Why I Love NASCAR: The Off-Season

Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

My goal was to write about the reason I love NASCAR this week was the Awards Banquet, but I fell asleep watching! In my defense, the awards did not even begin until 10pm EST time on Friday night and I start each weekday morning by 4am. All I know is my husband was shaking me awake on the couch telling me it was time to go to bed; it was past midnight. He had fallen asleep, too. We didn’t used to; we always watched the entire program. This year, with three kids, jobs, and a long week after Thanksgiving, we simply crashed.

I must admit I was saddened the event was moved from New York City and the historic Waldorf Astoria, to Las Vegas. As a northeastern NASCAR fan I had enjoyed the prestige of hosting the NASCAR Awards Banquet in my neck of the woods in such a storied venue at this beautiful time of year. But times change and the Las Vegas Strip is apparently too much to resist so off it went.

I suppose not having Champion’s Week in NYC, the local media covering every bit of minutia, weakened my fervor for the event, but I was still determined to watch. This was, after all, the most exciting NASCAR Sprint Cup Season in memory and I was interested to see the drivers, their wives, and all associated with NASCAR this season in their finest dress. I also immensely enjoy listening to the different drivers give their speeches. Some are so eloquent, polished, and professional while others are obviously miserable with public speaking and ‘um’ their way through the entire speech. From the emcee to the musical acts, the corporate big wigs to the inside jokes among teams, I had always reveled in this part of the sport.

Sleeping through the entire event was unintentional and absolutely no reflection on Reba McEntire, Mike Helton, SPEED Network, Kid Rock, or Tony Stewart. I simply was exhausted and am now left saddened and frustrated I missed this annual event. Certainly I’ll scan the Internet for clips of the ten drivers’ speeches, and every incidental thing that happened that makes live broadcasting so brilliant to watch. But that won’t write this column so I’ll have to think of another topic.

Having an off-season that ends directly before the holiday season begins is truly appreciated. Having time to disconnect from weekly viewing of races to prepare holiday meals, decorate the house, and socialize with non-NASCAR friends is a wonderful thing that keeps me going. There is no conflict over what to watch on Friday through Saturday as holiday programming dominates during the first several weeks. After the holidays, when the “jonesing” begins in earnest for NASCAR, the video collection, movies, and NASCAR “Specials” take the forefront of my viewing pleasure. The dramatic way these pieces are crafted with heart-pumping music, histrionic narrators, and my fallen heroes pulls me in each off-season. By the time I get close to exhausting my collection the Barrett-Jackson Auction from Scottsdale, Arizona is aired and I get a “quick fix” for cars, NASCAR cameos, and, one of my all-time favorites, Mike Joy.  Finally Speedweeks begins and I know I can make it until the Daytona 500. The off-season is just long enough for me to reconnect for the holidays and then with my NASCAR video collection, but short enough that I don’t go insane or, worse, begin watching another sport. Having the appropriate-length off-season is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: The Off-Season Why I Love NASCAR: The Off-Season Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, December 05, 2011 Rating: 5