NASCAR is great for columnist

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

February marks the start of my favorite sports season. No, it’s not the run to March Madness or the start of baseball season. It is the start of the 2008 NASCAR campaign. Yes, I am a fan of what many people consider a “redneck” sport. My Sunday afternoons are spent not doing anything but watching cars drive around in circles for three or four hours.

Though not sure why I am a fan, it all can be traced back to 2003 when I came to college. Being a poor freshman, I could only afford the basic cable plan, which for me meant no sports at all until I discovered my fascination with the need for speed and amazing car crashes.

Since then I have wasted away countless Sundays watching those oh so entertaining four hour races. Many assignments have been left unfinished, and I have witnessed a few fights, drivers’ girlfriends getting into arguments and numerous amazing crashes. I have also seen Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who is projected as the prodigal son of legendary Dale Earnhardt, go from his dead father’s team to the team everyone hates, Hendrick Motorsports, because of an ego maniac mother-in-law. On the not so exciting side, I have fallen asleep because of boring races, yet I still watch the sport for some reason.

My desire to watch cars go fast is shared with millions of people around the world. Like many fans, I have drivers I like and drivers I hate (if my girlfriend is reading this, I like Martin Truex, Jr.). A driver that finishes last makes more per race on average than a college graduate does in a year ($60,000 per race compared to $55,000). Boasting the longest season in all sports, NASCAR has races from February until November. NASCAR is different from all sports in the fact that it’s “Super Bowl” is the first race of the year.

Many people complain about various issues. The race season being too long; 36 races is too many. How about something like 30 races a year? The length of the races are too long; NASCAR likes to prolong things. Many fans would like a race in which more than three quarters of it is actual racing. While many are still fans, their interest in the sport is waning and quite frankly so is mine.

So to the small percentage of people on the SDSU campus who share an interest with me, keep the faith this year as NASCAR goes through many changes. And one last thing. “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!” The racing season is here.