So You Say NASCAR Isn't a Sport?

Jeremy TurnerSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2008

If there is one thing that I can not stand, it is the banter of people claiming that NASCAR isn't a sport. They list off reasons why NASCAR isn't a sport and shouldn't be considered one.

Fine. If they wish to continue to mock us, let them. Being a fan of a sport means you don't have to justify your reason for liking something. I know many good friends who are big fans of golf or tennis. Yet I do not belittle their enjoyment simply because I do not find tennis or golf to be as fascinating.

Therefore, I have decided to list two reasons I have heard over the years as to why NASCAR is not a sport. I will also give my personal feelings about each one. If you have others you have heard, please feel free to list them in the comments section.

Reason #1: NASCAR drivers are not true athletes.
Very well. This is probably one of the most common excuses I get from non-NASCAR fans. First off, what type of athlete are you comparing these drivers to? Kobe Bryant? Tony Romo? You need to have a definition of athlete before you can remove someone from that category.

I will be the first to admit that a NASCAR driver does not have the physical talent that someone like Tony Romo or Kobe Bryant may have. They may not be able to throw a ball 60+ yards or dunk a basketball 10 feet off the ground. But can you sit there and tell me that Tony Romo would be able to get into a stock car and drive for 4 hours at 180+ mph? How about Kobe Bryant?


NASCAR drivers have a mental talent that I would say is on par or even greater than any other professional athlete around. I would gladly defend the pressure of driving a stock car 200 mph for 4 hours around Daytona is as intense as playing for the Super Bowl or NBA Championship.

Reason #2: All they do is go around in a circle for four hours.
Why is this even a reason? Saying NASCAR isn't a sport because drivers go around in a circle would be like saying football isn't a sport because they go up and down a field for three hours. Or that tennis isn't a sport because they hit a small yellow ball back and forth.

Don't use the fundamentals of a sport as its weakness. No one ever mentions the competitiveness that occurs during those four hours in a circle. How about the excitement, the drama, the heartbreak?

I would say anyone who uses this excuse for NASCAR not being a sport is just being annoying.

There you go. Two of the most common excuses I have heard from people claiming NASCAR is not a sport. All I have to say is something I saw on a commercial addressing the same subject:

"Keep on talking...WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!"