My Brain on NASCAR: Path to victory lane a drive-through window?

I am starting to think we have become a nation of fast-food sports fans.

One of the racing-related things I often do to amuse myself is take a very informal poll on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week. This consists of me engaging in random conversations with people that I know follow racing, and suddenly asking, “Hey, do you remember who won the NASCAR race last weekend?”

You would be surprised by the number of people who have no clue what the answer is, unless their particular driver of choice went to Victory Lane.

Then I’ll follow up with, “Well, do you remember who won the Daytona 500 this year?”

Cue the chirping cricket choir on that one.

I’m having trouble with this, because I can’t figure out what triggers our NASCAR memory centers. These same people know who won the Super Bowl several months ago. They know which team was shown cutting down the nets at this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament final as the always-spectacular “One Shining Moment” played in the background. On Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, they will be able to tell me in a split second who won The Masters.

But on that same day, will they be able to tell me who won the April 14 race at Texas Motor Speedway? Unless that driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Danica Patrick, I seriously doubt it.

I’m puzzled because in many critical categories, NASCAR is kicking the proverbial asphalt. The composition of the traditional “Big Four” sports — the NFL, , NBA, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League — has experienced a shakeup in recent years. NASCAR has put a pretty definitive body check on hockey, basically knocking it down to fifth place in popularity.

These days, most people who sort of know what they’re talking about would rank NASCAR the second-highest of the new “Big Four,” based on things like average event attendance, merchandise sales, TV ratings and, in this brave new technological world of ours, on social media interaction. NASCAR rules Twitter.

The “too many NASCAR races” argument doesn’t hold water when you consider the 162-game MLB schedule or the 82-game regular season schedule of the NBA, and that doesn’t even include the playoffs for either sport. Granted, the racing season is long, but fans are only committing to a single NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each week. How many hours of TV does an avid Chicago Cubs fan watch each week, I wonder? A whole lot more than four.

The issue seems to be not what we see, but what we remember. You might not be able to tell me who won the race at California Speedway earlier this season, but I’m betting you know that contact between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano resulted in a fractured spine and a minimum of six weeks out of the car for Hamlin.

Same thing with the Phoenix International Raceway event at the end of last season. Who won? Don’t remember. Who engaged in a well-publicized tangle that has carried over into the current season? Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer, of course; how could anyone forget THAT?

I suspect our athletic taste buds have become desensitized, only sitting up and paying attention when something dramatic happens, in the same way your palate reacts to a jalapeno pepper after a steady diet of oatmeal.

In NASCAR, as in nutrition, it is important to appreciate the steady-yet-tasty diet that keeps those wheels rolling on a consistent basis. A jolt of something different is a good thing, but too much of it could result in a nasty case of indigestion. Even the magnificent McRib is available for a limited time only; just something to think about.

By the way, Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 this year. He also won last weekend’s race … just in case anybody asks.

Comments

comments

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourney

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourneyAfter posting back-to-back shutouts, Coastal Carolina's Chris Datallo has been [more]

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto Preview

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto PreviewThe three-time defending state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openers

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openersMetrolina Christian Academy of Indian Trail (N.C.) swept the Chief [more]

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youth

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youthOne year after a breakthrough season, the Christian Academy of [more]

Close loss closes curtain on long season for Pelicans

Close loss closes curtain on long season for PelicansIn the final game of the 2018 season, the Myrtle [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach