Why I Love NASCAR: The Family Element

Why I Love NASCAR: Families like this. Lee, Richard and Kyle Petty
Credit: Don Hunter/ NASCARmedia.com
One of the main reasons I enjoy NASCAR so is the family element. I am from a family and have created a family of my own. As simple as that sounds it is important to note that family is important to me and when I invest time, money, and energy into a pastime I want that to be about family as well. NASCAR delivers.

NASCAR is a sport dotted with family ties. From the Frances to the Pettys, the Allisons to the Earnhardts, many dynastic families exist in NASCAR. I find it soothing to see the name Wallace on the scoreboard knowing that family has and continues to produce racecar drivers who thrive (drive) in NASCAR. From the brothers Labonte to the brothers Busch I enjoy seeing the sibling competitiveness. Waltrips cheering one another on does my heart good. In fact, one of my fondest more recent memories comes from Las Vegas a couple of years ago when Kyle Busch won the race and his brother Kurt rushed to Victory Lane to offer him a congratulatory hug. Their mother was also in Victory Lane and, speaking to you as a mother of two boys that genuinely warmed my heart.

I love that I can watch NASCAR as a family. A sport that is geared to multiple generations is rare. I enjoy when my husband and I watch the race, our sons are playing with their NASCAR toy cars on the floor. It satisfies me when I say “Joey” my sons reply in unison “Logano”. It brings back fond memories when we were able to take our sons to our former home track at Martinsville for the Spring Race a couple of years ago and share the sport with them first hand.

When tragedy strikes NASCAR I appreciate that the whole of NASCSAR comes together to console, support, encourage, and soothe one another. That is family. And, even if the last name of the driver, crew chief, pit crew, or team owner is not from a dynastic family name in NASCAR, the support is still the same; strong, unconditional, and complete. In return, when good news spreads throughout the garages, all in NASCAR rejoice as one. And, like family, when disagreements occur, fights happen, and ill will springs up, the feelings run their course and peace reigns (usually) once again.

Watching pre-race coverage I am pleased by the families in the paddock waiting for the race to begin. Girlfriends, wives, children, and parents milling around offering support to their loved one. Drivers holding their children, hugging and kissing their significant other, and handshakes exchanged before strapping the car on are some of my favorite pre-race moments. The same holds true for post-race coverage. In Victory Lane I cheer when interviews are put on temporary hold when a loved one reaches the winning driver in a burst of excitement and insists on hugs and kisses. Family is most important!

NASCAR has always embodied family entertainment and, in this all too shock-driven culture, maintains a sense of decency and decorum other sports and entertainment industries lack. I am proud to call myself a NASCAR fan and am pleased to repeat that family is one of the reasons I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: The Family Element Why I Love NASCAR: The Family Element Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, March 07, 2011 Rating: 5