Jeremy Clarkson’s distaste for NASCAR has never been a great secret. Throughout Top Gear’s run, Jeremy has, on many occasions, spoken ill of the sport, despite Hammond’s best efforts at convincing him otherwise. Imagine our surprise, then, when Jeremy actually had some decent things to say about NASCAR!
In a video clip posted on DriveTribe yesterday, Jeremy had a message for Formula One’s new owners, stating that they needed to make it more like NASCAR. Says Jeremy:
“…there’s no question that Americans have a sense of theater about them. Think whatever you do of NASCAR, they can fill 250,000-seater stadiums, which no other sport on Earth can do. And Formula One – the rich old men who run it, just need to be told that it’s for the fans. The only thing that will get the fans watching and therefore the sponsorship money rolling in again is excitement. And I think the Americans understand that.”
Jeremy has a point there. I immediately thought of the world of professional wrestling (stay with me here). In the US, the WWE is so theatrical, so overdone, and is such a soap opera. In, say Japan, New Japan Pro Wrestling is presented more as a real sport, with an emphasis on the wrestling itself, and not so much on the theatrical. One is bigger, flashier, and louder while the other is far more technical.
Basically NASCAR is the WWE of the motorsports world, even down to its fanbase. It just seems more “fun,” both to watch and to be a part of. I’m actually a bigger fan of Formula One than I am of NASCAR (and NJPW, as a matter of fact), but Jeremy is right; there’s no denying that NASCAR knows how to make the product louder, flashier, and more fun.