars are much more complex and hence sensitive, so you definitely need an element of finesse to drive one which is required in NASCAR but not to the same extent.

      So yes, I think F1 drivers could jump into a stock car and be reasonably competitive, but I don’t think necessarily the opposite is true.

      • Kanil (@kanil) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:25

        Then why haven’t they? Montoya hasn’t been particularly impressive, and Villeneuve wasn’t spectacular either…

        (Nor was Scott Speed, but he doesn’t really count, does he?)

        • @kanii – because most drivers tend to try and stay in the European racing spectrum! Most defunct F1 drivers, if they go to any series at all, go to DTM or Endurance racing, in which the cars are also very different but have enjoyed much success in cases (Alan McNish to take one example). Montoya agreed hasn’t lived up to expectations but Villeneuve was never highly regarded as world champions go: a bit like Damon Hill. I’m sure a driver such as Hamilton though would enjoy success (I have used him as an example because it appears he is more adaptable than say Vettel in terms of what classes of cars he is competitive in).

        • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 24th February 2013, 11:09

          but..look at montoya, he might not be winning championships (then again neither did he in f1) but he is competitive, he’s certainly not cruising around at the back, whereas i think if you took an nascar driver this year and put him in that vacant force india seat he’d be lapped 20 times by the end of the race..and thats if he wasnt in a wall. like @Max Jacobson said, f1 is a huge step up from nascar, sure nascar needs a huge amount of skill too…but the drivers dont need some of the skills that f1 drivers, its a very different set of skills and i believe a young formula renault driver would have more success than a champion nascar driver if they just got thrown into an f1 car.

    • @kanil I should say.

  3. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:16

    where can I even watch this in UK on Freeview?

  4. Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:17

    Yawn. Watch world superbikes and supersport instead. The racing is simply too awesome for words.

    • Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:18

      Not to mention the races only last 40~45 minutes. And you get 2 races for superbikes and 1 race for supersport every race weekend. First round is tonight at Phillip Island.

      DON’T MISS IT !!!

  5. angelflorida (@angelflorida) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:42

    I actually live an hour away from the Daytona International Speedway but I’ve never been to a race. I might go next year.

  6. hays33d (@hays33d) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:45

    I’m an American and love F1 and just about any form of road racing. I am not a fan of NASCAR. But the comments here are surprisingly venomous. If something doesn’t interest you, don’t you just ignore it? The opposite of love is not hate. It’s apathy. I think the haters are protesting too much and have some other latent issues going on.Was your father killed by Chevy Malibu?

    Plus the article isn’t saying you should love it. Just consider it. Sheesh.

    • @hays33d I agree — I think people are being kind of hard on @DominikWilde for reasons I can’t understand. The gratuitous comments about “all Americans” are a bit grating, as well. You might be on to something, though — maybe there is some sort of Chevy-related trauma involved…

      • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 24th February 2013, 0:55

        Just trying to share something I’m passionate about. If people don’t like it, that’s fine but there are better ways of going about it.

        • @dominikwilde Well, for what it’s worth, you’ve definitely made me interested in paying more attention to NASCAR. Do you mind my asking which NASCAR driver(s) you support? (I’m just curious.)

          • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 24th February 2013, 18:47

            I’ve been a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan my whole life, it was his Dad’s famous black #3 that got me interested in NASCAR when I was 4 or 5 years old. I’m also a fan of Trevor Bayne and was impressed with Clint Bowyer last year.

            Travis Pastrana has just started NASCAR competition in the Nationwide series and I’m a fan of all he does too.

            Team-wise, my favourite team is Hendrick Motorsports. Plus, they build cars and engines for other teams so I always keep an eye on what these guys do.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:45

      @hays33d Finally someone said it, it is irritating especially some people almost borderline xenophobic or anti-america in their comments. I love F1Fanatic, but the people that make these comments don’t do a board like this any good. Also for those non-americans that feel the need to bash, it is ironic, your conservative attitude and negative response is quite like the American Political system. You have more in common with that of what you bash, than you probably think @ all anti posters.

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 24th February 2013, 9:50

      Exactly my thoughts too, if the comments were reversed and about F1 instead of NASCAR all those people would be flipping their lids & near getting banned for how outraged they’d be that somebody could not like their precious over-grown go-karts. l0l

      • @fisha695 – yes, but this website is called F1Fanatic after all! I doubt there are very many people on this site that don’t like F1! ;)

        I agree wholly with you @hays33d – although personally I don’t like NASCAR and am a Brit I respect that others may intend to watch it but perhaps just needed that extra incentive to did so that @dominikwilde has provided with this article. Also, the American stereotype of course doesn’t apply to everyone, which is why I am very careful if talking about “American” sports to mention that in general the population has different interests than your average European sports viewer.

  7. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:59

    The sound of an F1 grid is amazing ! We all agree. But the feel , sound and spectical of 43 old school v8 cars wide open is earth shaking. It takes your breath away you can feel your internal organs vibrate. second only to the feeling of a shuttle launch! For Indy to v8 super cars, from porches to F1 nothing compares to the moment when that grid goes past.

  8. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:21

    In my opinion, tin top racing will always have its place, but single seaters is what gets my adrenaline pumping.

    In terms of NASCAR, I use to watch it in the mid 90’s religiously and it was entertaining to a point. But after watching 5 seasons back to back, I got the feeling that the series was very 1 dimensional. If you had the fastest car, it mattered naught because if you were in the top 10 with 10 laps to go, you had a shot at the win, and that was mostly down to drafting. The 0.5 mile ovals were just crash fests and the fans really seem to love those.

  9. socksolid (@socksolid) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:33

    One of the reasons that I can’t watch nascar live is the huge amount of adverts during the show. You basically get 5 minute advert breaks every 10 minutes. For someone who has gotten used to watching f1 without any adverts during the race the amount of adverts during a nascar broadcast is just insane. It really is insane, believe me.

    Plus the nascar races are mostly just driving around. Only the last 20 laps matter out of the 200. Some drivers even complain if you drive “too hard” too early in the race. In f1 you see hard battles all the time throughout the race and position always mattes. In nascar you are simply expected to give away position if someone faster is behind you. Only the last 20 laps are different. That is because there are yellow flags which basically means the race is halted and after couple of laps the race restarts. So track position is not even closely as important as in f1.

    Not to mention the “boys have at it” attitude means there is tons of unprofessional wrecking going on in every race causing the yellow flags to come up quite often. Someone gets spun around and then few minutes later he drives into that other car on purpose to wreck him and take him out. At times it feels like these drivers are 12 year old. At times it is like watching some wwe wrestling…

    All that being said the cars are sexy, big engines, great sound and when the drivers keep their childish attitudes in check and there doesn’t happen to be advert break at that moment it can be quite fun to watch. Part of what makes watching those nascar races worthwhile is the technical car setup adjusting that goes on during the race. The cars are hard to drive and the race commentators do great job in covering what is being to done to the cars in pitstops. They show the real part of the real car that is being adjusted and explain what and why is that change being made. I’d wish f1 had that too.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 9:41

      Plus the nascar races are mostly just driving around. Only the last 20 laps matter out of the 200. Some drivers even complain if you drive “too hard” too early in the race. In f1 you see hard battles all the time throughout the race and position always mattes. In nascar you are simply expected to give away position if someone faster is behind you. Only the last 20 laps are different.

      Funny @socksolid, much of that would accurately describe F1 in the years before race refuelling was banned again. Cars driving around waiting until after the last pitstop to try and improve a position. Often highlighted even more because their only chance to get past someone would be by stopping one early or keeping out for longer too!

  10. This doesn’t apply to NASCAR but oval racing in general.

    I had plenty of time on my hands last year so I thought for the first time I ought to watch every race that is part of the triple crown, namely the Indy 500, the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Heures du Mans. The Monaco Grand Prix I watched throughout and despite it being one of the less enthralling races of 2012 I enjoyed it. I watched many hours of the Le Mans race (I think around 14) and again I enjoyed it; the spectacle of seeing several classes of cars racing in the same race new and exciting to me. The 500 though I did not enjoy: I viewed it after I had finished watched the Monaco GP and it failed to captivate me in the way the Grand Prix did. For me, seeing cars literally going round in circles was of little interest and the slipstreaming battles just didn’t compare to the challenges posed by the Monaco circuit.

    I persisted though and decided to watch a street course race (just to get a comparison between F1 and Indycar) during the summer break and I actually was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. So the conclusion I can draw from this is as follows: a) I don’t like the monotony of seeing cars circulating at near top-speed without any major changes in that speed and b) quantity of overtakes doesn’t equate to enjoyment. I think this view is shared by many non-Americans and explains why in general we have never really seen the attraction of NASCAR after having grown up with F1.

    • and explains why in general we have never really seen the attraction of NASCAR oval racing after having grown up with F1

      .

      And of course oval racing applies to NASCAR!

  11. Abdurahman (@) said on 23rd February 2013, 23:28

    Put a top NASCAR driver in a F1 car and they’ll go pretty quickly? Hmmm. Didn’t seem to be the case when Hamilton did that switch with whats his face at Watkins Glen.

  12. Old Lightnin (@lightnin-hopkins) said on 23rd February 2013, 23:40

    I don’t mind you trying to put people on to NASCAR. But I hate the premise and the way you have constructed your entire article. You fell into the old NASCAR is good because they do this, whilst f1 only does this. You don’t need to point out f1’s ”weak points” to prove NASCAR is good. Like saying o nascar anybody can win but in f1 you need to be on the top 3 rows of the grid most of the time. The whole article goes on along these lines and I just think its sloppy and poor writing.

    A simple way of writing this whole article would be – ‘ Watch nascar highlights, the end of the racing is pretty exciting”

    You should try and re-think an article about why we should watch the Australian v8 series.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:53

      @lightnin-hopkins V8 series is simple, they have Nissan and Merc now and the car of the future as well!!! I agree with you though on the anti one to boost another, but many seem to do just that who are against Nascar so it goes both ways really.

  13. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 23rd February 2013, 23:56

    The fence around the circuit are built like american cars. Poorly.

  14. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 23rd February 2013, 23:59

    I’ve tried to give it a go in the past, but have always stopped watching. And that’s usually long after I’ve stopped listening – I have to mute it to block out some of the commentators.

    Most of the reasons are highlighted in the article. Whilst I acknowledge that driving these cars round different oval circuits is difficult, it just isn’t interesting to me. The overtaking/drafting is artificial, and the propensity for large crashes too high.

    The two road circuits, while interesting, are really just a show of how badly most of the american drivers are at them. This is not because they are bad drivers, just that they have very little experience doing it (the same argument could be made in reverse for Montoya and Villeneuve on ovals). Marcos Ambrose the multiple Australian touring car champ very rarely gets anywhere near the top in the oval races, yet has finished 2nd, 3rd, 1st and 1st at the last 4 Watkins Glen races.

    But by far the biggest factor for me is what you labelled the “Boys have at it” philosophy. It’s what you expect of toddlers, not grown men. Having words is one matter, and fighting sometimes cannot be avoided although they should try to. But deliberately running another car off in a dangerous spot is a different matter entirely – and there are no safe spots in an oval. One driver a couple of years ago got pushed off in the early laps, told his team to repair his car just so he could go back out at the end and finish the offending drivers race by putting him into the wall at high speed. Don’t think he got a penalty, but he probably would have if he’d called him a name which ran afoul of the FCC…

    So I can understand it’s appeal, appreciate the skill involved, but the Nascar racing and culture just doesn’t sit with my personal tastes. I find Indy a flawed but watchable medium ground.

    • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 24th February 2013, 0:51

      NASCAR themselves labled it Boys Have At it, not me

      • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 24th February 2013, 2:37

        Ah ok, my mistake. Had a quick search of it, seems to be a deliberate policy of the last 4 years, in response to perceived sterility of racing by fans.

        To be fair, the incident I was talking about (Gordon and Bowyer) it looks like the retaliating driver did cop a penalty for it. Fair enough too, given that he took out another driver as well. But he wasn’t suspended, and therein lies a problem with it. I’m sure it wasn’t the only time this has happened though.

        I don’t mind a little bit of elbows out driving, when the worst that can happen is someone runs wide and rejoins. But the policy wasn’t “sort it out if you can”, it’s “get into it lads”, a clear distinction.

        • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 24th February 2013, 10:10

          But there have been drivers suspended for it, take Kyle Busch for example who was suspended from a Cup series race for something he did in the Truck series.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDZ_xwJR6b4

          • Peter_GH said on 24th February 2013, 11:41

            That was the exception rather than the rule, Most of the time drivers are simply given a rep remand.

            Also for what Kyle did in that truck race. Only having to sit out 1 cup race was way too lenient, He should have been forced to sit out the rest of the season.

  15. Carlito's way said on 24th February 2013, 0:39

    There is absolutely nothing anyone here on this website can do, say or write that will make me ever watch a NASCAR oval race. Ever.

  16. Owen Conwell (@skitty4lb) said on 24th February 2013, 0:43

    Back when I started getting into Formula 1, I was extremely anti-NASCAR. But as the years have passed, I’ve grown to appreciate the cars, drivers and, as mentioned in the article, the specific skill set required to be successful. I do not watch NASCAR. But I will be the first to admit that most F1 drivers would most likely be rubbish in a stock car (at least starting out) and vice-versa. The are two very different forms of motorsport. Each having positives and negatives. Still, my biggest issues remain: the ridiculous sponsorships (*cough* *Viagra* *cough*), the at times childish and immature drivers, the confusing and artificial competition of the points system (‘Chase for the Cup’? Isn’t that called a NASCAR season?) and a hypocritical, headline grabbing female driver.

    In the end, I prefer my race cars to take both right AND a left turns in a race.

    • David (@neiana) said on 24th February 2013, 4:14

      Hey, I decided I had to fix your post. It seems you were a little confused towards the end ;)

      Still, my biggest issues remain: the ridiculous sponsorships (*cough* *REDBULL* *cough*) the at times childish and immature drivers like Maldonado and Grosjean, the confusing and artificial competition of the DRS, KERS and “tyre” degradation and a hypocritical, headline grabbing Luca, Bernie, Flavio (a few years back), etc.

      Don’t worry, sometimes I get tired and forgetful, too. ;)

      • The Next Pope said on 24th February 2013, 4:35

        Err.. what’s ridiculous about Red Bull? I don’t get your point.
        Also, that’s why those two drivers you mentioned mostly get penalties. Most do not glorify what they do. You think people appreciate the dangers they bring to the sport?

        • David (@neiana) said on 24th February 2013, 4:57

          What’s ridiculous about Viagra? Oh I deleted part of my original comment on accident:

          What if Viagra decided to throw money into F1, buy out HRT and make them a viable team (with Viagra on the car, though). The team is made up of talented individuals who are level-headed and can drive at the front and fight for podiums.

          Is this a problem?

          And with my post below perhaps you can understand where that appreciation came from. NASCAR comes from a gritty background of doing the not-quite-right thing and getting away with it. It came from a time when your neighbor was the person you needed to deliver to faster than the other guy and it was your paycheck and it sometimes was on very dangerous roads.

          Sure you can say NASCAR should grow out of it and there was a time when NASCAR was all pretty boys from the coastal states that never lost their cool and there were 1 or 2 that were aggressive. Then a few years ago the head whatever guy finally blurted out (in a “I didn’t really think about what I’m about to say” sort of way): Let them have at it.

          Also~

          Formula 1 is open wheeled and does not typically breed the kind of racing that NASCAR does. You can get away with driving 200+ mph grinding on the car next to you and enter the next corner just fine in NASCAR. You touch in F1 and you’re toast. It’s just the difference in culture of an enclosed sedan style body vs. open wheel. You can be aggressive in a bumping sort of way in NASCAR and it’s safe whereas in F1, no.

          It’s just different.

          And “bad” NASCAR crashes happen as often as “bad” F1 crashes. I’m fairly certain Alonso was a foot from serious injury in the 2012 season, no?

          • @neiana

            “bad” NASCAR crashes happen as often as “bad” F1 crashes. I’m fairly certain Alonso was a foot from serious injury in the 2012 season, no?

            They don’t. NASCAR has a much higher element of danger because of the speeds they race at and the nature of the racing, not to mention the fact the track is bordered by catch fences with dangerous posts.

            Alonso was involved in what had the potential to be quite a dangerous crash with Grosjean but thankfully everyone walked away without injury. I think actually the last time a driver was injured in F1 was 2009 (Felipe Massa getting not by the spring) and the last death of course was back in 1994 with Senna. Massa’s crash highlights the main flaw with open-cockpit cars that NASCAR doesn’t suffer from, but that is about it from where NASCAR is safer.

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 24th February 2013, 10:30

      Viagra hasn’t sponsored a car since 2005 & it’s not really any different then when Durex sponsored an F1 car.

  17. Eric (@fletch) said on 24th February 2013, 2:00

    I don’t mind NASCAR but I prefer my wins with champagne instead of Coca-Cola

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:56

      @fletch they use to do that, but I think stopped due to the image it gave, that and sponsors like Coke and Pepsi needed to be in winner circle for that extra nth of ad view.

      • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 24th February 2013, 10:22

        Yup that pretty much stopped when drivers started to get sponsorship by various beverage companies.
        Kevin Harvick is a Budwieser driver so he drinks Budwieser, Brad Keselowski is sponsored by Miller Lite so he drinks that, the Coca-Cola drivers drink Coke (or one of the Coke brands), Pepsi drivers drink Pepsi (or one of the Pepsi brands), Red Bull drivers drink Red Bull (well they would except a Red bull sponsored driver hasn’t won in a real long time, l0l), Monster drivers drink Monster, etc.

  18. David (@neiana) said on 24th February 2013, 4:08

    NASCAR is an American sport in my opinion, true and through. It came out of the “Roaring Twenties” prohibition when the moonshiners did fancy things with their cars to allow them to run faster and carry moonshine. Technically when the prohibition ended, everyone got together and thought: Aww nuts, what good are these cars, now?

    And so they decided to race on a beach to see who had the fastest and most reliable car.

    People who say “I miss when stock car racing was real stock cars” never seem to have understood that NASCAR and stock car racing… was never stock.

    Anyway, I’m gonna watch the race tomorrow. Rather, I’m going to listen to it while I do math homework and then just wait for something interesting to happen before I actually watch it.

  19. The Next Pope said on 24th February 2013, 4:31

    Sorry, this still does not convince me. /shrugs

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