True story: About five or six years ago, I left Chicagoland Speedway after NASCAR Sprint Cup practice and went to a nearby riverboat casino for dinner.
One of the more well-known drivers in the series (whose name will remain anonymous so as not to embarrass him) was also there, and I kept bumping into him, first at one of the restaurants and then on the gaming floor.
I must have crossed paths with him at least 10 different times throughout the night. We even sat at the same blackjack table once—until I lost my $50 stake (chump change to him, I'm sure).
Because NASCAR was in town, there were obviously a number of NASCAR fans also at the casino, eating, gambling and so forth. Some even wore jackets, caps or t-shirts of this driver, and yet not once did I see any fan approach the driver for an autograph or photograph, or even pointed to their friends and exclaimed, "There he is!"
This lack of notoriety for the driver befuddled me, so when I saw him the next day in the garage, I asked him about my observation from the night before. To my surprise, he said that after I had left the casino, only two fans recognized him and approached him for an autograph or a photo the rest of the night—out of maybe several hundred people in the casino.
"Happens all the time," he quipped. "Once we're out of our fire suits, take off our baseball hats with our sponsor's name, get dressed in street clothes and maybe put on shades (sunglasses), unless they're the most diehard fan, some of us just don't get recognized all that much when we're away from the racetrack. It's just the way it is."
I've never forgotten his comment. And when it came time to put together this slideshow, that memory came back to me.
Obviously, when it comes to NASCAR, some faces transcend a driver's popularity. Even the most casual fans, once they see certain drivers, readily recognize celebrities like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and others.
But there are also famous drivers on the Sprint Cup and IndyCar circuits who, once you take their car and fire suit away, can seemingly blend into crowds without getting even a hint of attention.
So, after giving it a great deal of thought and whittling down the list, we came up with 6 Famous NASCAR and IndyCar Drivers Who Casual Fans Usually Can't Pick Out of a Crowd.
You may not agree with our list, or have drivers you feel should be on here. If so, feel free to leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
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