Can somebody help me out here 'cause I just don't get it!
Jun 9, 2009
Let me make it clear right from the outset--I am not trying to be a wise guy. I understand that NASCAR has a huge following around this country. I just never understood why. Perhaps it is the region of the country that I hail from. As a percentage of the population you won't find a whole lot of NASCAR fans here in the Northeast. I can honestly say that I do not know anyone who is even remotely interested in it despite the fact that there is a fairly successful NASCAR track located just a few hours away in Loudon, NH. Although I have never attended a race in person I have tried watching NASCAR on television. To me it is like watching paint dry. How long can someone sit at home and watch these cars zooming around a track? Are the people who watch just waiting for an accident to occur? Just what is the fascination? I need someone out there to explain it to me.
I imagine that much of the appeal of NASCAR is cultural. Certainly the folks down South love their NASCAR! I am constantly amazed at the number of people who jam these tracks each weekend in places like Darlington, SC, Bristol, TN, Talladega, AL and Atlanta, GA. These people seem to be very passionate about the sport. In the parlance of the 1960's these races appear to be a giant "happening". Just for fun I wanted to know what kind of celebrities enjoy NASCAR. Among the devotees of NASCAR are Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith, Jay Leno, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Simpson, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, Sheryl Crow and Mark Wahlberg. Quite the diverse group! I was also stunned to learn that of all people Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a huge fan! In fact, Justice Thomas and his wife spend a great deal of their spare time travelling to races all over the country in their RV. He is really into it. Go figure!
So while NASCAR remains of little or no interest to me personally I would still like to hear from those who really do enjoy it. To me the exchange of opinion and ideas is what Lunch is all about. Perhaps there is someone out there who loves this stuff that can set me straight by writing a favorable review of the sport. I look forward to hearing from you!
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NASCAR stands for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. It was founded in 1948 by two Americans, William France and Ed Otto. These men enjoyed watching car races and realized that other people also enjoyed races. They were looking for a way to standardize the races and the industry as a whole.
The idea of their plan was to attract more racers and at the same time make the races equal for all the competitors. This was a fantastic idea because a greater number of racers also meant that the number of fans increased, and these are willing to pay to watch their idols.
In the early years, the cars raced as NASCAR were big standard stock cars. These stock cars are basically exactly the same as the ones that come out of the manufacturers factory, this means that nothing is changed or altered in any way.
In these early years accidents were very common, and so it was agreed that some form of modifications were required to make the racing safe. These safety modifications were adopted well before the modifications focused around increasing speed and the characteristics of the cars.
Many people that enjoyed this type of car racing started designing and building cars that were exclusively designed for NASCAR racing. These cars utilized all of the modifications permitted by the NASCAR rules. The only thing that the NASCAR car resembled would be the body.