10 Signs You're Secretly a NASCAR Fan

It's understandable if you're wary about becoming an open air NASCAR fan. There is undoubtedly a stereotype attached to devotees of the stock-car madness. But if you feel an undeniable pull to the roar of the track, ignore the haters. If you get an indescribable feeling watching those sleek race cars spin round the track, let your checkered flag fly proudly.

You might be a NASCAR fanatic if some or all of these apply to you:

Bowling Isn't Fast Enough


Something about relaxing and cracking into a beer while enjoying some leisure activity brings a smirk to your face. You tried golf, and the sedate clapping and cheering wedged between long periods of silence just didn't do it for you. Flipping the channel, the PBA is all fine and good, but watching adult men hurtle composite balls down the lane just isn't quite your speed. Keep flipping, and there's the Daytona 500. It's fast. It's loud. It's constantly in motion. It's perfect for sipping on a few beers and relaxing.

The Heavy Presence of Two-Tone Home Furnishings

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Your family and friends probably won't broach the subject, but lately your tastes in design have changed. Everything seems to end up looking a little bit on the black and white side — especially with regards to a certain checkered pattern. So far, it hasn't really been an issue as long as it remains just a handful of wall hangings, throw pillows, posters, or blankets. However, your colleagues and cohorts may offer to drop you off at the Richmond International Speedway before you model your house on the floors of the West Virginia Governor's Mansion (above).

Stoplights Just Aren't Yellow Enough
Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for ChildrenGetty Images​

Every time you head home from work, to the office, or to the store for supplies, something seems a little off. You can't quite put your finger on it, but something is missing. By the time you realize the reason (because there just aren't enough yellow lights at the intersection), you're already in too deep. No wonder you don't feel cautious enough before hitting the straightaway at breakneck speeds (under the speed limit, of course). Whether you take a spin around Indianapolis, Las Vegas, or Anytown, U.S.A., driving just doesn't feel right without those two bonus stoplights.

Your Cars Are Numbered

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Alphabetizing and numbering a kitchen or workspace is a great way to keep things neat and tidy. On the other hand, if you only have a car or two, your buddies won't buy your excuses about organizing your garage for long. At some point in time, you'll be forced to admit, at least to yourself, that you're a NASCAR nut. Once you've shed your apprehensions, perhaps you can limit your fandom to placing numbered decals on your windshield like the everyone else. Or not. Do your own thing. It's your life, after all.

Everything Equates to Racing
Children (4-6) running to finish line in egg and spoon raceBigshots/Getty

Although not obvious to everyone, you're fixation with competitive lapping is another sign that you're secretly a NASCAR nut. Every time the sink drains, you latch onto a favorite bubble — the one you hope makes it down the drain first. When your kids are tracing mazes in their coloring books, you furtively hedge bets on who will hit the middle first. Even standing in line at the grocery store means gritting your teeth until your cart hits the checkout stand before the person in the next lane. Yep, you're a race fan.

Unsubtle Trends in Vacation Spots
Talladega Superspeedway Race, Talladega, AlabamaThe Protected Art Archive/Alamy

Perhaps your spouse has noticed certain tendencies in your vacation itinerary. Perhaps your family or friends occasionally ask why your holiday triptych winds through Atlanta or Sonoma when you don't know anyone there. Perhaps your spouse or kids even shot you an odd glance the time you insisted on driving to Talladega Superspeedway or stopping off to stretch your legs at the Dover International Speedway. In any case, your tendencies towards NASCAR-oriented areas will eventually clue your family in to your stock car super-fandom, and there's no shame in that.

You Insist on Sponsorship
American Ethanol E15 250NASCAR via Getty Images

Walking to your car doesn't require any corporate assistance, but you always feel the need to represent. Your jacket is covered with patches of companies who you feel owe you a lot of back-rent. Even your pants have racing stripes (Han Solo wore piping, so it's cool right?). However, your significant other will quickly tire of the odd looks you receive out in public. Your car is starting to collect sponsor decals and bumper stickers to the point that it's difficult to tell what make and model it is. In addition, your continual calls to the local hardware store and Sprint Headquarters haven't won you any major contracts yet.

Everything Has to Be a Pit Stop
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for AutismGetty Images

While it's true, most people associate little asides in life with pit stops, you take the concept to the next level. You specifically chose a domicile with a long stretch of flooring between the living and dining and bathroom areas. When commuting or traveling, you insist on eating and picking up your medication at drive-through windows. Also, only outdoor movie theater drive-ins will do. You even also plan your road trips around cities like Newark, New Jersey or Bend, Oregon, states where full-service gas stations still exist. Simply put, you don't feel comfortable unless you or your car can sidle up for service.

Competitive Pre-Day Meetings
Sister and brother fighting face to faceGetty Images

Whether starting your workday, dropping the kids off at school, or heading out for family activities, you hold a mandatory meeting (to comply with pre-race procedure) before you leave the house. To ensure attendance, family members who don't attend or are late have to sit in the back of the car. You even insist upon singing the national anthem. While your family puts up with your quirks for now, they look forward to the day you're late to your first meeting so they can stick you in the back of the car for a change.

Mandatory Helmets (Even in the Car)
little boy and his carting...

Safety is king. Sure, everyone wears helmets when they roller skate or ride a bike (except for the really cool kids, who have great hair even at their funeral). Still, that doesn't seem quite safe enough. Even when driving, accidents can happen. Just to make sure you and your loved ones don't wind up mashed into the quarter mile turn, you insist they strap on helmets in addition to their seat belts. However, for the sake of not looking like complete weirdos, they usually wait until after the doors are closed and the windows are all rolled up to comply.

Always the Race Car, Never the Pace Car
mirror view of speeding car.shutterstock

Do you suffer from Pace Car-itis? Symptoms include a lead foot, wildly careening thoughts, mild envy, and an insatiable need to keep up with your upwardly mobile friends. Let's face it: Most Americans suffer from Pace Car-itis. However, when your symptoms also include a need to regulate other drivers' velocity or warn them about inclement weather or road hazards, you may have a NASCAR-related case (or should apply to the police academy). The recommended cure, as with all other cases of Pace Car-itis, is: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride you're already on. Unlike NASCAR, you never know where the track is heading.

Andy L. Kubai is a freelance writer and transplanted Austinite who's been exploring the internal and external wonders of his new home for the last 5 years. Find out more about Andy on his website.

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