The Biggest Lie in Sports: Does NASCAR Have the Greatest Drivers?

Ken SeversonContributor IFebruary 13, 2009

Already, the hype has begun and so have the lies. Once again, America has bought into it.

Next week, some 40-something "suped-up" family cars will take to "hot rodding" around in circles at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway.

The Daytona 500, that venerable race that traditionally begins the NASCAR season, will draw its millions of viewers and try to draw a few million more with its perfect lie of "the world's greatest racing drivers!"

Excuse me, what do you mean by world's greatest?

Well, NASCAR does have a driver from Columbia, the versatile Juan-Pablo Montoya, so that gives some credence for an "international" field but world's greatest?

I wonder how current world champion Lewis Hamilton feels about this statement.

Where does this leave seven-time race winner "The King" Richard Petty?

Does this mean he has to turn in his cowboy hat crown?

The "good ole boys" know how to drive fast (on restrictor plates) and go around in circles, but that is inside the boxes they race. They are American (and now Japanese) manufactured cars that are similar to the car mom and pop take on the Sunday afternoon drive to church and the local Cracker Barrel.

Some of these drivers are actually good especially Indiana's favorite Hoosier, Tony Stewart. Moreover, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards are among the greatest.

But are they the world's greatest?

NASCAR will have you believe the lies.

Back in December, Edwards was invited to take part in the annual Race of Champions event in England. Edwards was one of two Americans in the race, the other being little-know stunt and rally driver Tanner Foust. Edwards won his first round event against an obscure teenaged Spanish driver. This victory was even irrelevant to NASCAR's proponents.

Then, when Edwards beat retired seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, the news was delivered world-wide with lightning speed. They never mentioned that Schumacher had not raced competitively in a few years.

It was glory days in Daytona and throughout NASCAR forums all over.

However, in his next match, Edwards could not beat the recently retired F1 racer David Coulthard, who finished the race on three wheels.

He raced on three wheels! Apparently, Coulthard had such a huge lead on one of the "greatest drivers in the world" he was able to win despite smashing into the wall before finishing.

Yes, NASCAR is the greatest, but they cannot think outside of the box when it comes to bad news like losing to a foreign racer.

In the past, many top-name open-wheeled racing stars have crossed over into NASCAR and beat the "good ol' boys" at their own game. Johnny Rutherford, Jim Hurtubise, Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue, A.J. Foyt and, some Italian-born driver by the name of Mario Andretti went to NASCAR.

They came; they saw; and they kicked NASCAR butt.

Current drivers with vast open-wheel experience like Montoya, Stewart (who cannot fit in an Indy Car anymore) Jeff Gordon, John Andretti (Mario's nephew), Robby Gordon, and Casey Mears (nephew of Rick Mears) have had success.

Name me one NASCAR driver who crossed over to open-wheel and won.

I will give you all day to answer that one.

Not even the "King" himself was the world's greatest, and he won 200 stock car races. Still, he never raced in the Indy 500 nor anything without fenders.

Perhaps NASCAR really believes in its own lies, propaganda, fables, and deceit.

It has just too bad the American public has to listen to it. Fortunately, not everyone is buying into it.