Should NASCAR be considered a sport? Nick and Ryan debate

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Nick Sentman, Sam Stewart and Ryan Trexler


Sometimes we do not understand what defines us as sports fans, including which sport we choose to love.

NASCAR has an enormous following in the United States, and racecar driving in general is widespread.

Some of us still wonder if NASCAR should really be considered a sport at all, or just entertainment. All they do is drive around in a circle, make left turns, and occasionally wreck into each other and a wall or two.

NASCAR just celebrated a victory by Jimmie Johnson at Daytona and also saw Danica Patrick finish eighth. In a world where NASCAR is mostly associated with drinking and the south, is it really a sport? Are the Jimmie Johnsons and Danica Patricks otherworldly athletes?

Nick:

I cannot see why NASCAR is in the same topic of sports such as football or baseball. NASCAR is nothing more than a hobby, something to do for people who like wearing beer shirts and jean shorts. How can you call driving a sport? I drive fast every day and I do not win any trophies for it. There is no goal other than crossing the finish line first.

How awesome is that to watch, especially when you are only there to see a split second of your favorite driver whiz past you at light speed?

The only thing interesting is the crashes. I never had an interest in NASCAR until the Dale Earnhardt crash. Now I just cannot wait for the next one. It might sound bad to say but people love seeing crashes and fights and fire. They love knowing that their driver got totaled by their rival and love it even more when they get out and beat each other up.

NASCAR is the poor man’s sport. I will never classify it as a sport because it is something anyone with a brain could do. I mean Jeff Gordon was a famous NASCAR driver for how many years? I do not think he even knows how to spell NASCAR. Daytona 500 or not, NASCAR should never supersede real sports.

Ryan:

Nick you are a good man but I am appalled by your statements. NASCAR is absolutely, 100 percent a sport. You say anyone can drive around in circles? This is true, but not at 200 mph.

NASCAR is bringing in an enormous number of fans and is on the rise in popularity. People love speed, and that is what NASCAR is—it is fast.
Now given you do just sit in a car and drive but NASCAR is more of a mental sport. To drive at such a high speed with people pass- ing you left and right you need to be mentally sharp.

Another aspect of NASCAR that goes unnoticed is the spotter. A driver’s spotter is what keeps him safe and allows the driver to perform well. I have only ever been at one race and that was at Pocono Raceway with my dad and some friends. It was something to see. Everyone gets along and the at- mosphere is that of a championship football game.

Now I am not the biggest NASCAR fan out there, actually I’m far from it but NASCAR is a sport. You still have to be physically fit to compete. The aver- age temperature of a NASCAR cockpit can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. NASCAR drivers must get enough rest and have the proper amount of nutrition to stay sharp on the track.

In my mind, NASCAR is a sport for sure, it is just a different kind of sport, one that tests the mind rather than the body.

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