back to article AT&T sued by poor man's Formula 1

Eager to promote its re-branded wireless network, AT&T has upped the ante in a legal battle with NASCAR, the American auto racing association inspired by the law-defying exploits of hard-driving whiskey bootleggers. Yesterday, in Atlanta, Georgia, NASCAR filed a $100m suit against AT&T, decrying the company's sponsorship deal …


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  1. Will Leamon

    Poor Man's What?

    NASCAR is NOT the poor man's Formula One. That honor belongs to Indy. I only bring this up so people won't get confused and think NASCAR is in any way mototsport.

    p.s already sick of Hamilton.

  2. chris


    The money spent on a Nextel Cup Car team probably rivals that of Formula 1, so no - not a poor man's sport....

    NASCAR should have no say as to a team's sponsorship logo (unless it is illegal or immoral).

    NEXTEL need to rethink their stance (as no doubt they are behind the suit) - it makes them look petty.

  3. larzman

    Formula One is the one in the poor house

    For all of you British/Euro types, NASCAR IS the number 1 motorsport in the US. If anyone is motorsports "poor man", talk to Indycar/Formula One, they make pennies compared to the multi-billion $ racing sport known as NASCAR. ... and who's going broke?

  4. Rick

    Wouldn't say that too loudly in the US

    Granted NASCAR was at one time associated with back woods rednecks, that is no longer the case today. The sport has now changed its image and it a multi-billion dollar industry. It attracts more then 200,000 fans to every event. To take the quote from Forbes on the issue.

    ("Once considered almost exclusively a sport of the U.S. South, stock car racing has become the second most popular sport in the country. Worth $91 million, NASCAR's Daytona 500 is our fourth most valuable brand.

    Last year's race took home $47 million from broadcaster Fox, which is owned by News Corp. (nyse: NWS - news - people ) Despite the lack of a truly international audience, NASCAR's top race garners four times the revenue of rival Formula 1's fabled Monaco Grand Prix.")

    SO if you still feel that we are a poor man's F1 please check your facts.

  5. Stephen Hurd


    Sell NASCAR's Daytona 500 for the $91 million dollars and use the money to run a sub-standard Formula 1 team for a year.

    Or run a top-notch NASCAR team for five years. Your call poor man.

    The money spent on a NASCAR team does not approach even the paltry amount spent on Super Aguri. You need to post a $48 million dollar bond just to play.

    Regardless of how much NASCAR makes or how many people watch it, it costs FAR less to play in NASCAR than it does in Formula 1. If you can't afford an F1 team... but a NASCAR one.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point is...

    that while NASCAR may as a business be an earner, the cornfed fans with the incredibly low tooth to tattoo ratios prove the ahem, sport, ahem, is very much for the poor man.

    Champagne vs Milk... need I say more?

  7. yeah, right.

    Not poor man's sport.

    NASCAR is definitely not a poor man's sport, it being very profitable in the USA, and not being a sport. However, that doesn't stop it from being the stupid man's "sport". Meaning that it is to "sport" what Macdonalds is to fine cuisine, and only stupid people actually pay money to see a bunch of advertising banners with large engines going around an oval track hoping that the car in front hits a squirrel or a beer can.

    Only in the USA? We can only bloody hope!

  8. Doug Bird

    Well it really is


    But I'm a full blooded, born-raised, and bred Missouri native.

    NASCAR continues conjure up images of trashyness.

    The title of this article describes it well. And the kind of squabbles described here make me think of the police getting called to intervene in a domestic violence dispute at a trailer park.

    The bread and butter events of NASCAR are mostly in small marginal US cities, and most popular in the South. Oh, I guess there's Las Vegas, but that's a pretty tacky place. Sure it might reflect it being a more "accessible" motorsport. But that's the point!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You sure got a purdee mouth, boy...

    Revenue...revenue...revenue... Who cares how much it's worth?.

    It's still a bunch of cousin lovers driving round in a circle for hours on end.

    Tell me, where exactly is the entertainment in that?

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Wait a minute

    NASCAR tracks are still ovals, right ? So the drivers basically always turn in the same direction. Sounds pretty poor to me.

  11. Neil Smith

    It's not about money

    I would debate any claim that NASCAR generates more money that F1 globally and over a year of racing, however...

    The reference to Poor Man's Formula 1 is surely a reference to the quality of racing? Everyone who's opinion counts knows that NASCAR is dull oval racing and F1 is the best sport in the world! :-)

  12. andy rock

    lesson learned, El Reg...

    ...don't tell Americans they have the 'poor man's' anything. EVER! ;-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think you mean Indycar

    not NASCAR (which has more in common with the Wacky Races).

    Re : "I wouldn't say that too loudly in the US" - this is a UK website, which gives even the dumbest surfer a clue as to where it's being said.

    As for the idea that it is not a poor man's sport because it takes four times as much money off that man, that's a specious argument.

    Also, just because something is popular and makes lots money doesn't mean it's not crap.

    I give you Britney Spears, You Tube, Big Brother, Pop Idol, Macdonalds....etc

    The list of crap things which are popular and make money is, sadly, endless.

  14. wim


    was maybe meant not to the money involved but to driving technique ?

    I know, it is a weird concept to actually not think about money all the time and not to use money as the only metric to value something.

  15. Andrew

    But it really is the poor mans F1.

    Rick darling,

    NASCAR really is the poor mans formula one. You say NASCAR is worth $91 million dollars.

    Last year alone one of the worst teams in F1 managed to spend $57 million (Toro Rosso) and the total spend (estimated) by 11 teams was $2,986 million.

    Not to mention F1 brings innovation and expensive technology, whilst NASCAR use pimped up versions of my grandads accord.

  16. GettinSadda

    Nas-something or other...

    Why is it that the US think that a sport that is exclusively or predominantly a US-only sport is more important than others that are truly global.

    Anyone would think that they are in danger of being described as parochial

  17. Matt

    Nice to see some reaction

    If only I got this many bites when I went fishing!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets stop this fighting. F1 dose cost more than NASCAR.

    Cost of running a NASCAR team aprox $20 - $30 Million

    Cost of an f1 car (No flights, team etc.) $6 Million plus

    Now I admit that these figers are from diffrent years but they relate to cost, and shouldent of changed to much. Now if you want to talk irelevant facts:

    "Since 1995, U.S. television ratings for the Daytona 500 have been the highest for any auto race of the year, surpassing the traditional leader, the Indianapolis 500. this year’s Daytona 500 produced a 20 per cent share, half again as much as last year’s Indianapolis 500 which reached 14 per cent of the viewers. While this was an audience of 17.53 million viewers, even those totals pale compared to the number of viewers in a similar sized European population."

    And I think you will find that F1 brings in a little more than NASCAR.

  19. Hugh_Pym

    Re: Wouldn't say that too loudly in the US

    "Despite the lack of a truly international audience, NASCAR's top race garners four times the revenue of rival Formula 1's fabled Monaco Grand Prix.")"

    Ooh, Fox News spinning a story, there's something new!(US readers note the use of sarcasm here)

    Why do they compare "NASCAR's top race" with a specifically chosen F1 GP? Because Monaco has a tiny audience that's why. The only way to see it is on TV unless you already have a multimillion pound boat in the harbour or a multimillion pound apartment on the hill. Any TV rights are sold for the whole season so may not even be counted for individual race earnings.

    even so, profit is not really the measure anyway. Anybody got the figures on how much it costs to enter a team in F1 or NASCAR.

    I'm afraid quoting Fox News to support an argument gives it a look of desperation.

  20. Rob

    All you NASCAR defenders...

    I fear you have been baited by the Reg with the (fairly) obvious "Let's see how many narky responses we get with this statement.." manouvre.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Cost of running an F1 team $100M for a poor team. (A top team is around twice that)

    Cost of running a NASCAR team aprox $30M

    So yes. NASCAR is a cheeper sport that F1, therefor a "Poor mans" Motorsport. Just not that poor.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Um, you do realise that 'poor mans formula 1' statement has nothing to do with the finances but the quality of NASCAR - namely that it's based around going WHEE WHEE WHEE *BASH* WHEE WHEE *BOOM* WHEE WHEE around an oval track in a rather inane and not so skillfull manner.

  24. Vernon Lloyd

    I agree

    Even though I am a big F1 fan even I realise that even the big teams annual spend on their cars is belittled by that spend by some NASCAR teams. Some NASCAR events also bring home more cash in 1 event than in as many as 4 F1 Events. How can then call NASCAR the poor mans F1. I find motor racing of all types fasinating from all over the world. Its just a shame I do not have access to any Live American Races. You cannot compare F1 to NASCAR as they are unique in their own way.

    I feel that the "poor mans F1" comment is unfair to us brits who know the truth and respect the huge events you Americans hold to watch the talent what is in your drivers.

    Hope this clears up what us Brits think on this.

    As for Lewis Hamiton, no one can claim Lewis Hamiton is not a superb driver and I think will win the F1 Championship this year. He is a good example of a roots driver who has driven his way up through the ranks. He is a good example for all around the world no matter what sport.

  25. Stuart Castle Silver badge


    "AT&T has upped the ante in a legal battle with NASCAR, the American auto racing association inspired by the law-defying exploits of hard-driving whiskey bootleggers."

    So, these bootleggers.. They drove round in circles at speeds in excess of 100MPH then? Says a lot about the American Police.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Circular argument

    This is all going round in circles...

  27. Stephen Gazard

    poor mans formula 1 = ticket price


    7th of July at Daytona: tickets start at US$90

    8th of July in UK formula 1: 3 day pass is US$523.49 (including taxes) => $174.50 per day, using the cheapest tickets.

    Seems pretty obvious that formula 1 is more expensive at least on the cheapest tickets, and hence the article title. I'm not saying that the tickets in F1 could be made cheaper, but the comparison is that the 'poor man' can more often afford tickets to the NASCAR championships.

    Besides, while monaco is famous, most of the money spent is at restaurants and people's personal homes that have good views. One of the homes goes for £20,000 for the day simply because the Prince of monaco once chose to use it. Restaurant places go for £1000 a pop at some joints. that money does not necessarily make it back to F1 (as far as I know)

  28. Hugh_Pym

    Re: Wouldn't say that too loudly in the US

    Whoops Ok so it was Forbes not Fox news. Even so it is an oddly skewed article because it divides revenue by the number of days so although the olympics is the biggest earner it takes 17 days and so appears a lot lower than the superbowl.

    As it is Forbes article it concentrates on the advertising revenue generated. Still i managed to find this and the figures surprised me.

    NASCAR team expenses around $12 million

    F1 GP team expenses around $350 million

  29. Keith Turner

    Since when did 'poor' always mean 'money'

    By 'poor' I don't think that the amount of dosh acquired is what the issue is.

    200 laps of an oval circuit where the only real excitement is when someone screws up and overtaking is so slow it takes several laps is hardly galvanising.

    Watching Alonso get narked and nearly trashing his car several times is entertainment.

    NASCAR is motorsports equivalent of tennis.

    All you get is a sore neck (and huge from eating burgers for something to do).

    As usual we are told that in the U.S. money = quality. Erm --no, it's just money.

  30. Tim Parker


    Seems like the barbed hook of the tagline has been well and truely swallowed.. always nice when that happens :)

    ..and how delightfully typical of the "my dad is bigger than yours" mentally of some (US-centric ?) readers that the phrase was taken literally as well.. "poor mans X" is often used to infer some lack or inferiority other then hard cash, but that probably doesn't mean much to ya huh ? <hint - this is another hook>


  31. Dax Farrer


    NASCAR - Its not a race dude

    INDY - Its not F1 now is it, its more like a merry-go-round

    Money is not the only metric guys, F1 is unique in the racing world.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You know, it was somewhat insulting to call NASCART a poor man's F1. They really aren't similar at all:

    NASCART = Pontiac's and Ford's and F1 = Ferrari and McLaren

    NASCART = left-turns and F1 = left and right

    NASCART's can take over a mile to reach race speed F1 = race speeds in 1/10 the distance

    F1 has driver names like Ascari , Schumacher, Andretti, NASCART = driver names like Dick Trickle, A.J. Allmendinger, Biffle, (all real names of current NASCART drivers)

    Finally NASCART's are crap cars. Poorly engineered and have no class or style at all. If you have ever been around both NASCART and F1 car know what I mean.

    The only real upside I can see to NASCART are the crowds and the relatively common sightings of topless women and really hot (in a trailer trash sort of way) girls in very short shorts, and lots and lots of beer. NASCART guys know how to party. Unlike F1 where you are often left "partying" with a guy named Reginald, his wife Bunny, and their mid-eastern business partner Raheim.

  33. daniel


    NAS-CAR? Is that some sort of networked storage device ? ;-)

    I really cannot see the appeal of watching cars running around an oval, and the runners and riders are unknown outside of the USA, but that's just me...

    Now, Formula 1 runs races all over the world (including the USA), with about the same spectator base to each race as NASCAR, maybe less profitable than NASCAR, but more of a "technical" drive event, though you probably have less car failures in a race compared to an F1 event...

    Ok, so the drivers do not earn as much in F1, but I'd like to see a NASCAR driver take a F1 around Monaco or the Neuburgring at race speed without losing it...

    Personally, I am not a F1 fan: I prefer endurance racing... Try keeping a F1 car running for 4, 6 or 24 hours at race speeds... (just to compare, my calculations for the US F1 Grand Prix, the winner was running an average of 201 km/h in a 1h 31 min. race. The overall winner at Le Mans, the Audi America R10 averaged 209 km/h over 24 hours... it's a bit more harsh on the hardware...and it's a diesel...)

    Finally, I remember somthing in the Stallone film "Driven", somthing about a "World Indycar Championship"? That is just... umm.. wrong.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No one's got it yet.

    You can't compare the 2 as they're different types of racing, whatever you think of oval racing (which Indy is as well remember), which is a distinctly American form of racing. Anyway, if anything is the "Poor man's F1", it's the Champ Car series.

    It's like saying a cat is a poor man's dog. Or more usually a poor woman's dog. Anyway, what was this story about?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Unlike F1 where you are often left "partying" with a guy named Reginald, his wife Bunny, and their mid-eastern business partner Raheim."

    Watching F1 on Sunday, the Polish Kubiza fans seemd to be having a good time. Admitidly the people around them seemed to not realy be enjoying themselves. (and from the Polish people I know Pols seem to be able to start a party anywhere. I sware these guys could find a couple of Bottles of Vodka and some Music in the middle of a Desart! Top Guys!)

  36. ScottK


    I caught highlights of a Nascar race recently. I thought I would give it a go and see how Montoya is doing in his new career driving tintops. However, I couldn't take it seriously and switched off when the commentator and crowd all started shrieking "Biggedy Biggedy Biggedy" at the start. WTF is that all about?

  37. Rick

    Some points

    "Ooh, Fox News spinning a story, there's something new!(US readers note the use of sarcasm here)"

    Double check your publications Forbes is not FOX.

    Secondly I know this is a UK site but if you note the author of this story is in San Francisco last I remember that was still in the US.

    Third I was making the comparison that it is just profitable and costs as much to run race teams.

  38. Adrian

    NASCAR and F1

    The argument about who has the most money is moot. The truth of the matter is that both formats are crap. With NASCAR we have foot down and turn left and with F1 we have circuits where you can't overtake and if the driver on pole is still on pole after the first corner that's it.

    Give me MotoGP bike racing anyday, it's far more exciting.

    < Dons steel helmet, runs and hides..>

  39. David Webb


    Come on, Herbie won a NASCAR race! A VW Beetle designed by Hitler and driven by a girl!

    A F1 car can go from standing to 100mph back to 0 (without hitting a tree) in 5 seconds! A F1 car gave 2 Merc's a 70 second head start at silverstone, and still won. If it wasnt for the fact that traction is an issue, an F1 car can hit 100kph in 1 second.

    Mind you, a lot of the technology from F1 cars ends up in normal cars, everything from aerodynamics to the flappy paddle gearbox, if we ever want a car that can only go in a straight line unless there are banks for it to turn around, maybe NASCAR can give us some hints.

    BTW, World SuperBikes > F1+NASCAR, cause bikes are just cooler ;)

  40. Chizo Ejindu

    Le Mans vs. F1

    "Personally, I am not a F1 fan: I prefer endurance racing... Try keeping a F1 car running for 4, 6 or 24 hours at race speeds... (just to compare, my calculations for the US F1 Grand Prix, the winner was running an average of 201 km/h in a 1h 31 min. race. The overall winner at Le Mans, the Audi America R10 averaged 209 km/h over 24 hours... it's a bit more harsh on the hardware...and it's a diesel...)"

    Whilst i understand your point its a bit tenuous to compare these 2 tracks as they are so vastly different. Correct me if i'm wrong but Le Mans has an awful lot of long fast sections where the cars are flat out for 15-30 seconds whereas the Indy track just has the one top gear section. I think its true that Le Mans racers have a higher top speed than F1 cars but F1 cars will absolutely destroy any other car when it comes to twisty technical sections of track due to vastly superior downforce etc and will out-accelerate everything :). I'd like to see an F1 car do a lap of Le Mans and a Le Mans car do a lap of Indy, then we'd get a really reflection of their overall abilities.

  41. Hugh_Pym

    in NASCAR the race is won...

    ..when a bit of wildlife strays onto the track and is hit by a race car. The driver of the car that then straps it across the bonnet (hood) and drives to the finish line whoopin' and hollerin' while throwing empty beer cans at the other drivers.

    Then they set fire to the slowest car, cook the animal and party hard. The last man concious is the winner.

  42. Matt MArtin

    Oval or track ......

    it's all rubbish, if I wanted to watch some traffic for two hours on a Sunday afternoon I could go and sit in the road.

  43. M. Poolman

    Pretty birdy

    Mummy, mummy, what kind of bird is that ?

    It's a vulture dear,

    But what kind of vulture is it mummy ?

    I think it must be a greater troll vulture darling.

  44. Wayne


    NASCAR = Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I figure that I'd better wade in...

    Indignant Americans: You should be happy, the article suggests that something interesting has happened in NASCAR.

    That is all.

  46. Jeremy


    Instructions for prospective NASCAR drivers:

    - Wait for start of race

    - Put foot down

    - Turn steering wheel slightly to the left

    - Continue

    - Win

    It may be rich but good god it's dull. But I'd better not say anything more - I remember what happened in that episode of Top Gear not so long back....

    /me runs, quickly

  47. Will Leamon

    OK with the American Stuff

    As the original poster of a 'snarky' NASCAR comment I'd like to say that i am indeed American and I live in Georgia which is in the heartland of NASCAR.

    Just wanted to point out to the brits that the US is not one homogeneous horde of 300 million illiterates. In fact the last time I checked we hosted the exact same number of F1 races as blighty.

    Now if Scott Speed wasn't such a joke.

  48. Dillon Pyron

    Who watches which

    NASCAR drivers typically admit to getting up at 6 in the morning to watch some F1 racing. I haven't heard of any F1 drivers admitting to watch a NASCAR race.

    My seats to the USGP this weekend were $105. The three days cost me $130 a pop. That compares favorably with NASCAR races.

    Indy Car as a competitor with F1? How many Indy Car (IRL) drivers have gone on to F1? Bourdais will probably go to F1 next year (taking Coulthard's seat at Red Bull?)

    See my view of last year's start. This year's race coming soon, including pictures of the end of Ralf's career in F1. Great race, especially back in the field.

  49. Christopher DiOrio

    NOT 'poor man's F1''s...

    All real racing fans in the US know that NASCAR is the 'WWE of racing', and is completely unrelated to anything F1. Besides, it's not even open-wheel, fer cryin' out loud!

    No, it's all completely arranged and is an 'entertainment sporting event', like wrestling...and don't let anyone give you that "NASCAR is for REAL men, F1 for..." stuff, either. These guys are so 'manly' that they park when it starts to rain.

  50. Marc

    You guys crack me up...

    I knew I'd hear comments about NASCAR being easy or dumbed down with the whole 'turn left' thing. I only heard Montoya mentioned once here and the post never followed through...

    If NASCAR is so easy, why isn't Montoya cleaning up?

    Why did he move from F1 over to NASCAR to begin with?

    NASCAR fans are all rednecks? Come on, that's like playing the "everyone in England has bad teeth" card.

  51. Andrew Prentis

    Because Montoya was actually rubbish?

    Remember in the 90s when Nigel Mansell went over to IndyCar, he wiped the floor with them in his rookie season. The quality of his driving was so far superior to the standard Indy drivers that he was literally streets ahead. Remember too, this was at the fag end of his racing career...

  52. Christopher E. Stith

    Reasons for the oval

    NASCAR does have one or two road races. They used to have more. Several of the drivers prefer road races, and some of them place consistently higher on the road tracks than at the low-banked oval, high-banked oval, and nearly circular tracks (yes, NASCAR has all three...).

    The main reasons for the oval tracks are twofold: patience is in short supply in America, and with an oval you don't have to wait for your driver to make it back around before you can see him. The cars are visible all the way around. Also, the sponsors like the cars to nearly always be visible on TV. If a camera zooms in on a couple of cars jockeying for position, that's one thing. If they're covering one curve or chicane while the rest of the billboards... err, cars are out of view, that's another. The cameras are supposed to be showing off all the decals on all the cars.

    The oval tracks do take less skill in some ways than the road tracks. However, NASCAR is very much about skillful pit stops, car setup (gears, suspension, air pressure in the tires, etc.), tire and gas management, driver endurance, and avoiding accidents. If you think it's not a sport, try driving around on top of 70 degree (Centigrade) asphalt in 50 degree ambient air at 273 kph for 804 km in any direction, avoiding similar traffic, managing your gas and tires to have better traction with fewer stops, and staying behind someone you want to pass until just the right moment because he's taking the brunt of the drag off of you.

    It's not the same type of sport as Formula 1, and it may even be a poor man's motorsport as the headline says (although if you believe that, you've probably never watched monster trucks, mud boggers, tractor pulls, or swamp buggy races). To say it's not a sport at all discounts a great deal of athleticism, skill, and planning that goes into it. I'd put it somewhere above "poor man's sport" and below "world-class high-performance racing" that is Formula 1.

    Racing in the US consists of much more than NASCAR, BTW. There's NHRA and IHRA drag racing, IMSA, Indy, ARCA, the Mustang Series, the Trans-Am series, sprint cars, aero-assisted sprint cars, bomber stocks, motocross, bike road races, bike drag racing, flat boats, hydrofoils, mud boggers, swamp buggies, salt flat time trials, prop plane races, rally cars, rally bikes, monster truck races (these are different from car crushing competitions), and more. And that's just some of the motorized racing.

    If you think turning left is easy, try drag racing, where the trick is to accelerate in a straight line. However, it's either bracket racing in which you must do so faster than the other guy but not too fast, or where you're pushing the limits of monstrous cars that go over 310 MPH within a mile.

  53. Blain Hamon

    Yah! You tell 'em!

    Our waste of an obscene amount of money and oil is much better than your waste of an obscene amount of money and oil because yours goes in a loop while ours goes in a differently-shaped loop!

    At least Motocross gets more than 5 miles per gallon, has vehicles you can use elsewhere, and has things like jumps. And if you must burn fuel quickly, drag racing is short enough and you end up a different place than when you started.

  54. Aric Friesen

    David Webb Herbie won F1 before NASCAR

    You said: "Come on, Herbie won a NASCAR race! ... and driven by a girl!"

    Herbie won the Monte Carlo Grand Prix before he won the NASCAR event.

    You also seem to have a low opinion of women.

    So sad.

  55. Matt Piechota

    Left turn

    So, if they had a NASCAR race in Englnad, would the drivers have to turn right all the time?

  56. David

    The World

    "You know the world surely - those annoying bits of land to the left and right, and south of you?"

    Where're the Canadians jumping all over this one?

  57. Christopher DiOrio

    Another point....

    Question: what advancements has NASCAR ever given us? OK, not just automotive, but in ANY field? New and exciting ways to advertise tobacco and alcohol products, I guess...but what else?

    F1 has given us: active suspension, variable valve timing, electronic fuel injection, broader applications of composite materials (carbon fiber, kevlar, etc.), traction control, greater understanding of aerodynamics...the list could go on and on and on.

    NASCAR racing has given us:

    They still use carbuerators and live axles! What the hell, man? I remember 20 years ago when there was a great article about this HUGE advancement that was going to change pit-stops forever...someone came up with the idea of using tubes of rubber glue-like weather-stripping to attach the lug nuts to the wheels so they could put the tires on faster. Whoopee! That's sure changed MY life for the better...way more than traction-control and variable valve timing ever could!

    Bottom line: to each their own. If you like NASCAR racing, more power to ya (make sure it's limited by a restrictor plate, though). I, for one, like F1 and WRC and LeMans and SpeedGT get the idea. Don't ask for comparisons between NASCAR and any other form of racing...just like WWE will always lose in comparison to real sports, NASCAR will lose in comparison to real racing.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about WRC, (Rally)?

    Someone mentioned nearly every kind of US motorsport and how much skill would you need on those, but somehow Rally was left unnoticed. How about moving at 160 KPH through BLIND corners, jumping hills nearly like a motocross on a car that costs some 35k (Isn´t it the cost of a Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer, Toyota Celica and some Citroen model I don't recall now?), and no matter if you have a navigator by your side telling where and when the next turn is, you still manage to miss it? Plus you are ACTUALLY going somewhere, there is no closed circuit there, no 75 or 300 laps around the same track all the way to boredom. That´s what I call skill (guts and ultimate insanity also).

    You don´t need to spend GOBS of money, or move extremely fast to prove someone´s REAL skill. Those guys like Collin McRae are the real deal on driving skills. I said skills, not brains. Michael Schumacher has got plenty of the last one, inside his helmet, or in the pits.

    BTW, I heard rally cars ARE REAL STOCK CARS, straight from the assembly line to racing (except for tires, I guess), altough I doubt a normal car can jump 3 feet in the air and keep running. I guess Rally isn´t expensive, I have never seen major sponsorships behind these guys, or any race was cancelled due lack of funds. The race is so hard to finish that they will let the cars start the race one at a time, to beat the clock and the winding roads (or lack thereof) is difficulty enough.

    It´s technical, it´s difficult, requires endurance from machine and pilot, doesn´t cost much (I guess), only a few demented freaks in the world have the guts to do it, yet there is nothing trashy or redneck about it. It is called WRC because it DOES HAVE races around the world, from Australia, to South America, to Africa, to North America.

    In short:

    It has high standards like Formula 1, without the money.

    It has endurance as requirement, like 24hr GPs in Turismo.

    It uses real cars, the ones that can be bought by real humans,( even if it takes 36 months).

    A mistake CAN TRULY GET YOU KILLED, not just lose a race.

    It only lacks head-to-head competition, that explains the low popularity. MotoGP is great at that.

    Spetacular crashes won´t happen very often, but when they do, it looks a like a 737 crash site.

    On an IT note (this is El Reg) no matter how much technology you put on board these cars, Rally remains dangerous. It doesn´t matter if the navigator uses a piece of paper, or GPS, the results are the same.

    Stop wasting time complaining about NASCAR, it is common man entertainment, that´s it.

  59. Chris

    Poor Man's F1, my @$$

    Oh, please. The reason a NASCAR team costs less to run than a F1 team is that NASCAR is actually competitive. It isn't a race to see who can spend the most money on technology, but who has the most driving skill in cars that are equally matched.

    NASCAR has very specific rules on what technology can and cannot be used. They are constantly tweaking them so no one make of car gains advantage over any other. They do everything they can to present a "level playing field."

    How much passing is there in F1? What is the typical margin of victory? Frequently, the 2nd place car isn't even on the same lap as the winner. That isn't racing. That's a Sunday drive in traffic. In NASCAR the winning margin is usually no more than a few car lengths, or a couple of seconds at most. There are usually a couple of dozen cars, or more, still on the leap lap at the end. The car that was in second, or third, or even farther back, at the start of the last lap has a realistic chance of winning almost every week. How often does that happen in F1? Does a F1 race have a couple of dozen cars even start the race? Do they have anywhere near 43 cars? Gee, I wonder why not? Could it be too expensive?

    My girlfriend used to think it was "a bunch of dumb rednecks driving in circles", too. Then she went to a race, and watched a few on TV with me. Now she is hooked.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: You say NASCAR is worth $91 million dollars.

    Andrew ...

    "You say NASCAR is worth $91 million dollars."

    Not what was said. What was said is that the Daytona 500, the brand name for that one particular race, is worth $91M. Not the entire sport. The brand for the race.

    Not that I care. I watch the Indy 500 - and that's pretty much it.

    A comedian summed it up: "I was worried about talking bad about NASCAR, but then realized that if they started to chase me all I had to do was take a right." Or something to that effect.

  61. Marc

    That's just it....!

    > NASCAR racing has given us:

    > They still use carbuerators and live axles! What the hell, man?

    That's what it's all about!

    Front-engine, rear drive, solid rear axles. Carbs you can adjust in your backyard. Motors you could (mostly) duplicate with catalog-ordered parts. (750hp out of a normally aspirated 358ci motor? Not too shabby). Nothing will ever sound better to me than a pushrod American V8 with a lumpy cam.

    I have no idea what the performance aftermarket is like overseas - but NASCAR has brought a lot of technology to us in the US. The aftermarket for anything with a V8 motor here is huge, and always has been - that's where the results are... In what we're able to purchase as an actual motorsport enthusiast.

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