Jul 30, 2023, Posted by: Maverick Leclair

What do Europeans think about NASCAR and IndyCar?

A Peek into Europe's Perception of NASCAR

When we talk about motorsport, more often than not, Formula 1 almost always comes up. But beyond the glitz, speed, and charm that comes with F1 races is a different breed of racing. Friends, get into your imaginary pit crews, because today, I'm taking you around the NASCAR track.

On this side of the pond, in the United States, NASCAR is not just a sport but a subculture, a tradition that has been passed down generations. But, what do our fellow human beings across the big blue Atlantic think of NASCAR? Well, NASCAR often raises eyebrows, incites giggles and awakens curiosity among the continental folks. But here's the kicker, while we're swapping paint in the ovals, they are treating themselves to chicanes and hairpins on the reg.

The fascination with road courses among Europeans is evident. It is perhaps my ardent devotion to everything racing that led me to once swap tales with a Brit in a pub about the 'controversial rubber burning in the roundabout'. He laughed it off and said, "Mate, NASCAR is like a Monty Python sketch on wheels. But all in good sport, eh?" Oh, those Brits and their humor!

IndyCar: The Underdog in the European Opinion?

IndyCar, the American single-seater cousin of Europe's beloved Formula 1, is often overlooked internationally. Call it overshadowed by the dazzle of NASCAR or overshadowed by the legendary status of F1, but it is definitely an underdog worth rooting for.

Ironically, the most famous IndyCar event – the Indianapolis 500, garners more interest and respect abroad than the series itself. A fellow Spaniard once told me, "It's a race that is already a legend, something like the Tour de France in cycling."
I'll admit he did catch me off guard, comparing a car race to a cycling tour, but hey, appreciation is appreciation right?

The Influence of Pop Culture on NASCAR and IndyCar Perception in Europe

Pop culture is a powerful beast and this holds true for how our European cousins perceive both NASCAR and IndyCar. Hollywood might be one of the cuprits here, with movies like Days of Thunder, and Talladega Nights painting rather, let's say colorful and overstated pictures of NASCAR.

As for IndyCar, it tends to assume a more serious tone in popular media, i.e., Driven. The real question here is, are these presentations really affecting the overseas perception? From my talks with an enthusiastic German lady one time at a screening, she was all praises for NASCAR's cinematic depiction. A bit different for reality yes, but definitely entertaining.

Checkered Flags and Champagne: The European Motorsport Culture

One must consider the context of European motorsport culture to understand this dynamic. Europe is the cradle of Formula 1, the queen bee of motorsports, if you will.

Rounds, chicanes, and hairpin bends have dominated their circuits versus our preference for ovals. The differentiating themes of organizational structure, racing traditions, type of tracks, and the technical specs of the cars themselves can feel like the world apart to racing enthusiasts. It's like comparing a good ol' juicy burger with a refined croissant. Both incredibly delicious, but quite different!

The Shift in Perception: Europe’s Growing Interest?

But hold the phone! It seems the European opinion of NASCAR and IndyCar is changing. More intrigue, more respect and fair bit of admiration are starting to color the old perceptions.

Our NASCAR and IndyCar drivers popping up in F1 tracks could be one of the reasons. Seeing beloved figures like Fernando Alonso taking his talent across the Atlantic is seen as exciting. And with new streaming platforms giving easier access to these races, the interest is definitely on the rise.

NASCAR and IndyCar - Not Just a Cup of American Tea

It's understandable that NASCAR and IndyCar might seem like a purely 'American' affair, but that's the farthest from the truth. NASCAR may be birthed by bootleggers outrunning law enforcement officers, but today, it has international drivers with followers from all corners of the globe.

Same goes for IndyCar, it's seen drivers from a myriad of nationalities. Their journey expanding the presence of these sports globally is just beginning. As these sports receive a growing international exposure, the European perception of NASCAR and IndyCar is bound to evolve. So, fellow gearheads, let's pop some more kernels for these races across the pond!

The Euro Takeaway: A Perspective Change?

Regardless of how Europeans view NASCAR or IndyCar right now, it's crucial to remember that opinions are fluid and ever-changing. Today's chuckle could be tomorrow's cheer, and today's perplexity could be tomorrow's passion.

Hmm, got me thinking, maybe there's a charm about NASCAR's left turns and IndyCars' sheer speed that's just waiting to be discovered by the wider European audience. A cross-pollination of racing cultures, wouldn't that be something?

Whether Europeans watch NASCAR races out of curiosity or for sheer entertainment or actually appreciate the sport for what it is, the truth remains that we all love the thrill that motorsports bring - be it the hairpin twist of Monte Carlo or the left oval turfs of Daytona. Who knows? NASCAR and IndyCar may just become the new fan favorites. F1, you might want to watch your backside!


Maverick Leclair

Maverick Leclair

Hi, I'm Maverick Leclair, a sports enthusiast with a passion for motorsports. I've spent years honing my expertise in various sporting disciplines, but my true love lies in the adrenaline-pumping world of racing. As a writer, I enjoy sharing my insights and experiences with fellow fans of high-speed pursuits. From Formula 1 to MotoGP, I've got you covered with the latest news, analysis, and in-depth features. Join me as we explore the fascinating world of motorsports together.

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