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I missed NASCAR this past weekend…but not really

By admin | October 23, 2013

By Richard Allen

This past weekend, I missed the Sprint Cup race from Talladega…on purpose. As a matter of fact, I didn’t watch last Saturday’s event from Charlotte either. And these weren’t the first instances this year in which I had failed to watch a NASCAR race.

Had someone suggested ten or twenty years ago that I would miss a NASCAR race of any kind, I would have called them crazy. It would have taken some sort of major catastrophe to cause me to go AWOL from a television on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon when cars were tearing around a track somewhere.

But over time, the things we consider important change. This most recent weekend was one of the greatest I’ve ever had, with or without the sport I have dedicated so much time to over my 46 years on this planet.

Instead of watching NASCAR, I spent each day with my sons attending football games. It proved to be a time I’ll never forget, and I hope it proves to be the same for each of them as well.

On Saturday, my youngest son and I attended the SEC contest between Tennessee and South Carolina. It was Austin’s first trip to Neyland Stadium on a game day, his first time seeing the Pride of the Southland Band march down the street as they serenade onlookers with ‘Rocky Top’, his first time seeing the Vols run through the T formed by the band as the team rushes onto the field, and it was the first time he had ever seen all of that orange packed into one place at one time.

These are things I had come to take for granted over the years, having seen them so many times previously. However, getting to experience all of this with my son made it seem new again. And when Tennessee kicked the winning field goal as time expired, it made the day absolutely perfect.

My youngest son, Austin, dressed in his orange for the Vols vs. South Carolina.

The next day, it was my oldest son’s turn to spend the day watching football with dad. At 11 years old, Cody has decided that that his two favorite NFL teams are the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers. As luck would have it, the two played each other on Sunday in Nashville so we made our way to LP Field to watch.

While the competition wasn’t as exciting or dramatic as the college game from the day before, it was a great day nonetheless. The 49ers pretty much dominated the game and basically cruised to the win, but that didn’t really seem to matter. The day had been made before the game had even begun when we saw the 49ers team buses come in to the stadium and my son spotted coach Jim Harbaugh sitting on the front seat.

 My son, Cody, enjoyed watching his two favorite NFL teams play on Sunday.

As I said before, the idea of me spending a day without NASCAR on a race day would have seemed so foreign to me a decade or two ago that I would have never considered it. To some degree, my change in attitude is simply a reflection of the natural course of life.

Our priorities change over time.

But from another point of view, I have come to realize that NASCAR doesn’t quite hold the same interest level for me. I still love watching cars and drivers perform at a high level, but ‘the show’ has become a little too much of a show. And it seems as if there is a great deal of sameness in the sport. The drivers, the tracks and the the style of racing lead to the mindset that if you miss it one week, you can see the same show the next week.

So in the grand scheme of things, taking a weekend off to go to football games with my sons doesn’t seem so out of place. Or, covering a dirt race that happens to be scheduled on the same day as NASCAR for my other website has become less and less of a difficult choice over the last couple of years.

Again, I still love racing, and NASCAR was my first love in the sport. I’ll be watching the action in Martinsville this Sunday. But at the same time, it has become easier to make the decision to miss out from time to time as well.

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14 Responses to “I missed NASCAR this past weekend…but not really”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    October 23rd, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I wonder, would bringing Sprint Cup to Nashville Fair and Kentucky Motor Speedway in Whitesville,KY would add to bettering the Stock Car Industry?

  2. Bill B Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 5:48 am

    “but ‘the show’ has become a little too much of a show”

    Yep. That about sums it up.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 6:35 am

    I hope y’all took the kids down to the Fairgrounds to at least see some of Nascar’s history. All you had to do was cross the river and take 4th ave and then go to 440 to pick up 40.

  4. Tom Wilkinson Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I also have kicked NASCAR to the curb. I’d much rather go to a good dirt track modified race at golden gate speedway here in florida.

  5. GinaV24 Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Sounds to me like you made the right choice. Spending time with family is far more important than any race.

    I, unfortunately, agree with you as well that NASCAR is far less interesting than it used to be. In the past, I would change things around to be home to see the race, now, if I’m asked to make plans with people or watch the race, I opt for the plans with people.

    NASCAR brought this on themselves with the number of poor fan-unfriendly changes. Spec car & having a playoffs! They wanted the casual fans and they got them - mostly by turning the diehards into them.

    Glad you and your sons had fun. As you said, those memories will last longer than the non-events that both 2013 Charlotte & Talladega races turned out to be.

  6. Ken Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I “missed” the race Sunday also. I spent the day with 2 of my grandchildren. When I got home, I fast forwarded my DVR through the race and planned on stopping at interesting sport. What I saw made me really glad I did not waste my afternoon watching the race. It’s getting easier and easier to find an excuse to not watch the races.

  7. midasmicah Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 9:24 am

    You didn’t miss much at Talladega, Rich. Although there was some good three wide racing early in the race, the end of the race symbolizes what nas$car has become. Boring, single file racing, with very few drivers’ wanting to actually “race” Good for you and your sons.

  8. John Cooke Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 10:38 am

    NASCAR started this downhill slide when the New York crowd hired by Brian France changed it from a sanctioning body to an “entertainment co.”. I’m just like you Rich, I used to never miss any race on TV. Now, I’m finding I care less and less!

  9. Pokey Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I have also missed the race occasionally, but it has never been because I really wanted to. I have lots of priorities on my time and TV watching is the lowest among them. So, when I go hiking, picture taking, hunting, or to any live sporting event(mostly the one true sport which is baseball), watching the race on TV is secondary. But I will say that no live sport is more fun for me to watch than racing so, as a dad, I have taken my sons to a few NASCAR races as well as other live events. But make your kids wear hearing protection when you take them. My hearing is pretty lousy now.

  10. MikeInAZ Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Why waste my time when it’s a given who’s going to win it all. He’s only won 6 championships in the last 8 years. Same old garbage Rick Hendrick, Jimmy Johnson and Chevy. No wonder the stands were empty last weekend at Talladega.

  11. The Mad Man Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I Dvr’ed the race and finally finished watching it. Had I watched it live on Sunday, I would’ve gotten in a good nap.

  12. Kelly Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I feel the same way, after how Nascrap hypocritically handled Richmond, I now no longer watch, but I still do support my favorite driver. I wonder if the Kings and Queens in Castle Daytona read any “fan” comments in regards to racing, they should, and they should be very worried.

  13. Will Says:
    October 24th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    This has been the year I give up on NASCAR too. I still feel obligated to check out the websites like this and Jayski on occasion, but grad school and watching FSU return to dominance have taken the place of Politically-correct, aero-push driven,manufactured-caution waving, “racing” on cookie cutter tracks in my weekend schedule.

    It’s sad. If there was ever a time for the Bruton Smith crowd to start an alternative series it is now!

  14. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    October 25th, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Add another voice that has given up on the “top” series and the Nationwide (or better called batting practice for the Sprint Cup drivers) series. The only NASCAR I watch regularly anymore are the truck races.