Previous   Next

Why do you think NASCAR has become so popular?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 30, 2006

Browse the archives

Photo of Jabraan Pasha

“I think it’s because it’s a normal, everyday-people kind of sport.”

Photo of Rebecca Holmes

“I think it’s the danger and the fast pace.”

Photo of Justin Martinek

“I think the wrecks are a big part of it. They like it when the drivers get mad at one another.”

Photo of Jennifer Stuart

“I think the potential for crashes is pretty exciting. People always want to see a catastrophe.”

Related story


audvisartist 11 years, 8 months ago

People want to see the crashes. That's all there is to it.

KS 11 years, 8 months ago

audvisartist - "People want to see the crashes. That's all there is to it."

Well said. That is exactly it.

jonas 11 years, 8 months ago

Because its the one sport where rednecks suddenly become geniuses. Have any of you ever heard Nascar math on Johnnie Dare's morning show on 98.9? Basically they list two drivers, like "Jeff Gordon minus Dale Earnhardt Jr." the fan on the phone takes the driver's numbers, does the calculation, gets the new number and yells out the driver who corresponds to that new number. I swear, some of these people, who any other time couldn't find their @$$ with both hands and a regional map, are able to do all of that in their heads in like 1-2 seconds. Its incredible.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 8 months ago

People here are so mean. I have thought about this issue some, and have come to the conclusion that it is popular because it is like traffic. If you watch people drive on 6th street or the freeway; they drive fast, in tight packs, and constantly take great risks to advance a single place in the grouping. The cars look much more like normal cars than IRL or GT racing. It is easy to see yourself in the situation and it is easier to watch a race on an oval track (I realize that few are actual ovals).

Racing does use fuel in what some would see as a gratuitous fashion, but so does many other things (like shipping fruit to the grocery store in winter from Chile and Argentina). Maybe they could race NASCAR hybrids. HE he.

I really think this is a bit of a silly question though. Its like asking why someone likes beer or books or the color red. Who the hell knows.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

Apparently, nothing goes better with country-pop music and weak beer than watching cars that look like billboards make lefthand turns at high rates of speed. It is a cultural thing, and I am happy not to be part of that culture.

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Prospector thanks alot. Now I have an image of a giant roundabout with empty buses racing around them. Too funny!

jonas 11 years, 8 months ago

Trinity: That's why I can see myself truly enjoying learning how to DRIVE race cars. Watching them in action, though, is still just watching cars drive in a circle, over and over again, at least to me.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 8 months ago

Too bad you feel that way. You should probably not go then. And whatever you do, don't expand yourself and try to learn about it. Then you might enjoy it with the "rest of this generation," thus becoming a hillbilly.

Just out of curiosity, what DO you enjoy?

Bea, I promise to keep the sponsorship stickers off our pole!

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion, I said nothing more than "White folks." I didn't say they were the drivers, the fans, the sponsorships, but I wanted to see if I could get any idiot to bite. Thanks you brightened my day.

Ceallach 11 years, 8 months ago

It's been popular for a long time . . . just not here.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

Goots - glad to see you thinking reasonably. Stickers on the pole would make sliding rather painful. And if they start to peel, then there becomes the hazard of paper-cuts. Yikes!

RI is absolutely correct -- Eleanor Roosevelt gave the best quotes ever. LOL on that one.

Trinity - nothing could be more snootier than racing! You call soccer snooty, yet all one needs is a ball. In racing, the team that can spend the most money to build the fastest car wins. What could be more elitist?

Bone, again you have simply gone completely over the line. Calling Kevin Federline a "great white talent." Ugh! You know you have gone too far on that on!

Marion, the reason we don't jump on Bone for being a racist is that he does not have a patern of racist comments. He pointed out the obvious, which is that the vast majority of NASCAR fans are white people. He failed to mention that the per capita quotent for mullets is also higher among race fans. Not racist, just observant. (I can't believe I just came to Bone's defense. I think I need to go take a shower.)

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Not a fan of Johnnie Dare, but that sounds hysterical! I went last year (free tickets) and I was amazed at the diversity and size of the crowd. I expected the stereotypical NASCAR crowd (mix between Jerry Springer guests and WWF fans), but was unprepared the designer jean, Gucci handbag, Rolex wearing, Jag and Merc driving corporate types sitting next to them. It was a little surreal. It was a great place to people watch.

BunE 11 years, 8 months ago

Cause 'merica like burnin' gas and turnin' left.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 8 months ago

I totally agree with Trinity. It looks like colorful guys/gals just going in circles, but there is so much to racin'. Once you understand the strategies and rules, and get to know it, it is a great sport.

I know I would not have the cahoonas to go over 100 mph, let alone averaging 170 in a tight pack for hours in 100+ temperatures. Wow. Talk about discipline. And the fans are very diverse.

And, the hooters are everywhere!!! Even on the men! ;)

Go ahead and make fun and jab, but find out which sport in a season has the most attendees. And they do have a nice time, unless their driver goes out early.

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Bea - I don't know what to say? I.....I....I'm speechless. This is usually when I would say,"Damn Bea." , and then walk away from the computer, smarting from the whooping I had taken.

Thanks for the support and you hit the nail on the head. No racism here.

H_Lecter 11 years, 8 months ago


Speaking of racist, I think it was you who used the moniker: Head White Mother-F----- In Charge

You must be so proud.


Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion wrote -'groups to achive your desired level of "diversity"/' it is ACHIEVE.

If you are going to throw spelling stones, don't break out all the windows on you glass house

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

Every now and then RT and I agree. While there are certainly appealing aspects to it, it's success is mostly due to a successful hype machine-- which is the real American way.

trinity 11 years, 8 months ago

lol, oh come the hell on! y'all need to lighten up on NASCAR. have any of you any idea at all about the precision, the meticulous nature of a race car?? i doubt it. i for one truly admire the workmanship and mechanic skills it takes to make a car go as fast as the racers do; and skill at driving, wow...don't know about any of you but i'd have a heckuva time handling a car at 150+mph!

i'm sure some of the snootier posters will have to say, "oh yes i could drive like that " or whatever. go right ahead-go back to your fencing, your soccer, tennis or whatever high-brow endeavors you choose to indulge yourselves with, and leave the racin' to us edumacated redneck folk, m'k?

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Hip hop and black folks. Oh, no you didn't. What about Eminem, Kevin Federline and so many other great white talents. It is not a crime to make an observation, based on majority, such as white folks and Nascar. You can call me a racist, but watch when they pan the audience at a NASCAR event. There is not a lot of racial diversity.

christie 11 years, 8 months ago

It's popular because the general public is too stupid to engage themselves in anything that requires more than G.E.D. After all, watching cars drive around in circles all day entertains both infants and grown men.

What I don't understand is the connection between NASCAR fans and their disdain for Terrorist Supporting Nations. I mean all the oil/fuel that is wasted during these events could drop the price of gas a nickle a gallon.

trinity 11 years, 8 months ago

who could resist those hottie hunkie drivers?? ;)

besides...i'm a girl who just loves cars! it's alllllllll good.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 8 months ago

Speed! It's all about speed. Sometimes speed kills . . .

sourpuss 11 years, 8 months ago

I think NASCAR is popular because it is easy to understand, both conceptually and actually, and it is fast and dangerous. I think this is why baseball is losing popularity: slow and complicated.

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

MARION, You really do have some racist overtones. Misery loves company and I am not coming along for the ride.

Why don't you go starch your white hood and robe and leave us decent people alone.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion, I was simply responding to your accusation of Bone being a racist, or having made a racist statement. I did not say or imply that you, in turn, do show a pattern of making such statements yourself. You read that into what I wrote when it is not there.

But lets consider how you defend yourself: "When I point out that the biggest percentage of the prison population in the USA is black, will you then accuse me of being "racist"?" Well, it would depend on the context. If you were using this to point at some perceived inferiority in blacks, then yes, it would be racist. If you were pointing this out to make a comment of the effects of economic struggles still placed on many blacks so many years after slavery or of the potential for racism to corrupt our judicial system, then no, you would not be making a racist comment. Either way, however, I would ask that you site your source.

To be honest, since your posts tend to be overly long and filled with postings to other sites that I never care to visit, I frequently just scroll past your comments. I don't know if you have a pattern of making racist statements or not, nor would I suggest otherwise without being confident in makeing such a repugnant accusation. However, reading your rambling protest, I would just like to quote Shakespeare -- "Methinks thou doest protest too much."

John Myers 11 years, 8 months ago

Whoever says people watch it for the crashes is obviously not a fan of NASCAR. People watch it for the racing. I'm not quite sure what's so hard to understand about that.

Get ahold of the best NASCAR out there for the PC - NASCAR Racing Season 2003, a good set of pedals and a steering wheel and race that for awhile. Not on the kiddy arcade settings, but ramp up the realism. "Driving in circles" and "turning left" isn't quite as simple as you might think.

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Bea- Kevin Federline might not be the most talented fellow, but he is alot like Ross Perot.

He nows how to get rich.

Hyppogryph? Are your referring to Marion, aka. Draco Malfoy

Ceallach 11 years, 8 months ago

Those who like to think of Nascar folks as white trash have obviously never priced a seat at the track.

gccs14r 11 years, 8 months ago

If I watch NASCAR at all, it's the two road races they run each year. At least then there's some driving going on. The rest of the time it's either bumper cars on short tracks or a 200 mph parade until someone gets sideways and wipes out half the field. NASCAR mandates restrictor plates to bunch up the drivers on the super speedways to make sure that there's at least one major crash per event. If they didn't, someone would run away from the field and win by 3-4 laps, making for a snooze fest. Snooze fests don't sell ad dollars.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion -- you really do need to re-read my posts. Your suggestion that I have called you a racist is an apparent paranoid delusion on your part, because I never did. In fact, I went as far as to say that from what I could tell of your posts that I have read, is that it appears that you do not show a pattern of making comments that could be considered racist. My defense of Bone was not meant as a projection in the opposite towards you. For some reason, however, you read it as such.

Now, looking at your late-night, apparently alcohol-induced ramblings, I must again restate Shakespeare: "Methinks thou doest protest too much."

As far as editing your comments -- no thanks. I'd just as soon continue to scroll on past.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion - Plain and simple, I didn't call you a racist. I've called you other things in the past and have made fun of your patern (sic) of business failings (i.e. bankruptcy), but never have I called you racist. How do you see that what I was stating -- about Bone! -- is an implication about you? Does this mean that I implied that everyone that isn't Bone are racists? Hardly. I said it earlier, and it apparently warrents repeating -- my statement about Bone was about Bone and Bone only. (Oh, but your swipe at my ability to read -- ooooh, scathing.)

So I will say it for a last time, I did not call you a racist. If I had, I wouldn't couch it in an implication. That isn't my style. I'd just come out and say it. Nor did I call NASCAR fans racists, as you claim I have -- not even close. Again, you are projecting.

But you do seem overly sensitive to such matters. Hum, interesting ... and you do try to score points by parading the name of Chase Austin. What is next, you will tell us that many of your friends are black?

Once again, Shakespeare, my lad, Shakespeare.

Your Welcome, Beatrice

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

The guy gives "the deep end" a whole new meaning. He doesn't hit, and come back up -- apparenlty he wallows in it. He just keeps blowing gaskets, again and again and again.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.