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Thread: Help me (and others) understand NASCAR

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Help me (and others) understand NASCAR

    To this Yankee, whenever I watch a NASCAR race, I see a lot of cars clumped together, running around a tract at 200 miles per hour, and that's about it. Eventually, a car with a big 8 or 2 or 48 on the roof crosses the finish line first, followed a couple of seconds later by a bunch of other cars.

    There has to be more, though. After all, certain drivers seem to win over and over again; it can't be because they can turn left better than other drivers? What should I look for when I watch a NASCAR race? Driving or racing strategy? Car design? Something other than just turning to the left, stepping on the gas, and avoiding walls and other cars for four hours?

    How about drivers who are really, really bad; those who seem to consistently finish in the rear of the pack? Who are their fans? Who cheers on a racer like Chad Blount or Brandon Ash, aside form their relatives?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Haven't been to a NASCAR race in 20 years, but this is as much as I remember:

    Drink beer.
    Watch car crashes.

    Otherwise I'll just have to assume God loves certain race car drivers more than others

  3. #3
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    It's pretty much like curling.

  4. #4
    I don't get the fascination with NASCAR at all. Maybe the complicated rules of baseball, football, and basketball are just too much for some to comprehend whereas NASCAR is simple. Go fast in circle, whoever finishes 1st wins. Or maybe people feel that there is not enough commercialization in sports. They like the fact that NASCAR will you stick a logo on anything and everything.

    Actually I think the alure is the rivalries and the strategy. There is a soap opera element to NASCAR that you really don't get with other sports (unless we are talking about the the Lakers). There are always these underlying storylines and conspiracies that go along with NASCAR. People also like to think about the strategy and how team members will do things to make sure their team members do well. There is also a lot of history in NASCAR and there are so many familes that have 2 or 3 generations of drivers.

    Also, NASCAR is unlike other sports in that it will change the rules to make the races better in the middle of the season. Unlike baseball, which is a slave to these "baseball purists" NASCAR isn't afraid of making rule changes. In baseball you can't even tinker with the rules without the likes of say Bob Costas coming out and talking about how you are ruining the game.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    It is easy to under stand... Go fast and turn left... for 500 miles at about 200 miles per hour. The goal is to be the 1st one to finish.

    There is also so much science in it today that it is scary. Some teams now have physicist on staff to help with modifying the aerodynamics of the car, and how it will interact with the other cars. They also look at ways to make the sport safer so people don't get killed on or off the track (A hood once blew off a car and into the stands and killed a person) There is also an amazing amount of force put on each driver. You know the force of making a long sweeping turn at 75 miles per hour on a freeway, how it will pull you one direction in your seat, now imagine the same thing at 200 mph. Many of the new drivers have a work out routine that is on par with other pro-athletes.

    It is one of the few sports in the world where there are 20 some teams going at the same time, and it truly is a team sport. No gas tank or tires will last a whole race. There are also spotters who are up above the track who watch for accidents, slower cars, or obstacles that may interfere with the driver.

    There are points given for leading a lap in a race, leading the most laps, finishing, (more depending how you finish)... and then the last 10 races, the top drivers start over in points. Kind of like playoffs in other sports.

    Also, you want to watch #8 the red Budweiser car. That is Dale Earnhardt Jr. His dad was the single biggest force for NASCARís popularity (#3). Watch for cars that will stay behind another car, then ĺ of the way out of the turn, he will shoot past the car in front of him. That is from drafting. (Same air force as one car broken up over several cars) Each car (even the front car) will have more power because of less wind resistance. When the car behind the 1st car will have more power in reserve, and if other cars follow him to pass, and no one gets behind the lead car, then the lead car could loose as many as 15 positions in a half lap (depending on the track and when in the race it happens)

    There is so much involved it is hard to fully explain. I would suggest checking out www.nascar.com for more information.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    It's pretty much like curling.
    WHOA DUDE!!! Back away from the curling smack! The two sports couldn't be more dissimilar. There's no ice and fewer Canadians in NASCAR...

    How about drivers who are really, really bad; those who seem to consistently finish in the rear of the pack? Who are their fans? Who cheers on a racer like Chad Blount or Brandon Ash, aside form their relatives?
    Same people who cheered on Dick Trickle...

    Give me Formula One racing anyday. Who wants to watch race cars with all the technology of a 1963 Galaxie 500? (Millions, evidently...)
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    Not sure, never been. I've heard that you "have to be there" to really get the jist of the whole thing. However, it seems obvious that the NASCAR fans are there for 2 reasons (besides the cars):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails nascar girl.jpg   nascar beer.jpg  


  8. #8
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    sorry, that didn't turn out worth a s**t!

  9. #9
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by nuovorecord
    WHOA DUDE!!! Back away from the curling smack! The two sports couldn't be more dissimilar. There's no ice and fewer Canadians in NASCAR...
    What he said!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I am just another Yankee who just does not get it, nor do I really want/care either
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    [QUOTE=nuovorecord]WHOA DUDE!!! Back away from the curling smack! The two sports couldn't be more dissimilar. There's no ice and fewer Canadians in NASCAR...

    I misspoke (misswrote?). What I meant to say is watching NASCAR racing is as exciting as watching curling.

  12. #12
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    I misspoke (misswrote?). What I meant to say is watching NASCAR racing is as exciting as watching curling.

    That's even worse!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    That's even worse!
    I think some people just can't appreciate the pressure facing the skip when he's got to put the last rock right on the button...
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I get the same excitement out of watching NASCAR on TV as I do sitting alongside the median, watching the traffic on I-94. Cept the traffic on I-94 is live, which is better.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I'm with NR and TP, I can get into watching a good curling match and appreciate the skill required, even thoug the teams are guys who are 25 lbs over weight and balding..

    By the logic expressed here to support NASCAR, velodrome bike racing should be super popular, especially madison and teh points race, but it is not.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I am going to make a plug for curling... from an American.

    Eventhough we only see it here during the Olympics
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  17. #17
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Okay, it's about as much fun as watching golf on t.v.

    Equal opportunity sports insults available from the wulf.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Moto-Cross

    Many years ago I won tickets to go to a pro motorcycle (dirt bikes) event. I thought the thing would be a bore, but in fact, it was quite exciting and kept my interest the whole time.....I found myself running to various parts of the course (Buds Creek Maryland) to see who might wipe out next, or pass the leader next.....very entertaining.....I have yet to see another race, only because it has not been convenient.... So if you haven't gone to see a race yet, take the time and get the cheap seats once, then make your mind up about whether it sucks or not......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    From a born Southerner: I don't get NASCAR, either. Going around a circle, over and over...

    I realize that the press says it's becoming more middle-class, but god forbid, I would rather stick a fork in my eye!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Eventhough we only see it here during the Olympics
    Curling is becoming more popular in the US and was even on NBC over the weekend. My curling club has a lot of Americans in it, not just Canadians living in the US.

  21. #21
    MichaelSkis, you have it pretty much down pat. The soap opera element is called "silly season" when teams are looking for drivers and drivers are looking for a ride. Then you get to figure out the points system, if you can. It can get complicated. As to the always last place guys, an ad agency once figured out what the exposure is worth in NASCAR. Whether you win or lose, if your sponsor gets some air time, it can be worth millions per second. NASCAR fans are among the most brand loyal people around. The technology is just amazing. From run what you brung to wind tunnels, physics, computer diagnostics, frame by frame analizing of each pit stop to shave a tenth of a second, these guys take this seriously.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nighthawk1959
    Then you get to figure out the points system, if you can. It can get complicated.
    At least it is not as messed up as the BCS!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out pro-cycling. NASCAR can wait until ease into Alzheimers a bit more.

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