NASCAR – Is it family entertainment?

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NASCAR is definitely family entertainment. It’s a sport that young and old can enjoy, and it’s one in which the governing body of the sport works diligently to make it appropriate for the entire family.

That said, I’ll say off the bat that seeing some of the horrendous crashes that occur in motor sports isn’t necessarily ideal for young children. However, with the advent of the safety features, such as the HANS device, and the new Car of Today (formally the Car of Tomorrow), most wrecks don’t even result in injuries beyond a few muscle aches. It’s not like it was back in the day when drivers slammed into concrete walls and died. At the Sprint Cup level, and in the junior circuit, it’s very rare for a driver to have any serious injury. It’s not that it can’t happen, but there is so much emphasis on safety now that the odds have shifted dramatically to drivers just walking away.

Race tracks today are geared towards families. In no other sport is there so much closeness between the athlete and the fan. You get a close up view of the cars and the competitors, on and off the track. Events are planned that make going to the track both fun and educational.

NASCAR drivers also take their status as role models much more seriously than those in other sports. Scandals are rare. Now this doesn’t mean these drivers are saints. They make mistakes. They argue and use profanity. They’re human, but many of them are family men whose wives and children travel with them from city to city where the races are held. NASCAR doesn’t condone unsportsmanlike behavior and when a driver is at the race track and in uniform, they are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion. This makes a NASCAR driver much more preferable as a role model than many other prominent sport figures.

Unlike other sports, NASCAR events are often weekend outings for families. They come in motor homes or bring their tents. They set up camp, sometimes right inside the the oval of the race track. They have barbecues and they meet other fans. It’s a big party, and a chance for families to spend quality time together.

Family time, good role models, strong leadership: these are reasons why NASCAR is indeed family entertainment. Grandparents, parents, and children can spend time together, before, during, and after the actual race. They can be up close and personal with the race teams, even interacting with their favorite drivers. That makes for a great time for every member of the family.

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