(Editor's Note: Please welcome Leanne to our Bench Racing Blog here as one of our newest writers. We certainly hope she enjoys being part of On Pit Row as much as we do!)
So how does a 44-year-old Canadian girl become a NASCAR fan? I’m still not 100% sure how it happened, but when I found myself recording races so I wouldn’t miss anything, I knew I was hooked!
I’ve always been a sports fan, but like many other people, couldn’t see how driving around in a circle could possibly retain my interest. Then I spent some time with a couple of friends (male friends of course), who began to explain the history, the strategies and the excitement of a NASCAR race.
There are a lot of things that I enjoy about a race: The speed, the crashes, the personalities and histories, not to mention some pretty good-looking drivers (I am a girl after all). But when I really started paying attention it became so much more. I love the Science and the strategy behind the cars. The fluctuation of tire pressure to get the feel just right. What seems like something small like placing a piece of tape on the grill can make such a huge difference. The unforeseeable pitfalls like a sudden pothole developing or some careless fan’s candy wrapper entering the track. It’s so much more than turning left for 4 hours! Timing fuel with laps and trying to predict where the caution may fall. Of course luck plays a huge part in it, but it is the science and skills of the drivers and their teams that decide what to do with that luck.
Most males seem to inherit their interest from their father’s. It’s a great afternoon of bonding and sharing their love for particular drivers and teams. If your dad liked Dale Earnhardt, chances are pretty good that you’re a member of Jr. Nation. My friends have shared their love of the sport with their own sons making Father’s Day at Michigan Speedway a yearly tradition. Sadly as I am neither a father nor a son, I am not included in this exciting adventure. This is where my next problem lies – as a single Canadian girl in my 40’s, how the heck am I suppose to get to see a live race? NASCAR is dominated by male fans, and among my particular group, not a single female fan can be found in the mix. Getting a group of girls together for a NASCAR road trip is simply not going to happen. Will the Fort Erie track bring the Sprint Cup to Canada? Fingers crossed.
So in the meantime I will continue to plan my Sunday afternoons (and occasional Saturday nights) around my television. Even this has been a struggle lately with the abolishment of the Speed Channel in Canada – but that’s a whole other story. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Jimmie Johnson fan. I may be late to the party, but I know a champion when I see one! #Se7en!
Photo credit - Getty Images for NASCAR