Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Is NASCAR Still Around?

Shhhhh . . . Don't let my hardcore Southern acquaintances know I said this. I just might get lynched for saying this.

NASCAR is definitely on my list of the top ten dumbest, most wasteful forms of entertainment in America today. 

I don't see why NASCAR has fans or how it is fun or enjoyable. Honestly, after watching Olympic runners turn about four laps around the track, I start to get bored, and with runners I can see their inspiring perseverance in their faces. There is human drama and personal determination in those races. How can people sit and watch 35+ cars drive 500 laps around a track? We can't see the drivers. We just see crashes, cars getting lapped and never getting even close to the top ten spots, and wasted gas and tires. Maybe driving around the track is more fun than watching it, but even then after probably 10 laps, I would get tired of the repetitive scenery.

As in other sports, if NASCAR should even be considered a sport, the 'athletes' are overpaid. Having no power steering certainly can be challenging, but when they have crew chiefs to give them strategies, do we really need to pay the talented drivers roughly $3.5 million annually to steer a car in one direction? I'd like to see if or how uneven the drivers' arm sizes and strength are.

I can see the entertainment in racing in the old days when cars were new or started to become more classy and chic in addition to more powerful. I admit I liked watching the Love Bug when I was a kid (but even Herbie raced on roads, not a bland track). These days, we all know how to drive, and I don't know anyone who wants to have Wonderbread stickers plastered all over their car. Let's face it--racing has become trashy and is logically outdated. I don't see why people keep wasting their money to see it.

I realize that in a year NASCAR doesn't use even one-tenth of the gas consumed by the nation every day. However, aren't we encouraged to carpool, to ride our bikes, to walk, to use public transportation more often to conserve energy resources and reduce cost? Aren't we told that we each should do our part to protect our planet? Well, I wonder what NASCAR is contributing to social responsibility. They supply 500 laps around an oval in 40 races a year. And don't even get me started on the fans who travel hundreds of miles to get to these races. Brilliant.

I understand that NASCAR is a profitable industry (although I'll never understand why). I understand that as long as people are willing to pay for tickets, NASCAR will continue to provide races. But couldn't we push drivers to use more urgent strategic methods in 250 laps or, heaven forbid, 100 laps? Couldn't we save some X number of tires and gallons of gas per race if we reduce the number of laps? Couldn't we limit the number of cars in each race to ensure that those in the race will actually have a chance to possibly win the race?

I'll let you know if I find the word "Yankee" graffiti-ed on the outside of my apartment. 


  1. I agree that Nascar is dumb. I didn't even think of all the wasted gas and pollution. One good thing that came from racecar driving is the movie Cars. Love it!

  2. You crack me up! On my list of ridiculous entertainment; Friday Night Smack Down. At least they don't waste gas. They don't waste money for acting lessons either!