The Sports Archives – Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Auto-Racing as a Sport!

Nascar Green Flag and Sonoma Raceway 2 photo D Ramey LoganPeople drive cars; this is an irrefutable fact of 21st Century America. As time progresses, we can only expect to see more automobiles – for transportation, for recreational purposes, and even competition. While it lacks the longevity of a sport like baseball or football (predominantly due to the need of an automotive vehicle) auto-racing officially began its record as a sport as early as the 1800’s in Europe. From there, it quickly spread to the United States, slowly and steadily developing in popularity until it had become the iconic sport that it is today. With so many forms of auto-racing and popular franchising companies auto-racing can be a bit difficult for many people to understand. Like any sport, however, the roots of auto-racing can be easily understood by analyzing the fundamental rules, mechanics, and history of the sport.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, known more popularly by its abbreviated name, NASCAR, was founded in 1947 by the dream to unify the world of competitive car racing. Incidentally, the movement to bring NASCAR to life was not originally conceived by the United States, but rather, one of the first European nations to endorse the sport: France. This proud country would assist the program’s kick-off in its earlier years, providing financial assistance with many projects, including the implementation of the Daytona International Speedway. Time and investing has only resulted in a dramatic increase in auto-racing’s international popularity.

Daytona International Speedway 2011“So, what’s so significant about racing?” Many people have difficulty in getting behind a cultural phenomenon that doesn’t live up to what they believe about sporting activities. Rest assured, auto-racing is a sport! Although it may not be physically tasking to the driver, keeping control of a high-speed vehicle for hundreds of laps and hours at a time is no simple feat. The driver must constantly be looking for opportunities to surpass his opponents in front of him without sacrificing his position to those behind him.

Additionally, the car which a competitor drives is not completely invincible – with such harsh conditions like high-speed and road wear being pressed on the vehicle for hours at a time, maintenance mid-game is mandatory!  Perhaps the use of BMW tyres at Tyre-Shopper.co.uk or the brands at National.co.uk tyres and autocare will be able to stand up to the wear and tear of these conditions!  To top it all off, NASCAR is considerably strict regarding what vehicles are allowed to compete – they require fully stock cars to be used by every competitor, and only allow minute modification to these vehicles. As a result, getting the advantage over an opponent becomes even more difficult and won’t come by merely “using a better car.”

3-Time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart on two wheels in 2005 at Infineon Raceway

3-Time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart on two wheels in 2005 at Infineon Raceway

Ultimately, the competitive nature, equalization of vehicles, and difficulties impressed on the competitors are what truly define Auto-racing as a sport. Everybody who loves auto-racing does so for a unique reason; this statement is true of any sporting activity. What continually amazes many minds is how a new sport develops in significance around the world. Take e-sports, for example. E-sports were born out of the invention of high-speed computer software and video games. As time passes, they will only grow more popular internationally. The development of auto-racing is, in truth, no different. Competitive auto-racing is here to stay, and the reason we have such an inspiring sport today is thanks to one simple fact; people drive cars.

Photo Credits:  Wikipedia Commons

Other Sources:
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/guides/Sports/Auto-Racing.pg_0.html
http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/about-nascar.html

Related Blogs:
Founding the Competition – What Makes a Sport?
The World’s Most Inspirational Racing Drivers!
Bob Tullius: Life After Racing

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