Why I Love NASCAR: The Long Season

NASCAR season kicks on in February with the Bud Shootout..
Credit: Motorsport Archives and Images

I’ve been a NASCAR fan for over twenty years and in that time I have watched hundreds of Cup races. In recent years I have heard many, including those who considered themselves fans of the sport, complain about the length of the Cup season. This peaks my curiosity and actually gets my dander up. It is beyond me how too much racing could possibly turn anyone off!

The argument some use is, like the baseball season that is also too long, the NASCAR Sprint Cup season is simply too strung out and encompasses too many weekends between its February debut and final race in November. These people reason that it becomes hard to care about one’s driver for that long; to follow the points chase, tune in to the different venues, and dedicate that much time to one’s fandom. And, again, these are “fans” of the sport who throw their season under the bus because of its length. For the casual fan or newbie who may want to try NASCAR, the argument expands to include it’s too drawn out for anyone to get the gumption up to care. These are statements I have heard by all types of people and I am finally ready to offer a different perspective to encourage all people to rethink their position, give NASCAR another chance, and embrace the sport anew.
and concludes in November in Miami.
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

My response to the “fact” that the NASCAR season is too long is, why are people only wrapped up in the points chase? I look at each race as an individual event. It is a day (Sunday) or night (Saturday) that brings reality entertainment to its truest and purest form. Forty-three drivers strap on their racecars, vie for a win, swap the lead, jockey for position coming out of the pits, and learn on the job about how to deal with the car’s personality during the race. Loose or tight, a lap down or four car lengths in the lead, gaining time in the pits or speeding down pit road earning a penalty, pre-race inspection or post-race inspection, there is drama in every moment. The tracks are all unique and varied, the drivers, being human, have good weeks and bad luck, and the promotional and sponsor tie-ins all add dimension to the atmosphere at a given race. In short, each race has a definitive beginning middle and ending that enables it to be a “one-off” as well as a part of the greater “Season”. I believe in watching sports the way they were initially intended, as an afternoon (or evening) of entertainment that draws you in immediately, keeps you longing to see the finale, and delivers an explosive ending with a bang. For those at the track or watching from home, it is satisfying to stay until conclusion, witness a win, and experience hours worth of fun. Having a long season just provides that many more events to engage. I see the conclusion of the season and the crowning of a champion as icing on the cake that is the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.

People seem too fixated on every game and race meaning something; that a saturated season is thus an uninteresting one. I cannot and will not subscribe to that thinking. Each race is its own gem, a great source of entertainment that stands on its own as well as fits into the puzzle that is the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. As a race fan, especially a NASCAR Sprint Cup fan, the more races means the more joy for me. Like some of the die hard fans I know and love have expressed the day after the final race of the season in November, there are only two more months until Daytona! Having a long season is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: The Long Season Why I Love NASCAR: The Long Season Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, June 20, 2011 Rating: 5