Earnhardt, Daytona and the Bump and Run: A Few Truths About NASCAR Fans
While there are exceptions to every rule, there are a few truths that can be said of just about any NASCAR fan. Whether it be favorite drivers or style of racing, NASCAR fans know what they want and they are not afraid to tell you about it.
Let us look at a few truths from the NASCAR fanbase that can either get you into an argument or get you a high five.
NASCAR Fans Do Not Like the Chase for the Cup
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If you walk through the parking lots of any NASCAR race and ask fans about the "Chase for the Cup," you will see some disgusted looks... from everyone who is not a Jimmie Johnson fan that is.
Many of the core fanbase feel that NASCAR does not need a playoff and does not need to try to create the "postseason feel" that other sports have.
36 races and one champion built the sport to great heights. Why did they ever change it?
Jimmie Johnson Is Too Vanilla
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They don't love him.
They don't hate him.
Fans just don't know what to think of Jimmie Johnson.
Is he a great driver? Sure! You do not win five championships without being awesome.
However, the only time you will hear cheers for the No. 48 taking the lead is when he is passing Kyle Busch.
Bristol Was Better the Old Way
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Bristol Motor Speedway sold out 55 consecutive races.
Awesome right? So awesome that someone thought it would be a great idea to change the track.
The last Bristol race saw only 60-70 percent of the stands filled.
Sure, it has three-wide racing, but the fans long for the days of the bump-and-run!
The wrestling match that was Bristol was a different kind of race, and now that is gone.
Richard Petty Is the King
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Whether you cheered for him or not, all NASCAR fans will tip their hat to Richard Petty.
He was an icon before the sport had icons, and it is awesome to still see him trackside today.
Sorry Indy, the Daytona 500 Is America's Race
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No one knows when it happened or how it happened, but somewhere in the 1990s Daytona surpassed Indianapolis as America's race.
The Daytona 500 has reached near Super Bowl proportions in viewership.
Not to mention the true measure of a great American sporting event: its own allotment of funny commercials.
Kyle Busch Gets on Your Nerves
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Sorry to the No. 18 fans out there, but for the rest of us... it's just annoying.
It is not the same as the love/hate relationships of the 80s with Earnhardt or the 90s with Jeff Gordon.
Back then, you either loved them or loved to hate them.
For Kyle, they just hate him.
The man can drive, no doubt about that. But, for some reason, nothing makes the crowd happier than a spin-out, flat tire, or black flag for the No. 18 of Kyle Busch.
You're Not Fooling Us with the Debris Cautions
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NASCAR says there is debris.
The television announcers say there is debris.
The pit reporters say there is debris.
Guess what? We don't see it, and we don't buy it.
It is alright, though, most of the time. Unless your driver is in the lead, you are secretly relieved when they happen.
Most NASCAR fans don not mind an occasional debris caution as long as they do not get out of hand.
NASCAR Fans Feel Strongly About the Earnhardts
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Whether you grew up hating him or cheering No. 3 all the way, the NASCAR world stopped for all of us on February 18, 2001.
Dale Earnhardt took NASCAR from a southern sport to a national stage. His death ushered in a whole new wave of safety innovation and popularity.
Dale Jr. put the world on his back, and won that next race at Daytona that July.
While all NASCAR fans have their favorite drivers, most everyone still has that little part of them that searches for the No. 3 car during the race.
The track still feels empty without it.
Dale Jr. has fallen on hard times in recent years. But the NASCAR world still holds out hope that he can reclaim that potential that his father saw in him so many years ago, and put an Earnhardt back on top in NASCAR once again.