NASCAR is a sport

I am sick of people saying “NASCAR is not a sport”. YOU’RE WRONG! It is a sport.

NASCAR, the largest body of motor sports in the United States.

Mark Spoor, a columnist for www.nascar.com, wrote an article titled, “NASCAR remains a sport for the average Joe.” Those opposed to calling NASCAR a sport would disagree. Apparently, circling a track with forty other cars approaching 200 mph, or more in some cases, doesn’t qualify as athletics.

According to Spoor’s column, a year-end poll in 2005 done by a national sports magazine claimed NASCAR chairman Brian France was the second most powerful man in sports, falling short only to National Football League commissioner Paul Taglibue. Whether you follow it or not, NASCAR is a sport and it qualifies as one on several grounds:

According to Princeton, the term “sport,” as a noun, is described as “an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.” NASCAR, like any other sport, is a competition. Naysayers often claim these drivers are not athletes. Should they be stripped of their titles as such because they don’t run up and down a field kicking, throwing or hitting a ball around? While the NFL teams fight for the Super Bowl title and the MLB teams work hard to reach the World Series, NASCAR drivers race their way to the Sprint Cup.

According to nascar.com, NASCAR runs over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 38 states, Mexico, Canada, and Europe(as of 2012). The event is also broadcast in over 150 countries and holds 17 of the Top-20-attended sporting events in the U.S. Dispite the fact they don’t have an offical World Feed there are comentators in 30 nations for NASCAR Broadcasting. Japan is also one of those countries. NASCAR airs on NTV in Japan and has since 2004(Sprint Cup only). If those statistics alone don’t change your mind about NASCAR, think about what the drivers themselves have to go through each race.

Imagine yourself as a racecar driver. You’re dressed in a thick, fireproof suit, a helmet is strapped to your head and your five- or six- point harness is wrapped tightly around your ribcage and over your shoulders. Imagine the intensity of excessive heat both inside and outside of the vehicle, knowing you will have to deal with it for up to 500 laps. If you still don’t have respect for these drivers, tack on the idea of racing 200 mph or faster in circles for two and a half to four hours with NO bathroom Breaks(They have to piss themselves if need be, unless a Red Flag due to rain and they have to wait on pit road).When asking several students on campus for their input on this issue, I came to notice the most common response of those opposing NASCAR claimed it shouldn’t be commended a sport because the participants rely on equipment to win. I hate to break it to you, but a car can’t win a race by itself.Though a driver does not need to be in peak physical condition, as opposed to those who play football, basketball, soccer, baseball or any other standard sport, he or she does need to be in shape. Drivers need a superlative sense of sight as well as faultless hand-eye coordination. They need the endurance to thrust their way around a track, possibly bumping other vehicles, which may increase chances of accidents and fatalities.

Drivers are athletes. Not only do they have to be in physical shape to race, they also need a strong mentality – a superior knowledge about cars, speed and physics. Drivers, like any other athlete of any other sport, need to know the tricks of the trade.

On the course, it is vital a racer learns when to draft and when not to draft. According to nascar.com, drafting is a racing technique, which uses the pockets of air cars create while in motion. Here, a driver following another car enters and shares this bubble of air formed by the lead car, allowing both vehicles to slightly gain speed. A driver also needs to know when to stay high or go low on the racetrack to pass competition and avoid injury or fatality.

Many people opposed to calling NASCAR a sport say they believe anyone has what it takes to drive a car around a track. Racing is very dangerous and physical. To be a successful driver, one must have patience, stamina and a sense of timing. He or she must be in control of his or her car at all times. Though distractions can and will occur, attending to them could cause serious damage.

Sit back and think about racing and all that goes into it. Keep an open mind when you hear the word “sport.” The conditions of racing, alone, can make it more difficult than other conventional sports. The speed and the possibility of accidents and fatalities make it the most dangerous sport of all. Take the time to actually watch a race on television. Though it may appear, at times, just as riveting as watching golf, it is, nonetheless, much more than driving in circles(Need I remind you there are at least 2 road tracks in NASCAR).

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