NASCAR has always been in the debate pool for being a sport or not. If you have had a chance to watch a NASCAR event over the years, you might have wondered what these drivers do other than drive their cars in circles. If it seems like a piece of cake, consider several factors before declaring it a non-sport. If you wonder why NASCAR is a sport, we have covered every reason that supports the argument.
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National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the greatest racing organization in the United States. Its history goes back to World War II times when stock car racing first gained attention. The lack of organization and poorly defined rules made it controversial among drivers back in the day. However, Bill France Sr. officially founded NASCAR in 1948 and changed the racing culture forever,
Fast forward to this day, NASCAR governs over 1200 races across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Each series has different rules that determine the car type (to be used), the race track, and a few other factors. Despite its massive popularity worldwide, NASCAR misses out on the recognition that Formula 1 and other racing events enjoy.
With a historical influence and contribution to the United States motorsports industry, NASCAR is the only stock car racing event with an exclusive status in the competitive picture.
For many years, NASCAR fans have been divided into two groups based on one argument: Why is NASCAR a sport? Those who do not support the argument believe that NASCAR is a stock racing event with drivers taking on other drivers. Driving on a particular track with a bunch of other stock car drivers does not make it a sport. Moreover, they believe anyone can do that with a bit of practice.
On the flip side, those who support the argument believe this popular racing event is more complex than it looks. NASCAR drivers receive professional training and equip themselves with the proper gear to take on other cars on the race track. Additionally, drivers are athletically sound, unlike ordinary drivers who drive on local roads.
If you need clarification about which side you are on, we have covered a few reasons why NASCAR is a sport to help you decide.
The following factors can help you take a stance in favor or against the hot NASCAR debate.
First, NASCAR drivers operate cars with over 3000 lb weight on the race tracks. Driving a car is one task, but doing it while maintaining high speeds and flawless control can be challenging. Typically, NASCAR drivers handle nearly 3,400 lb at an average speed of 160-190 mph. If you apply the same conditions to your ordinary car, you may face difficulty driving risk-free.
The heavyweight, higher speeds, and maneuvering make NASCAR a proper motorsport like other racecar events.
Seeing a racecar on the track can be a pleasant sight. However, the story is entirely different inside the driver’s cabin. With high-performance engines and high-speed driving, the temperature inside the cabin rises to an unbearable level. Drivers wear proper kits to withstand the heat while driving their racecars.
Many NASCAR fans might not know the closed cockpit setting of stock cars. Touring vehicles, GT, and stock vehicles often have concealed cockpits. There is no way for the hot cabin air to leave the cockpit while the race lasts. It is one of the reasons why NASCAR lands in the same pool as other motorsports.
Did you know the race track length in most NASCAR events is over 300 miles? This length is more than the F1 racing tracks (approximately 185 miles). In some events, the track length touches 400 miles. Racing at such lengths in a race car is not an ordinary driver’s job. NASCAR racers spend years practicing on such tracks to perfect their performances.
The length of NASCAR race tracks places the event among professional motorsport events. It takes nearly four-five hours to finish a NASCAR race.
After reviewing the above factors, can you imagine participating in a NASCAR event without physical training? It takes uninterrupted episodes of physical training to become a professional NASCAR driver. Drivers work on their reflexes and risk-management scenarios to perform better on race tracks. When racing, drivers often face situations where they need to make immediate decisions to avoid impacts.
Dealing with immense pressure in a closed cockpit requires extensive physical training. This factor alone puts an end to the debate.
While many NASCAR fans live under the impression of a “No Rules” race, the reality speaks differently. NASCAR is a proper organization that conducts racecar events with proper rules. More importantly, many NASCAR rules overlap those of other motorsport events. Everything in a NASCAR event goes by the rules, from the choice of driving kit to on-track conduct.
It is worth noting that different events governed by NASCAR observe varied rules depending on the event type.