Drive fast, turn left. NO big deal. That's the running joke about NASCAR.  But there really is so much more to it than that.  I know some people will just never understand it's appeal but there are some of you out there who may have not given it a chance and may be missing out.  I will give you some tips to really enjoying the sport of racing.

First of all you need to watch a few races and really listen to the commentators.  Once you do that, you will begin to understand the nuances of racing.  There are so many factors that go into winning or losing a race in NASCAR.  The driver finding the right line to drive, drafting, fuel consumption, when and if to pit , tire wear, critical seconds wasted in the pits.  In many ways it is very much a team sport. With ever one being a crucial member of the team in the effort to win. Engineers, the Crew Chief, the Pit Crew and Driver all have a part to play in victory.

Sean McMaster, WGNA

The second thing you have to do to truly enjoy NASCAR, is pick a driver.  And while it is very much a team sport, the thing I like about NASCAR is the drivers all have there own back stories and personalities.  So what I recommend to people is watch for a while and then find the driver that kind of fits your personality. Myself, I like Jimmie Johnson.  And before you go calling me a front runner, I have liked him for years. Even before the unprecedented 5 Championships in a row.  Yes, I said, 5.  I like Jimmie because he's not flashy, he is always professional, and he quietly gets the job done. You may like someone different like Junior, a down home redneck boy, trying to establish himself as a great driver while still in the enormous shadow of his Father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. Maybe your a little wild and crazy and some what of a crybaby, well then you should look into Kyle Busch as your driver. Point is, there are plenty of different personalities and motivations and once you like a particular driver you will have lots of fun rooting for them.

The last thing I would recommend is get to a race!

There is just something about actually hearing those monstrous engines fire up, and literally feeling the heat off the car as it drives past you at 200 miles per hour. You just cant experience it on TV.  And it really does feel a bit like a family picnic assuming your family has over 100,000 people in it.  It's more than the race, its walking around to vendors, eating "fair" foods like cheeseburgers and sausage and pepper sandwiches.  It's people watching at it's best on a warm sunny day while enjoying a cold beer.  And it's getting close enough to actually sign the finish line at Daytona. ( See previous picture above)  Personally, I go to the Daytona 500, it's the big race,  but more importantly it is in Florida during  the coldest month of the year in upstate N.Y.  Do you need a better reason?

In fact, upon completion of this blog I will officially be on vacation and on my way to warm sunny Florida for Universal Studios, A Space Shuttle launch, Family time, and of course The Daytona 500!  Let the quest for 6 Championships in a row begin.

God Bless.