Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Dale Junior thinks NASCAR fans love raw emotion

   Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked on Friday why he thought raw emotion resonates as much as it does with the NASCAR fan base.

   NASCAR fans typically get very excited and riled up when drivers express emotion in races, such as following the incident that took place between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth last week at Bristol, Tenn., when both wrecked and Stewart tossed his helmet at Kenseth's car.

   Earnhardt's answer:

   "I’m sure everybody watching the race has somebody’s neck they would like to ring. Maybe they live vicariously through that emotion in some way. There is probably a co-worker or two they wouldn’t mind running their fist into his face. It’s probably more likely than you imagine. I assume they live vicariously through it. I do when I watch football. I see what the players do on the field (and) I kind of get into the emotional side of it when somebody is upset or a player gets real physical and plays really hard," he said.

   "That is what you like to see and I think the fans really like seeing that out of the drivers. Especially, we are inside the cars and we are limited to our physical emotions and physical body language driving the car. But when we get out and do things such as Tony (Stewart) did the fans really connect to that. They really connect to that emotion and driving down the road somebody cuts you off on the highway you would love to shoot them a bird or something. Maybe you do.”

   Who doesn't?

Bank of America 500 going to new heights

   World famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, who made headlines earlier this year when he traversed a 1,500-foot span across Niagara Falls on live television, will bring his high-wire thrill show to the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 pre-race show at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

   “We always strive to give fans an unforgettable race day experience,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “This year, Nik wowed us all at Niagara Falls, and now fans can see him in action at the greatest place to see the race. Whether it’s on the track or in the air, the Bank of America 500 will be a combination of entertainment and thrills that only Charlotte Motor Speedway can deliver.”

   No previous show has risen to the heights that will be achieved during this year’s Bank of America 500, when Wallenda, a six-time Guinness World Record holder for various acrobatic achievements, takes to the high wire.

   Wallenda will descend from above the frontstretch grandstands over a span of more than 750 feet to a crane set up behind Victory Circle, all while balancing on a tiny 5/8-inch cord. At times the cord will hang more than 100 feet – 10 stories – above the ground, and his total walk will equal the length of two-and-a-half football fields.

   This year’s performance marks the 26th anniversary of The Flying Wallendas’ high-wire act at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1986, when Nik’s predecessors walked from the grandstands down to pit road as part of a circus-themed prerace show.

   “I’m honored to continue the great Wallenda family tradition performing at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Wallenda said. “The speedway has always set the bar for pre-race entertainment and excitement, and I’m looking forward to raising that bar to new heights this year.

   “NASCAR drivers are used to driving on the edge, and in my job, it’s really no different. It takes an extreme level of focus and commitment to your craft to be successful, and there’s really nothing quite like the thrill of being out there and performing.”