I know, it brings in a lot of money even though attendance keeps dropping. It’s a spectacle, yes, though so was throwing Christians to the lions. It takes some skill to drive 200 mph in a pack. Skill does not equate to sport.
The recent series of fiascos at the Daytona 500 just confirms what we all know from watching South Park’s 2010 send-up of NASCAR (wherein Cartman gets Vagisil to sponsor his car after he ingests a tube to make him stupid).
The race was first postponed because of rain, which the media made much of (“first time in 54 years the race has been postponed!”). They also made a continual big deal over Danica Patrick, who’s pretty but not a very good driver. Where are the black drivers, by the way?
Anyway, after a restart, one Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a track dryer that spilled 200 gallons of jet fuel and caused a massive fire and a two-hour cleanup. Then more crashes, 12 caution flags, and more left-turning in cars that all look the same and use old technology to keep speeds down.
What it’s really about is pack racing, meaning large numbers of cars running full out and very close:
Once everyone got the jitters out of their systems the race settled down and the fan were treated to a return of the pack racing of old. No more 2 car dances going on all over the track, this is what the fans came to see. An old school pack race, with 43 cars all trying to out manouver each other, chasing the glory and even a mid race bonus of $200000.
In other words, they want to see them crash—which they do, frequently. NASCAR races are cleaned-up, sanctioned demolition derbies.
A guy named Matt Kenseth won, but so what? The final big story was Brad Keselowski, who, while the race was halted, tweeted pictures of the fire and texted back and forth with some of the 130,000 additional followers he had accumulated by virtue of his stunt.
NASCAR didn’t penalize Brad, as he was not actually driving at the time. Of course they didn’t. This opens up a whole new audience segment, and we would not be surprised to see drivers actually texting and driving, inches apart, at 200 mph. It’s the next logical step.
Are you a NASCAR fan? Please tell us why.