Every weekend there is much more taking place than 43 drivers driving in a circle looking for a checkered flag and trophy.
There's so much more to NASCAR than circles.
One driver is searching for a position, another's fighting for a job, the next one needs a sponsor. A select few will be competing for top rookie honors, every driver is contending for a win. Then twelve will have a shot at the golden trophy.
Bobby Labonte was searching for the "Lucky Dog" today in Martinsville, AJ Allmendinger is fighting for a job and turned that determination into a best career finish in Kansas. Regan Smith needs a sponsor to keep racing, what better way than to gain TV attention for nearly winning Talladega.
How easy would it have been for Jeff Gordon to have called in sick or just log laps for appearance sake? But he did neither, he's a competitor and is trying to win a race.
Yes, it's more than driving in circles.
These are athletes who make a living by having fun and entertaining millions of people.
There's not a driver in the sport who says to themselves that they are going to show up just to earn a paycheck or to hear the crowd cheer or boo them. No, they're too competitive for that, they believe they will win or will make sure someone else doesn't.
They test too much, they work out too much, they watch too many tapes and spend too much money to just show their face.
What is NASCAR all about?
It's about the families who have bonded by racing together. It's about the families who have bonded by watching NASCAR together.
It's about the fans who spend millions on merchandise, hours in front of the TV, and time healing their throats.
It's the crew members who love everything car-related and put their passion into making the driver go fast.
It's the team owners who after taking their own turn at the wheel, are now working to get a driver in the history books.
It's about the pressure, performance, pride, and reaching the pinnacle of motorsports. It's body slams and fist pumps.
Champagne sprays and spark showers. It's the colors, the noise. It's the heat and it's hot and heavy.
Football players run up and down the same field every week, one-hundred and twenty yards in length and fifty-three feet wide.
Baseball players run around the same diamond shaped field each week.
And hockey players, well you know what's coming.
But every circle is different in NASCAR and that is what it's all about: going out and proving yourself, whoever you may be and whatever you are chasing, all over again.
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