This just in: NASCAR great Jeff Gordon has been suspended indefinitely for using performance enhancing drug “speed” and deflating his tires.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of NASCAR drivers getting suspended for things which are far too typical in other major sports. I know there have been fines levied for using illegal car parts and clipping another car. Maybe they get docked points or if they won the race, stripped of their win. I don’t know enough about the sport to make any real guesses.
I read that the beginnings of NASCAR were kind of weird. It started by moonshine runners with huge gas tanks that held hundreds of gallons of gas so they could outlast the cops. They created very fast cars too. So how does something so blatantly illegal become an legitimate and extremely popular sport? I’m glad you asked.
According to nascar.com,
NASCAR’s roots are soaked to the very tips in moonshine, and in the last few years, the connection has been examined in at least two excellent books — Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR (Broadway 2007) by Neal Thompson, and Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France (The University of North Carolina Press 2010) by Daniel S. Pierce.
I wonder if the founding fathers of NASCAR were ever pardoned for their crimes. They certainly weren’t hiding out. Before the sport was legit, the moonshine runners began to race each other. Those were the best drivers when the sport began because other drivers needed to be trained on how to race the cars.
In my opinion, it’s by far the most interesting beginning of a major sport. Some say its not a real sport. I completely disagree. When you see the drivers interviewed following a race, they are completely exhausted. Driving for hours in competition with others and in the heat, f’get about it. Not to mention they need to be extremely knowledgeable about each track.
Hmmm, maybe todays drug runners and mules could start a sport. National Association of Mules, NAM. They would actually race mules. Now that would be interesting, although the riders would need to pee in a cup every day.
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