Note: My articles are based solely on my thoughts, feelings, observations and experiences I have had. I do not offer statistics, although at times I may reference what different broadcasters, among others, have said or alluded to.
As I was watching the ARCA race at Chicago, it made me stop and think of why I still am intrigued by the sport and why I always watch, regardless of the series. I enjoyed the racing and although it was not perfect, the broadcast crew did a good job, as it seemed they showed a lot of the cars on the track and talked about most of them. They kept us updated on positions and what was happening with the competition.
After the race, they did interviews with different drivers and as I watched, I realized I did not know who most of the drivers were and I did not know much about them. During the race, I had matched cars and drivers to different owners, but quickly determined that had no effect on whether I liked a specific driver in the ARCA series. I started wondering whether or not I could become a fan of any of them. Before the race, I had listened carefully to what they were saying and how they responded to questions that were being asked. During the after-race interviews, I decided almost immediately I could and would not become a fan of two of the drivers - mainly because of their responses, their attitude and even their facial expressions.
A short while after completion of that race, I began remembering why and reminiscing about the drivers I have been a fan of during the years. I started dissecting the reasons I had become a fan of some, but not of others. I then quickly realized that the main reason I have been a fan was because the competitor was a racer and more than just a driver. Through the years, my choice of racers have included Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Dale Earnhardt, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, to name a few. What did these drivers have in common? Was it because they were racers who were not afraid to speak their mind? These particular drivers have been blatantly honest about how they feel in reference to what is going on the track and with the media. I also realized most of them loved the sport more than they loved the notoriety. That was a very refreshing feeling, in my opinion. I have always liked that type of honesty. I also realized that each race they entered, they gave it their all and raced each lap as if it were the last. They gave no advantage to any other driver, although they did show respect for them. They were racers, pure racers...
But wait... that can't be the only reason I became a fan of a certain driver/racer, can it? There has to be more reasons I became a fan of each of them; just as there are more reasons that I am not a fan of certain drivers. Let's explore some of the other reasons we are, or are not fans of drivers who may be very accomplished in their field. For this I will be calling names. As an example, although he is in a different series, I am a big fan of Helio Castroneves. The reason I became a fan of his is that he is not only a good driver, he has a positive attitude and most of the time he appears to be a very happy person. For some strange reason, I also think of Joey Logano when I think of Helio because of the smiling attitude he has most of the time during interviews before or after a race. Although he may have lost, most of the time one never sees a sour attitude during his interview. I like that and I am a fan of Joey for that reason!
So many racers/drivers have so much talent. One that comes to mind immediately is Kyle Busch. I absolutely admire and respect how he can handle a race car. Unfortunately though, his behavior and attitude takes away the option that I could be, or ever become a fan of his. He is a good person and does much for new drivers in the sport, and I also understand he is very, very good with charity organizations. Then comes the but... as I remember his attitude and demeanor. Although I like to watch him, I cannot cheer him on.
Some racers are quiet and unassuming. In other words, they don't stand out in a crowd. They go about their job and business making a living doing something they love to do. They contribute to many causes and drive respectfully on the track-most of the time. But when they truly feel they have been wronged, watch out! I could name many, but I will leave this one with only current drivers like Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex, Jr and just one past driver, Bobby Labonte. I may not be an avid fan of theirs, but I do so like this type of driver, so I will cheer for them at times.
I think there are other racers/drivers who are very sneaky and braggart in their demeanor. This type of behavior immediately turns me off. There is no possibility I could ever be a fan of that type of driver. Because I prefer not to bash anyone at this time, I will not name names here. However, if you would like to mention names, then please free to name them, without bashing, if and when you comment.
Thank you for reading and commenting here. Your thoughts, ideas on the subject and opinions are very welcome. I remind you to keep them clean and no bashing, please.
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