A Way of Life
While all sports have a fan base to follow them, NASCAR not only has the fan support, but for most of us, it’s a way of life. The only time other sports see a fanatical gathering of fans is when the playoffs start. How many times during regular season does one actually see fans get as fanatical of their sport as NASCAR does? Every race in NASCAR is like a playoff for the fans. They plan their vacations, their finances, and their overall schedule by it. So for most, it’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life.
If a NASCAR fan’s vacation isn’t to a race, it’s usually planned around an off weekend or the off season. Most fans attend at least one race a year, and while some are lucky enough to attend several, some plan their next year vacation around just one. For most of the super speedways there are many different things that take place the week before the race. If you ever watch a race at Talladega or Daytona, you will see an infield that is full of campers and motor homes. These fans will spend up to a week experiencing everything that NASCAR has to offer. At the track, fans will get the opportunity to meet other fans that live just as they do, and in many cases, these fans have made life long friendships.
One track in particular, Bristol, the fan base is so strong that it is nearly impossible to find tickets. Tickets here are purchased years in advance and to think about buying a seasonal pass is impossible. These are the only known tickets that have actually been willed to family members.
Finances are always put into consideration for a NASCAR fan, whether it’s going to a race or buying memorabilia of their favorite driver, these attributes can take a heavy toll on anybody’s pockets. Attending a race can be expensive as the price of tickets not only varying from track to track, but also vary by where you sit. Unlike most sporting events where the closer you are to the event the more they cost, NASCAR is the complete opposite. Ticket prices at the racetrack start costing more the higher and further away from the track you are. Pit passes may also be purchased which allow fans to walk around the pit area; of course these also vary in price whether they are for a cold or hot pit pass.
Fans attending the Daytona 500 will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for tickets but consider that most attending this race also watch races all week long. This is the first race of the season and actually starts the Sunday prior to the Daytona 500 with the Bud Shoot Out. Along with that race you have the dual qualifying races on Thursday, the IROC race and Craftsmen Truck race on Friday, and the Busch race on Saturday.
Some, like me, have made “race jars” to save money for a following year’s race. Once fans arrive at the track it’s time to shop. With diecasts starting around $60 and t-shirts and hats around $25, it quickly gets expensive. All of those things don’t have to be bought at a track. They can also be found online or at a NASCAR store such as Dixie Thunder.
With all the memorabilia fans have collected, they have rooms filled with it. My room is completely filled with anything I can find. I have numerous shelves filled with diecasts and many other items. I even have cans of beans with Tony Stewart on them and Brian Vickers Mountain Dew cans and boxes. Fans will also go out of their way and only purchase products endorsed by the drivers’ sponsors, while others will refuse to buy because the product is sponsored by a rival. I use Garnier Fructis shampoo because it’s a sponsor of Brian Vickers.
Saturdays and Sundays you will always find a NASCAR fan glued to either a TV or radio with the race on. Cable TV has made fans lives even better when they introduced the Speed Channel. With their televising of qualifying, practices, and the NASCAR news shows leading up to the race and the shows that precede the race, these fans have gained a wealth of knowledge. Also the technology of TIVO has made it easier for most to be able to fit all that’s available into their busy schedules.
To all of us, NASCAR is much more than a sport. The roots of NASCAR started out in the backwoods of the southern states, with the redneck fans that truly do live and breathe NASCAR, into a national following that still lives and breathes the experienced. Fans, for the most part, not only watch the races every weekend, but they completely live the experience all year long. They mourn the “loss” of it from mid-November until Daytona speed weeks start. This is their spring time, when everything seems to breathe life back into existence and all is well again with our colors of spring in bloom, green, yellow, blue/yellow, white, black, red, and black and white checkered. These are the only colors that matter to us, for when we see these we know our lives have become whole again.
|Print article||This entry was posted by admin on January 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm, and is filed under Hobby Articles. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
By Richard Mueller aka Ripken When people ask “Why do you collect?” many of us would probably simply say, “well, because it’s fun.” But there’s always something behind why we find it enjoyable. The origins of collecting go way back. Humans have a deeply ingrained need to hoard things that will help us survive the…
about 1 year ago - No comments
By RiceBondsMntna2Rice Ever had one of those weeks where you realize you’re trying too hard get a trade done? Yeah me too. After some time away from the hobby, I was eager to again experience the rush that comes from making two collections better all at once. My last trade left only good memories since…
about 2 years ago - 2 comments
By Michael Reuben aka mreuben Ever since I returned to the hobby in full force a few years ago, I’ve been reading blog after blog all proposing different ideas which would bring flocks of people to the hobby. More high-end products. More low-end products. Make it easier for set-builders. Make it more exciting for white-whale…
about 2 years ago - No comments
By Karine Hains aka Pheebs888 Goodbye my precious… A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece titled: “A Big Business” the premise was simple; it seems to me like the hobby has changed from what I remembered from the days of my youth. No longer are card collectors looking to simply collect base sets,…
about 3 years ago - 1 comment
By puckstopper31 aka Bryan Kadlec With all the fuss about social networking in the new age of technology, one must look through all of its uses in order to fully understand it. Yes, as individuals, we use it to tell our friends and family what we are up to at any given time, and even…
about 3 years ago - No comments
By Scott Kozlowski aka scottkoz20 When I first started collecting baseball cards as a kid back in the 1980s, it was because it was fun and my friends were collecting. We were able to go to the store, buy Topps baseball cards for 35 or 40 cents a pack, open the packs and brag about…
about 3 years ago - No comments
By Michael Barton aka MonticelloCards I often think back to my youth, and the joy I experienced collecting baseball cards. I got serious when I was almost 12 years old, collecting the 1987 Topps Baseball Set. I loved the wooden border design, and the price of 40 cents per wax pack was very affordable. Those…
about 6 years ago - No comments
Upper Deck Covers the Gamut with 2008 UD Spectrum Baseball Trading card giant’s latest Baseball release also includes “Spectrum of Stars” celebrity autograph cards! Always trying to build a better mousetrap to one-up the competition, the Upper Deck Company seems to have done it once again with its latest baseball trading card release: 2008 MLB…
about 6 years ago - 3 comments
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Press Pass, we are able to do a break/review of 2008 Press Pass Eclipse. Break done by Enigma. Product Description:20 packs per box, 5 cards per pack SRP: $134.99-$139.99 per box2008 Eclipse offers a 90-card base set with two foil parallels, Gold (#/25) and Red (#/1). The Red parallel…
about 6 years ago - 1 comment
Recent moves reignite interest in Basketball trading cards Pau Gasol a Laker? Shaquille O’Neal with the Suns? Shawn Marion to be Dwyane Wade’s new wingman? Recent NBA trades have fans and collectors buzzing about the second half of an already exciting season. That excitement can be felt in the recent release of 2007-2008 Fleer Basketball.…