There has been a lot of debate lately about NASCAR‘s popularity. While some people think it is on the decline based solely on grandstand attendance, that is far from the entire picture. Thanks to today’s technology, there are many ways race fans can enjoy the sport without physically having to be at the track, including viewing the sport on television with fans virtually all around the world. There are people who keep up with races and stats via social media or the NASCAR app, and there are those that watch on their phones through direct TV apps or live streams. Therefore, there are other ways to monitor the sport’s popularity and viewership.
While all of the above contribute to the overall following of the sport, it does tend to leave some empty seats on race day, unfortunately. And that’s a shame because, despite the convenience of following NASCAR via today’s technology, there are plenty of reasons to see a race LIVE.
Here are BHDT’s Favourite 5:
1. The Pageantry and Pre-Race Ceremony
Even if you’re not an American citizen, you’ll feel the patriotism at a NASCAR race. The pre-race ceremony, consisting of the local color guard presenting the American flag, the anthem, and a flyover from the closest air force base, creates a tangible sense of devotion. The drivers, wives, children, and teams lined up on pit road to honor their country and each other undoubtedly generates a special feeling of unity.
2. The Sound
From the second the command is given to start the engines, you can hear the rumble of intimidating engines. Then the green flag drops and you’re treated to the roar of 40 cars featuring 800 horsepower each. It’s not just the cars and racing that provide the kind of noise that gets your heart pumping, it’s also pit road as the teams scramble to change tires with Thunderguns.
3. The Energy
The energy at a NASCAR race is like nothing you will experience elsewhere. Even though everyone in the grandstands is cheering on different drivers, everyone is there because they are passionate about racing. And they certainly are passionate about their favorite driver’s career. The second the pace car pulls off and the green flag waves, the grandstands erupt. Not only is the excitement palpable and uplifting, the energy on pit road is outrageous. All 40 crews are excited and ready to race. Competition and spirit can be felt anywhere on the track.
4. The Speed
TV simply does not do justice to the speed of the cars on the track. Obviously, you can get the sense that they’re fast but not until you see a race live can you envision just how fast. This is because the cameras follow the cars around the track instead of remaining still. If you’re sitting in the stands at a track like Talladega or Daytona when the field comes by in draft formation, try not to blink because you might miss them. They pass so fast that the infield shakes and the grandstands vibrate.
5. The Opportunity to Meet your Favorite Driver
The opportunities to meet your favorite driver are endless. NASCAR offers fans the chance to purchase pit passes which allows visitors the chance to walk through the garages during prep. This is a great chance to see the time and effort that goes into the cars. You can walk among the team haulers, watch the teams work, watch NASCAR inspect cars, and you just might get the opportunity to meet your favorite driver. This might turn into a photo opportunity, or perhaps an autograph. Either way, it will be an unforgettable moment, one you’ll share with friends and family for years to come. You can also buy a ticket to driver introductions. If you stand anywhere near the stage, a high-five is almost guaranteed.
So what are you waiting for? As we write this, we’re currently only a third of the way into the 2017 season. There’s a LOT of excitement left to go in all 3 series – Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity and the Camping World Truck Series. Just visit NASCAR.com for the race schedule and tickets, and get out there to see a race LIVE. You won’t regret it. We promise.