The one thing every NASCAR fan knows is that in racing sports, speed is king. The faster a driver goes, the more exciting the sport invariably becomes. It can be argued that speed is what draws people to the sport of NASCAR in the first place. The adrenaline that fans feel from drivers sustaining speeds of up to 200 miles per hour keeps fans glued to their seats for over 400 laps of racing. At any moment, a driver may lose what little control they have when traveling so fast, making races all the more tense and exciting.
While watching the top thrill stage that is NASCAR, fans get to experience cars traveling faster than they ever would see in their daily lives, a thrill that every NASCAR fan knows all too well.
Another crucial element to the excitement and thrill of NASCAR is the noise. Oftentimes during a race, the decibel level in the stadium can exceed 130db of sustained noise. Of course, if someone is exposed to this level of noise for too long, they can suffer hearing loss. But, for most fans, the noise only adds to the experience. Hearing the loud rumble of the aluminum stands as cars whiz by adds a degree of insanity to it all, and NASCAR fans can't get enough of it.
Headphones are certainly recommended, however, and earbuds are typically available for fans to pick up before the race starts so no one gets severe hearing impairment.
Equally as important as the thrilling aspects of the sport, NASCAR prides itself on fostering a sense of family and community. Fans know this to be especially true, as by following a driver through their careers, fans grow a particularly strong attachment to their favorite drivers. The drivers themselves, while competitors, are always eager to congratulate and support others.
Fans all cheer together, whether their driver is the one in front or not. At the end of the day, NASCAR events feel awfully similar to family gatherings, an aspect of the sport that every NASCAR fan holds dear.
While NASCAR's history has certainly had some moments it would like to move past, fans are in agreement that the sport has steadily been moving towards a better place. Like most sports, NASCAR has attempted in recent years to leave behind it's racist and sexist roots, in order to serve as a platform for greats like female Danica Patrick and African American Bubba Wallace to take center stage and flourish in their careers.
Fans know that there is still progress to be made, but are quick to acknowledge that the sport has come a long way and should be respected as an inclusive and friendly environment more now than ever before.
200 Career Cup wins and career earnings amassing over $9 million are just a few of the legendary hallmarks of Richard Petty's career. A true champion of the sport, Petty is considered by most fans of the sport to be the greatest driver to ever race. Richard Petty has arguably become ubiquitous with NASCAR itself, with his Southern sensibilities and legendary cowboy hats. The hype is real for this guy, and fans are pretty much in agreement with this across the board.
While this statement is true for any and all stereotypes, NASCAR seems to find itself as the punching bag of the motorsport world. Yes, fans can be rowdy, brash, and outright crazy at times, but what sports fans aren't from time to time? Saying that NASCAR drivers and fans are all uneducated and problematic is, on many levels, untrue.
In fact, many drivers have degrees from top universities, and NASCAR fans are 3% more well off financially than the general populous. Fans not only find stereotypical depictions of themselves offensive, most believe them to be outright false, and for good reason.
Of course, NASCAR wrecks are only awesome when no one gets seriously injured or worse. While a saddening 28 drivers have passed due to wrecks throughout NASCARs long history, the vast majority of wrecks are pleasurable, destructive viewing experiences that harm no one but fans who are rooting for those drivers.
When a wreck happens, there is no doubting how truly exciting it is from not just an adrenaline perspective, but a game changing one as well. To fans of the sport, there is little that brings on as much excitement as a large wreck.
Never in NASCAR's history has there been a racing family more iconic and legendary than the Earnhardts. Father Dale and son Dale Jr. may not be the sports most dominant drivers, there is little contention among fans that they are the most adored. While Dale is no longer with us, the two embody some of the most crucial tenets that NASCAR stands for: family, sportsmanship, and charm. It can also be said that Dale Jr. represents a timeless era of the sport, both through his father's career as well as his current career. Whatever the case, fans know that this racing family is the stuff of legends.
On paper, Kyle Busch should be revered as the best driver to have ever played the sport. Indeed, he has won the most out of any driver in history, including Richard Petty. However, fans almost unanimously agree that Kyle Busch's legacy within the sport is tainted. There are many reasons for this disdain for Kyle Busch among fans, most crucial of which is the means by which he achieves such an impressive stat sheet. Busch wins many races at varying skill levels, meaning that many of his wins received at lower levels of racing were basically in the bag before the race even started, and that he has stripped racers in lower skill brackets of crucial victories they need to sustain their careers.
NASCAR fans are the type to look straight through the stat sheet and find the heart of the winning driver, and, unfortunately for Kyle Busch, most have deemed his wins unearned.
Although sitting last on this list, NASCAR fans choose to debate this topic less so than others not because it is unimportant, but because, to them, the debate is settled. NASCAR drivers, like athletes of any sports, are indeed athletes. To fans, and to many, this is not opinion, but mere assertion of fact. When others say that they feel NASCAR drivers are not athletes, NASCAR fans and drivers alike kindly point them in the direction of a few crucial facts.
NASCAR drivers sustain extremely high G-forces for many hours, and also become extremely dehydrated while exposed to hot temperatures during a race. NASCAR drivers must be in good physical condition to meet the heavy physical demands that the sport imposes on them, similarly to how, say, an NFL Quarterback would need to be conditioned for a football game. Fans know these things, which is why they pay no mind to outsiders stirring the pot.