Why I Love NASCAR: Radio

When I began my fandom in NASCAR there were many things I hadn’t done before. I’d never held a full time job, I’d never taken long car trips before, and I’d never listened to a sporting event on the radio. Once I had moved to Virginia, started watching and following NASCAR and living life on my terms, I had experienced all of these things.

I was eighteen when I first experienced NASCAR from my home television. The longest car trip I had ever taken was an overnight trip to Indiana as a young girl to take my brother to his freshmen year of college.  Growing up I was not a sports fan, so I rarely watched a sporting event on television, let alone listen to any on the radio. But my move to Virginia was an embarkation on a life that presented several opportunities for new experiences.

While a rare summer off loomed early in our life together, my husband requested a trip to Iowa to visit his grandparents. We took our first major road trip together covering southern, mid-western, and northeastern destinations. During those weeks on the road we traveled many times on race days. As true fans are wont to do, we tuned our car radio to the local affiliate carrying MRN radio since we couldn’t view the race on television.

Listening to a race on the radio is as good as it gets. Sure seeing live races is an experience unto itself, but most fans watch the races at home on television. Nowadays many are even DVRing the race, fast-forwarding through commercials, and hitting the highlights. But listening to a race is its own kind of excitement. It is a mix of theater, high octane intensity, and fantastical oration. Telecasting a race and calling it is one thing. Sure you have to know the drivers’ names, stats, and car numbers, but you have a visual filling in dead space and the story unfolding in front of the audience’s eyes. On radio every move, pass, lead change, and pit stop must be heralded by the announcers. The action is lightning fast (or not) and the inflection of the commentators voice must keep you drawn in, tuned to the station, and unable to breathe from anticipation. The veteran callers of the races are so eloquent, smooth, and enticing that you cannot help but be transfixed!

I always remember the first few races I had ever heard called on the radio in the early nineties. Living in New Jersey my whole life, I was not exposed to certain regional products. One long-time sponsor of NASCAR was Goody’s Headache Powder. I was awed by this cure-all. The only white powders I knew of were either used for baking or landed you in jail! My husband assured me that a. they couldn’t advertise an illegal substance, b. Richard Petty would never hawk an illegal substance, and c. he’d heard of the product and he knew it was legitimate and worked great! Even commercials are more creative on the radio!

Over the years I’ve been able to listen to races on the radio occasionally, and I am always pleased. And each time I hear the opening strains coming from my car radio speakers it makes me realize, yet again, why I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: Radio Why I Love NASCAR: Radio Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, June 06, 2011 Rating: 5