Sunday, August 17, 2014

Learning Nascar

I’m in Michigan this weekend, experiencing as much authentic America as I can. After too much of a lifetime spent out of the country, I need to raise my Coming Apart score. And how better to do than than watch the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Michigan International Speedway?

NASCAR is much bigger than you might think if you’re not in their core audience. One of of three Americans is a fan (40% of whom are women). Although the National Football League takes in way more revenue overall ($9B vs. $650M), NASCAR earns $3B in sponsorship revenue each year (twice as much as the NFL). 

We’re fans of Joey Logano, so it was nice to see him finish the race in the top three today. (Here’s his car, traveling at 200+ mph and captured on my iPhone5s “burst” mode).

I’m probably not ready to devote myself whole-hog to becoming a NASCAR fan, but I’m glad I experienced a race like this. If you want to understand the real America, you could do worse than to spend some time with the 100,000+ people who packed today’s stadium with me.