What I Learned From NASCAR All-Star Weekend
“I could have made Instagram.”
That was uttered during breakfast during my stay in Charlotte covering the NASCAR All-Star Sprint Cup race and it got me to thinking.
People assume they can do things that they really can’t. From an outsiders point of view, Instagram looks simple. Take a picture, upload it and it goes to 1000s of people. But for an insider you know the complexity to getting the proper program and coding to make it look so easy.
So when thinking about NASCAR I thought I would share some of the behind the scenes things that most people don’t understand. A lot of people think it is easy. Drive fast cars and make left turns, but it is so much more.
One stereotype is people who are involved in NASCAR are just gear heads, but let me tell you these guys are very smart. While touring the Roush Fenway complex we spoke to individuals with master and doctorate degrees. Listening to them speaking about everything that goes into getting the car ready was like a foreign language.
You can’t be a dummy and work in NASCAR, the technology is to0 advance, you need to know more than just how to turn a wrench.
2- Drivers and their crew members are Athletes
While speaking to Greg Biffle he mentioned how the drivers lose 8-10 pounds of water weight during a race. This isn’t like taking a Sunday drive to grandma’s house.
I got into one of the cars it isn’t the most comfortable place to be. Now, imagine driving for 200 laps, at 200 MPH, with other cars in your way and knowing one wrong move can lead to death. The mental strain itself would break most people.
As far as the pit crew, I didn’t understand the physical nature of their job until I tried to pick up a tire or gas can and jack up the car. A Toyota it is not. You can’t be husky and lazy, working in the Pits.
3- Sponsors are everything.
Almost every other sport you are paid by rich owners who get paid off lucrative TV contracts or in individual sports like Tennis or Golf, you make more if you win.
Doesn’t quite work like that in NASCAR, you can be decent driver, but if you don’t have enough sponsors you simply don’t have the money to compete.
Securing sponsorships and keeping them happy can be the difference in winning and losing. Their money fuels the sports and in turn the drivers are also pitchmen.
It is an interesting dynamic.
4- NASCAR is the most Fan Friendly sport in America
I have been to NFL, MLB, NBA, Boxing, Tennis and Golf games and matches as media and as a fan. Never have I seen fans treated as well as NASCAR fans.
The access is amazing, you can literally be right by the Pits when they are jumping over the wall. You can get on the track, you can meet you favorite drivers and crews.
All sports should be as accommodating.
5- It isn’t just a Southern Sport
Yes, there were quite a few men with no shirts on and women with Cowboys boots, but there was also quite a few fans that you wouldn’t fit the stereotype of a NASCAR fan.
There were also lot of minorities in attendance.
Not once did I feel out of place or uncomfortable. Everyone and I mean everyone was as nice as they could be and when I say that I don’t mean just the people who knew I was writing a story about this, but just in general. I ventured out from the group from time to time just to get a feel what was going on and everyone was great.
Definitely a universal sport.
3M is much more than posted notes
I assume that is what most think of first when they think of 3m, but let me tell you there is so much more. They are responsible for so much cutting edge technology and brands that you are probably using one right now and don’t even realize it.
They are more than just a sponsor of a NASCAR team they are instrumental with their products of making the whole Roush Fenway Racing team a more efficient and winning unit.
I personally really appreciate them sponsoring the trip because now I know how much 3M means to my daily life and what they contribute on a bigger scale to NASCAR.
As far as the race it was exciting, I like the All-Star format and Jimmie Johnson was masterful in his strategy in winning. Winning the first segment was the key.
Unfortunately Greg Biffle had some car issues and didn’t finish the race, but his team is very strong and I know they will bounce back in the Coca-Cola 600.
Thanks to the 3M Racing team, I feel so much more knowledgeable about the sports and I will be sure to pass that knowledge on.
Here are some pics from the Weekend all Courtesy of Action Sports Photography, Inc