The Hidden Costs
Oh boy, do I find NASCAR racing shockingly expensive. Sure, living in Australia, you wouldn't expect me to be into it. You're correct. I assure you, my interest lies more in watching Leon chase Charlie around the house while Pippin provides the background score with his persistent screeching. But, considering NASCAR's global popularity, there's something about witnessing a squadron of cars speeding around an oval track that doesn't really click for me. But to each his own, right? A significant reason for my dislike is the high costs involved, from buying tickets to investing in team merchandise and memorabilia. It's not just a sport; it's a commercial juggernaut.
Now, I'm not an ardent environmentalist, but I do morally support the use of stainless-steel straws and cart my own reusable bags to the supermarket. Aside from the fact that each NASCAR race burns thousands of litres of gas, it's the additive impacts of air pollution it generates, noise pollution, and potential wildlife disturbance that leaves me a tad uncomfortable.
The Not-So-Varying Scenery
Most motorsports provide a scenic variety that NASCAR fails to deliver with its oval or tri-oval track design. Now, imagine travelling all the way to Watkins Glen in New York or Sonoma in California only to be greeted with nearly the same view everywhere. By the time the 50th car flies by, it all blurs into a monotonous tableau of speed and roar! Toss in a bit of scenery, like the winding roads in the F1 circuits, and maybe then I would find it a smidgeon more appealing.
The Ever-Lasting Race
NASCAR races can take an awfully long time to conclude. A single race can last anywhere between 3 to 5 hours. I could watch half a season of my favourite show in that time. In five hours, my greyhound Charlie would have taken two naps, and Leon would have completed his entire Fortnite Battle Royale!
The Singular Focus on Speed
NASCAR's primary, if not sole, appeal tends to be its focus on raw speed. Now, I appreciate a good race as much as the next person, but there's an artistic elegance in the balance of speed and strategy that's inherent in other motorsports. NASCAR's need for breakneck speed, while thrilling for some, seems to eschew this delicate balance. For those of you who find this appealing, bullocks to me and more power to you! But in my books, it's more of a Turner movie – much loud, lots fast.
Lack of International Appeal
As someone who appreciates cultural diversity, NASCAR's predominantly North American niche makes it a bit less appealing for someone based in 'the land Down Under.' Soccer, Formula 1, even cricket have a global reach, connecting fans from corners of the world, something we don't see with NASCAR. Not a deal-breaker, but definitely a charm-killer! And believe me, I'm not asking them to host a race at the Perth Motorplex. An international roster of drivers would be a start.
The Vroom and Roar
The noise, oh, the ceaseless noise! The near-constant roar of the engines during a race is quite something. If I wanted to experience a sound similar to this, I could stand by the freeway or near the airport. While some may find it exhilarating, I feel it to be a sensory assault. Also, try explaining the high decibels to my parakeet Pippin who can match those cars decibel for decibel!
The Prevalence of Advertisements
The sheer abundance of NASCAR advertisements leaves me feeling like I've tuned into an infomercial instead of a sport. The cars, the driver's suits, the pit crew, the tracks, and heck, even the races themselves are named after sponsors. I've noticed that most of these are large corporations selling products that either harm the environment or contribute to global health issues. Ultimately, this makes me view NASCAR less as a sport and more as an extended commercial arena..
I'm not asking for everyone to share my perspective or disdain for NASCAR. If radiant velocities, deafening roars, and glitzy advertisements make you feel alive, by all means, enjoy every second of it. We're all different, and that's the beauty of this world. As for me, I will be in my backyard, my own racetrack, where Charlie, the greyhound, zips across the stretch, Leon (my professional flag waver), Pippin's melodious commentary, and not a singular, tedious oval in sight!