Do You Remember Why You Love NASCAR?

Do you remember why you love racing? I want you to stop for a minute and think about it.

For me, the love is deep-seeded. From an early age at the local short tracks to now when I head through the tunnel at any track, the feeling I get is indescribable. I love the smell of burnt rubber, the heat of the asphalt, the hurried atmosphere, the competition; nothing is better.

What did you come up with?

With all the Mayfield madness I couldn’t help but notice how many people are letting this very bad situation (and others this season) overshadow the sport that we all presumably love. T.C. wrote a very similar thing on Yahoo Sports last week (don’t worry he knows I’m stealing his topic).

No matter your take on the present situation, I think we can all agree this is bad for everyone involved, including the fans. It is dominating the headlines and drawing attention away from the competition and some really great storylines.

This season we have had two first time winners in Brad Keselowski and David Reutimann; Mark Martin, at age 50 has won four races and is sitting 11th in points (he is certainly a championship contender); Juan Pablo Montoya is presently in the Chase and looking better and better every week; and Michael Waltrip Racing picked up one of the season’s biggest free agents when they signed Martin Truex Jr.

On top of all that we have Kevin Harvick in/out at RCR and Brad Keselowski on the hunt for a full time ride in the Cup Series. Who doesn’t love the Silly Season?

As bad as the Mayfield situation is, it really doesn’t affect what happens on the track. Just like Manny Ramirez testing positive for steroids didn’t bring down baseball, or even the Dodgers, Jeremy Mayfield and NASCAR being locked in an ugly legal showdown won’t bring down this sport and certainly won’t stop everyone from going to the track every Sunday to do what they love. I hope it won’t stop you from enjoying NASCAR either.

Feeling short of a better conclusion, take some advice from T.C.:

“So if you find yourself feeling down on the sport right now, think back to what drew you to racing in the first place. Those initial reasons that brought you to the race track are still alive and well in NASCAR. Everything beyond the action on track is just noise anyway.”

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14 Responses to “Do You Remember Why You Love NASCAR?”

  1. Michael says:

    For Me it’s the machines,strategy and engineering genius of it all. I’m not really fond of any particular driver or personality. So whatever happens off the track has no bearing whatsoever.
    It’s stil a great sport!

  2. ella says:

    You are so right! It’s time to move on, or move back to the heart of the sport and the great racing. So much has happened this year, some of it surprising, with teams and individual drivers. The Chase is no sure thing for anyone. Love it.

  3. Zieke says:

    It’s been a hard change for me to still like NASCAR. Growing up watching drivers wheel cars that resembled their respective makes etc. and have driver skill dictate most wins was real racing. I don’t know if there has ever been a driver with as much skill and ability as Tim Richmond. Now the aerodynamics and lookalike cars have taken over, and the setups mean everything. Just not the same, altho the drivers themselves are still fun to watch.

  4. Fred says:

    For me, the attraction was the cars, the color and the sound. Once Ernie Irvan took over the #4 Kodak Olds in 1990, I was hooked. I grew up about 30 minutes from the Morgan-McClure shops and my parents worked for Eastman Chemical, which used to be part of Kodak. How could you beat a hometown team, connections with the sponsor and an outrageously talented driver? My interest waned in the last couple years, and its drama like Mayfield vs. NASCAR that helps fuel my disinterest.

  5. Deb says:

    For me it was the sound of all those engines starting when the command”Gentleman start your engines” was given! I will never forget it. It was in the 60′s at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sounds,feeling the ground vibrate fm the roaring of those engines..WOW Cale Yaborough became my favorite driver that day. I will always remember and be thankful for my sweet uncle for taking to my 1st race. It was awesome.

  6. allan says:

    why ,a jr fan,an when he is not running good i woen,t go to a race this year , an sometimes turn the channel when he is running bad,cant help it,cant figure why 3 teams do good an one struggles, same car as last year ,top hendrick car for most of the year, go figure,i cant

  7. KRBama says:

    Well, I started watching 3 years ago, went to my first race 2 years ago, now I know all the car numbers/sponsers/owners/crew chiefs. I’m not your typical Nascar fan (15 year old girl, lol). However, my dad has been a fan for a long time. Prior to my becoming a fan in my own right, I have 2 distinct memories of Nascar. One was being 5 years old and hearing my dad jump up and down when Sr. won the 500. The other was seeing my dad cry as Mike Helton announced that they had lost Dale Earnhardt. After that, dad stopped following as closely, only watching the standards every year. Then, I became absolutely addicted to Alabama football. Watched every game, knew every number, hometown of the players, etc. I also began following the NFL closely, more to study the plays and the schemes than a specific team. After the Super Bowl, I found that there was a ridiculously large hole in my life left by the absence of football. I latched on to Nascar. Now, I must be around a television every week. I can’t relate to the people who say the old days were better, I wasn’t around. I do know that I enjoy it now. The Dega races are now a must go for me. I love the speed, the roar of the cars, the sights/smells/sounds of the great big party that is a racetrack, and the closeness of the competition. I love how such a small adjustment can make such a big difference. I love the passion that people have for each driver, although I can’t say it matches the passion people have for football in Alabama. (Sorry, but you just can’t beat Tuscaloosa on a Sat. in the Fall) I love the personalities of the drivers, even though they don’t punch each other like they used to. I love coming home from a race smelling like sunscreen, smoke, and the beer from the guy next to me who I high fived everytime Jr. went by. lol That’s my story, anyway. I love Nascar.

  8. Michael says:

    I agree with Zieke. The cars now are so unrecognizable. Other than the actual cars of the 50′s- early 80′s,a car use to resemble the showroom counterparts without using much imagination.

    Now you really need to stretch your imagination to “See” the resemblance

  9. Toney says:

    Easy question! The Black 3 car………….

  10. red says:

    that’s easy for me: competition. pure competition. driver against driver, pit crew against pit crew, owner against owner. it’s all about who’s the best that week at that track at that time. and that deep-chest feeling when the engines all start ain’t so bad, either! and it’s not just nascar b/c my local dirt track brings that out as well.

    i’m a sports junkie but recently, all the other “stuff” that has leeched into professional sports has cooled my enthusiasm. it’s not just the steroids and various drugs, either. it’s the behaviors and posturings of the comeptitors away from their sport, the utter lack of sportsmanship and the focus on self. the few teams i follow now still demonstrate that drive to win, that desire to be the best out there at that moment. some of it’s hometown-driven — altho’ the phillies are awesome, no matter what! — but most of it is just an apprecaition for a job well done and a respect for the sport.

    i am a fan of nascar because once those engines start, everything else falls away and i get to watch true professionals doing their best for a few hours. sometimes, they fall very short and i can see the disappointment in the eyes and hear it in the voice and that speaks to me as well. i respect all of the men and women involved in racing each weekend, not just the driver — he doesn’t operate alone out there and when he says “these guys were great! i couldn’t have done it without them,” i remember that team feeling from when i competed and the honesty in that statement.

    it’s far from what it was and on the way to whatever it will be but the bottom line is that someone will still strap into a race car and go 180+mph and his/her team will bust their respective (and respectable!) butts to get that car across the line first at the finish. and i respect that, i admire that and i honor that.

  11. Doug in CA says:

    Riverside 1977: sitting high in the grandstand in turn 6, watching 43 cars come snaking up through the esses, first on the pace lap, then at speed. I was hooked. Those cars had no business on a road course, and watching those guys sling those cars through the turns was a great sight.

    Ontario 1980: Cale vs Dale

    The noise, the smell, the colors …

  12. Bob-a-lou says:

    Don’t forget about Joey Lagano in the first-time winners list.

    I remember Cale Yarborough turning into the “fastest half-mile dirt track in the south” pulling a race car behind the statiion wagon that had kids sleeping in the back. That was “round track” racing to me.

  13. Journo says:

    Bob-a-lou- Wow, talk about a brain lapse on my part. Thanks for adding that!

  14. BPG says:

    Brian France ruined what was a wonderful event for the family. The almighty dollar has sucked another great American passion into its vortex of death and destruction.

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