Author Topic: Race Fan: A Pragmatic Approach  (Read 2369 times)


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Race Fan: A Pragmatic Approach
« on: April 10, 2007, 04:10:24 AM »
From the minute I was born, I have been obsessed with speed.  No, not the little pills... going somewhere, and getting there FAST!  I was walking by six months and running by nine months.  Shortly thereafter I moved on to other modes of transportation.  I don't care if it's a plane, a car, a truck, or a bike (motor or pedal powered), I have to find -its- speed limit.  Doesn't matter what the sign on the side of the road says.

It's mostly my dad's fault.  I think he somehow managed to put as much (or more?) lead in my foot than he has in his.  If you met him, you'd think he was quiet and reserved; and he is... sorta.  But under that facade is the guy who ran his car with his buddies down dark streets and alleys, with the dash switch to turn off power to the brake lights so the cops couldn't track the glow, and the mercury boxes in the trunk.  Talk about a car that was well balanced!  Another example of their fun was taking "Dead Man's Curve" faster than anyone had before, and living to tell about it.  I think he still holds the record (of those who didn't wreck) to this very day.

I also have to give some credit to my great uncle.  If he could see a car on the road ahead of him, he felt that it was his God-mandated *duty* to pass it.  The faster he could get by, the better.

Then there's my (much) older brother.  I can't tell you how many rooms of the house would've been required to hang all the speeding tickets.  By the time I was forging my way into traffic court, the judges already knew me because of my last name.  "Oh!  You're so-and-so's kid brother!  Glad you could finally join us!"

One particular "driving school" session, the instructor had each "student" introduce themselves and state why they were sent to the class.  All of them had the same stories: ran a red light, doing 7MPH over, that sort of thing.  Then the instructor called on me.

"What are you here for?"


"Okay?  How fast?"

"Not really sure.  76 in a 25 is what the ticket says.  The officer told me that I hit the brakes so fast that he couldn't get his radar turned on quickly enough to clock my actual speed."

{class gives standing ovation}

As you can see, for me, a love for racing and being a fan of racing is, well, in my blood.  I've been watching it my whole life.  I remember "the fight on the backstretch".  I remember Darrell Waltrip winning Bristol and Martinsville practically every year.  I remember Bill Elliott's dominance during the mid-80s.  I remember Bobby and Davey Allison finishing 1-2 in the 500.  I remember DW's silly 500 dance.  I remember "the pass in the grass".  I remember the shock of a flat tire on the last lap of the 500 and watching a guy named Cope go to victory lane.  I remember The Intimidator winning the championship four out of five years.  I remember a "kid" named Gordon coming into the series.  I remember The King hanging up the helmet.  I remember Terry winning his second championship, 12 years after his first.  I remember when Earnhardt finally broke thru in the 500.  I remember a brash guy named Stewart coming into the series.  I could go on and on and on with memories, but you probably get the point.

The other side of me is a calculated business guy who loves to watch business grow by leaps and bounds.  Naturally, the faster, the better!  As a small boy I sought out all of my "rich" friends' dads so I could pick their brains and find out how they got that way.

So, what on earth does a love for business have to do with being a NASCAR fan?  Well, on the surface, nothing.  But when you combine a passion for business with a passion for racing, you end up being a pragmatic fan.

According to the dictionary, 'pragmatic' means to be "concerned with practical matters", or to be "guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory".  So, while I am a -huge- fan of racing and NASCAR's Cup Series in particular, I also realize that NASCAR itself is a business.  And, since I am also a huge fan of business, I am usually able to look at the things that go on within racing from both a racing fan's perspective as well as a businessman's perspective, based upon my own practical experience.

My goal in 'Quack on Track' is to write articles that pull from both passions to provide a balanced, pragmatic perspective that will help the business-oriented person see the fan's view, as well as helping the fan get a glimpse into the business that is racing.

Happy racing!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 07:19:39 PM by Quack »