Nascar and the Car Chase Effect

Frank Deford, senior contributing editor at Sports Illustrated, offered a commentary on NPR yesterday that drew a direct correlation between movie car chases and the popularity of NASCAR.

Says Frank:

“The Daytona 500 is even being billed as one of the four prestige TV events during February sweeps: The Superbowl, The Grammys, The Oscars, and the Daytona 500. That’s like champagne, platinum, silk and turnips.”

“What I hated most about the movies when I was a kid was when the drama would give way to the mushy kissing. What I hate most about them now are car chases. I think there is a direct correlation between the number of stupid car chases in movies and the popularity of NASCAR.”

“Some people think that NASCAR fans watch the events to see cars crash. Don’t these idiots get it? They watch to see cars chase. Sure the car chases are better in the movies, but in NASCAR you get to scratch and scream and drink beer as you watch cars chase ’round and ’round and ’round…”

[Listen to Frank’s commentary]