Sunday, February 20, 2011

And in other news... NASCAR

I love NASCAR.  No suprise to some, maybe to others. I thouroghly enjoyed today's Daytona 500, with a 20 yearold, who nobody had ever heard of before, winning the race. On the drive into work the other day, me and the boyfriend were discussing the differences between F1 and NASCAR. 

In NASCAR, for those of you who may not yet be indoctrinated,  the playing field is very level. Cars are tested, analyzed and made roughly equivalent. Specs are enforced, i.e, engine compression volume, aerodynamic profile, and violators are penalized.  Yes, monied teams have an advantage, and can squeeze out some extra performance, but NASCAR is the American Dream-  anyone can win, even a 20 year-old with Woods Brothers racing.

Now F1 is diferent. The car has to fit into a "box", with fixed dimensions, and it has to use a certain type of engne with a set compression volume. And that is where the similarities end. F1 teams put in millions of dollars to maximize their horsepower and minimize their aero profile, except of course in the corners, where they want to stick to the track with maximum down force.  FIA, F1's organizing body, does not regulate the cars beyond the original specs, so there are two tiers of teams: the rich(factory sponsored) teams, and the poor(er) teams, which also can be described as the fast, winning teams, and the slow, rolling-chicane teams.  I mean really, when did you last hear of the Force India team getting even a podium??  You hear about McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull.

So our conclusions were as follows: NASCAR embodies the American Dream, because it uses  level playing field approach. F1 enjoys the non-level playing field, because of the  "invisible-hand" type management. So American NASCAR is awesome, because it is more socialist than capitalist European F1.  I think some readnecks in Daytona might kill me for these remarks!

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