NASCAR is such a tradition-enriched sport.
Each and every week as fans prepare for the drop of the green flag, they first get to experience the tradition of NASCAR. Said tradition includes the pre-race prayer, the singing of the National Anthem, the flyover of the fighter jets and, of course, the announcement to start the engines.
It looks like NASCAR is going to have to alter its traditions a little bit.
According to a recent article on SportingNews.com, the military is going to have to put a stop to having flyovers. The article sites that with $85 billion in federal budget cuts set to go into effect, flyovers would be grounded by the government's sequestration process, which includes about 30 percent in military budget cuts.
"The Thunderbirds are expected to stand down effective April 1. (Las Vegas) is pretty much going to be, I think, the last flyover you'll see for a while from us," Wendy Varhegyi, chief of the engagement division for Air Force public affairs, told USA Today Sports.
Varhegyi said the cutbacks would last at least through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30).
"And then at that point, we'll reevaluate. Sequestration is a 10-year problem, so we just don't know."
NASCAR has made flyovers a part of its pre-race festivities since 1955. This news is in no way going to destroy the tradition of the pre-race festivities, but it's definitely going to have an effect. While watching the pre-race show from home, the flyover most likely isn't all that special. However, if you're at the track, I would have to imagine the flyover is pretty awesome.
As a fan going to a NASCAR event for the first time, you get to experience so many new things. The pre-race flyover by the fighter jets was just one more new thing that most people have probably never been a part of before.
Although the government is looking to ground the jets, NASCAR is still hopeful.
NASCAR's Vice President for Race Operations, Steve O'Donnell, recently told ESPN.com that;
"From our perspective, it's not done yet."
I am not sure if this is just wishful thinking on his part or if he knows more than he is letting on. It would seem to me that if the United States government wants to stop flyovers, then NASCAR is going to just have to deal with it.
Ultimately, this is just one of those things.
Its impact isn't going to be far-reaching, nor is it going to damage the product. The only thing this truly damages is tradition. But when your sport has the tradition that NASCAR has, any damage could be considered too much.