Christopher Heard

The NASCAR experience

When you hear the term NASCAR, and you are not familiar with that sport slash culture, a few solid stereotypes will immediately spring to mind, and generally speaking those stereotypes have solid foundations (the roots of this sport can be traced to bootleggers in North Carolina, like Junior Johnson, who became the first NASCAR superstar, but who began his career as a moonshine runner who modified his car to outrun the law–Jeff Bridges immortalized Johnson on film in the movie The Last American Hero). But going to a NASCAR race is an experience that goes way above and beyond the mere notion of attending a “race” or a “sporting event”. Having just come back from my second such experience at the gargantuan Michigan International Speedway, I can say without a shred of exaggeration that attending a NASCAR event is one of the most enjoyable and interesting travel experiences I have ever had.