I’m a big sports fan – multiple fantasy leagues across sports, checking scores every day. I pretty much am willing to consume anything sports related.
I do not watch NASCAR. Or anything racing related for that matter though.
First off, I just find it incredibly boring.
I went to a race one time in Indiana when I was younger (do not remember what event it was). All I remember was:
- I think it was an Indycar event, and I was very disappointed to learn that I had to watch the smaller cars race instead of the bigger cars.
- It was super hot in the metal bleachers.
- They had awesome snow cones, which kept me cool.
- I was very bored and wanted to leave early.
Secondly, and more controversially, I just don’t really consider it a sport.
NOW HOLD ON
Before racing fans come for my head, I want to be clear: I think the NASCAR drivers are incredibly talented, and deserve recognition for what they do.
I just don’t consider these people to be athletes – especially since most of them look like my Uncle Jeff.
And I guess technically you would call it a sport (because I don’t know what else you’d call it), but I don’t put it in the same class as other sports. Like you don’t have to be athletic to be a NASCAR driver.
“BuT tHeY pUt SuCh PhYsIcAl StRaIn On ThEiR bOdIeS wHeN rAcInG aT 200 mPh ArOuNd ThE tRaCk.”
Whatever. It takes skill, but it’s by no means an athletic feat.
Like look at this body, and tell me this person is in peak physical shape:
If I’ve lost a lot of NASCAR fan readers at this point, I apologize.
For those of you that sticking around, maybe this will make it up to you:
NASCAR is better than F1 racing.
Probably another controversial opinion, but here’s my logic.
F1 is not any better in terms of holding my interest, but the fans are just SO ANNOYING.
F1 has just gotten super popular in the US, and now all these people have come out of the woodwork and are biiiiiiiiiiiiig F1 fans now.
Like I have never had someone come up to me and asked if I watched the NASCAR race last week, and then proceed to explain the race in descriptive detail.
But I can’t tell you how many people talk like this with F1… it’s agonizing.
NASCAR fans stay in their lane (pun intended), which makes it superior in my eyes.
Now that I’ve lost BOTH NASCAR AND F1 fans, I can get to my main thought.
We’ve laid the groundwork that I do not care for this sport/hobby/activity.
So you would have to imagine, it takes a lot to get me to be interested in something that happens during a NASCAR event – let alone blog about it!
But it happened…
On Sunday, a driver by the name of Ross Chastain pulled off a maneuver on the final lap that shot his car forward in the pack and helped him qualify for a championship race.
A little shake-and-bake?
Basically on the final lap, he needed to pick up two positions to earn enough points to qualify for the championship race.
As he was coming into the final turn, where most drivers started to break because too much speed in the turn = bad, he decided to do something different.
Instead Chastain decided to put it in 5th gear and floor it.
But wait… I just said too much speed in the turn = bad?
Here’s the trick: Chastain went turbo speed, but hugged the outside wall and used it to guide his car around the turn shooting past 5 other slowpokes and getting him the position he needed.
It was a ballsy move for sure.
The car was obviously damaged pretty heavily, and it could have gone pretty horribly wrong if he clipped something – but he didn’t, and in turn he logged the fastest lap ever on that track.
I mean you would think at this point, every one already knows all the moves in NASCAR, right? There’s only so much you can do – you can’t just draw up new plays like in basketball or football.
So where did he learn this maneuver?
Turns out Chastain played a lot of NASCAR 2005 on the GameCube back in the day, and found out this little trick to help beat his brothers.
I, too, have played my fair share of NASCAR video games.
Most recently, when I was living in squaller with a friend while we were interning for a minor league baseball team one summer, we picked up a copy of NASCAR Thunder 2003 for $5 – it was well worth our money as we spent many a nights drinking and driving (in the video game, of course).
My better memory of a NASCAR game however was waaaaaay back in the day, my brother got NASCAR 07 on PlayStation 2 for Christmas – but he didn’t just get the game.
He got the pricey full-steering wheel and racing pedals attachment, so we could race just like the real men do.
It was electric.
You had to mount the steering wheel to something sturdy, so for months we just kept this old card table in our bedroom that we would unfold in front of the TV and attach the steering wheel too and get to racing.
He got really into it, played for hours and had a full career going in the game.
I was a bit more of a casual driver in it for the fun.
And the most fun part about NASCAR video games?
Nothing stopped you from turning your car around on the track, and racing 200mph head on, at the rest of the pack.
Cars would flip in the air, others would burst into flames, and you’d get a good laugh about it.
Very glad Chastain was able to bring back these fond memories for me, and I will admit – it was cool to see something go down in NASCAR that I hadn’t seen before.
Seems like some of the other drivers were a bit sour grapes about the maneuver, but that’s just called being a sore loser.
I mean the goal is to go fast, right?
We need more of this kind of stuff.
Send the teams back to the drawing board, and next race I want to see someone else try something out of the box.
A little driving on the wall Herbie Fully Loaded style?
You may just make a fan out of me yet.