Blogs > Liberty and Power > Join the NASCAR Nation

Feb 17, 2004 9:47 pm


Join the NASCAR Nation



As a disclaimer to this entry I should say that I've been to several NASCAR races and am proud to go to the Indy 500 annually. So much for objectivity.

Bryan Curtis' NASCAR article in yesterday's Slate once again shows why the left continues to haunt itself in national politics and contemporary culture. I know it's probably silly to say this outside of the DC/NYC corridor but NASCAR is not JUST about, as Curtis describes them, culturally conservative white folks (read here Redneck for the politically correct).

I wonder if Curtis had ever seen a race before, or for that matter simply wrote the column after reading about the photo op in the New York Times. Liberals have been looking down there noses at all things Southern, a category in which NASCAR has been dumped, since the 1960's, and it might be time for them to take another look.

NASCAR is clean, entertaining sport with great personalities and theatre to boot. The people who do it are highly skilled, athletic, and do something that only a handful of other athletes do weekly, risk their lives. It's no wonder that NASCAR is now one of the most popular sports in America and by some measures has the most affluent sports audience in the U.S.

It has always been a puzzle to me why liberals don't give racing a chance? Is it because they all claim to be intellectuals and are in denial about a desire to go 190 mph down the back straightaway? Were they all reading Shakespeare in high school while the rest of us were getting pulled over by cops for speeding? Are they repressing a latent desire to trade paint with their fellow travelers in the Northeast in long traffic jams up and down I-95? Hell they've even gotten rid of the cigarette ads that used to burden the sport. It's now the Nextel Cup, for Pete's sake. At the very least liberals, who love all things foreign, should know that racing, albeit it F-1, is probably the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer.

So what gives? Pick a favorite driver, buy a twelve pack of Busch and some pork rinds, sit your healthy, over exercised butts down next Sunday and watch the race. You all know you've got a" culturally conservative folk" lying in your soul ready to come up. Feel the redneck, be the redneck I say.


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Jonathan Dresner - 2/18/2004

It's statements like that which confirm for non-NASCAR folks the idea that NASCAR is a cultural phenomenon more than a sport. Why can't we watch the race and have a coffee and chocolate tasting (the psychedelic effects of which are drastically underestimated by non-participants) or a box of wine, or a nice cheese fondue to nibble on?

What about fat baseball fans, can they come to, or is it only "over-exercised" non-fans you're appealing to?