Perhaps it’s the sport’s blue-collar roots, or maybe it’s the fact that tracks are generally oval or tri-oval in shape, instead of laden with complex left and right corners. Maybe it’s the fact that (in recent years) the cars all looked more or less alike, or that they don’t handle or stop particularly well compared to other forms of professional racing.
Whatever the reason, NASCAR
doesn’t seem to get much respect from road-racing or Formula One
fans. That certainly hasn’t impacted its popularity among the stock car faithful, as NASCAR is the second most popular professional sport in the United States, behind only NFL football.
It’s broadcast in over 150 countries, too, meaning that it isn’t just Americans and transplanted Americans cheering for drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya
, Tony Stewart
, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon
As for the drivers, some come from open-wheel racing backgrounds (like Tony Stewart and Sam Hornish, Jr.) and some have even raced in F1 (like Montoya and Scott Speed). Unlike the old days, however, we’d bet that no current driver got his start by running moonshine on the back roads of Georgia.
If you’re new to the sport of racing and want a basic overview of NASCAR, the infographic below may help. There isn’t much meat there (aside from the flag and track listings), but it may inspire you to seek out more information. You’ll find all you need to know on the official NASCAR website