We all love writing about things we love, so here I go again writing about NASCAR! So, I was one of the 200,000 plus people that attended the NASCAR race this weekend in my hometown of Las Vegas–as usual I wasn’t disappointed.

This year’s races brought a record number of cautions at the track and a couple red flags–as many have already said, at times it seemed much more like a demolition derby than it did a NASCAR race! While sometimes it’s fun to watch a few cars spin out on the track, it does tend to get a little old after awhile. Just when the action on the track got hot, someone lost control in one of the turns, and there was another wreck. At one point, there were only 9 cars on the lead lap–an amazing statistic for a NASCAR race.

What I found very interesting this year, was the fact that even with the national economy as bad as it is, people refused to miss the NASCAR races in Las Vegas. When I was standing in line at the track to pick up my tickets, I met a couple military men from Australia, whom had never been to a NASCAR event. I also met a young man from Germany who again was attending a NASCAR race for the first time. So, it made me think, here I am standing in line to buy tickets and I’m not surrounded by my fellow Las Vegas citizens, but instead I’m surrounded by folks from other countries.

It was very exciting to know that there were so many people attending this race from outside of Las Vegas. Our local economy has suffered greatly by the economic meltdown–this race was a huge boost! To give you an idea how much of a boost, it is estimated that NASCAR brought in over $200 million dollars in non-gaming revenue! With McCarran Airport taking such a hit with passenger numbers down and our casinos, restaurants, and entertainment venues suffering from low tourist numbers, this was a welcomed change.

Like many sports in America, NASCAR has experienced its share of pain with the current economic times. Sponsors have left the sport, several teams have merged their operations to consolidate and save money on their shop costs, and many drivers have seen their hopes of signing a big deal fall by the wayside due to a lack of funds. However, the races still go on and the fans keep coming by the tens of thousands!

So this year, I want to salute NASCAR for continuing to inspire enthusiast to continue attending the races around the country. I want to thank NASCAR for what they are doing for communities around the nation. Finally, I want to thank NASCAR for still being an affordable sport–with tickets to college basketball games going for over $100.00, it’s nice to know that for $40.00, you can spend a wonderful day at the track–full of excitement!

Thank you NASCAR!

By Nathan Taylor

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 Sports
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