NASCAR and Canada, what’s the problem?
Bobby Danger Jones
On a cold February day, in the midst of a seasonal dump of snow — watching the city traffic grind to a halt and drivers crash into each other — the last thing we Canadians think is, “Hey, let’s watch some pumped-up cars rip around a sun-baked track somewhere hot.”
Maybe that’s why Canadians have little interest in the sport. We need winter tires for months on end.
We enjoy sports that exemplify the environment we live in. Not only is hockey our national pass time, we can identify with it when we’re wearing multiple layers and cursing a late bus.
Fort Erie recently got the go- ahead to build a track that would be NASCAR ready, but Niagara Falls tourism has suffered from the implementation of our two nations mandatory passport policies.
Americans visiting for one day in Canada for leisure has dropped by almost 70 per cent and NASCAR has already given priority to the races in Michigan that draw 65,000.
Drawing that type of interest outside of major metropolitan areas will be difficult, considering Canada already has professional golf, baseball and CFL football during NASCAR’s main season.
Even attempting to Google NASCAR and Canada, the only significant result was the story I explained before.
So — in light of this — I thought, what does a NASCAR fan look and act like. After a quick search I realized that these fans currently don’t have a Canadian vibe as some of the photos suggested.
We love beer and sports but NASCAR seems to be more an American southern festival than an actual athletic sporting event. Maybe that’s harsh on drivers, but sports should involve human competition and racing sports seem to be a different category of sport — like professional wrestling or competitive poker.
There is definitely skill involved in racing but for a typical Canadian — who craves the speed, skill and hard hitting of hockey — it seems to lack appeal.