On the way home yesterday there was a, well for lack of a better word, a Yahoo on the radio who’s part of some protest group called Stop NASCAR.
I can’t find their web site, so it obviously has a large following. <- That’s sarcasm if you didn’t detect that.
While there may be plenty of good reasons to protest or picket NASCAR, Tony Stewart probably being one of them :), fuel consumption isn’t one.
The idiot’s premise was that we, as a country needed to step up and reduce fuel usage. That NASCAR alone wastes fuel, and when 150,000 people go to a race, they also waste fuel going to watch it.
Yet he was opposed to banning any other activity, like baseball, basket ball, or any other sport which also attracts a boat load of people from all around.
So if the fuel consumption of the fans attending NASCAR is roughly the same as say any other professional sport, then the only other waste you have left is the fuel they burn during the race.
Google answers claims that the average NASCAR car gets about 4 to 6 miles a gallon, which considering the horsepower they generate, seems pretty good to me.
But for the sake of argument, let’s assume the low of 4 MPG.
A typical race is 500 miles, plus a few miles for parade laps, perhaps some caution laps that might not count, or a green/white checker finish. So for fun let’s extend that to 520 miles per event per car.
Fuel usage for one car would be approximately 130 gallons.
NASCAR starts 43 cars per event, so that puts fuel consumption at: 5,590 Gallons of fuel. Now of course there is practice and qualifying, so let’s double that figure as fuel consumption for a typical NASCAR Weekend.
Let’s just say it’s 11,000 Gallons.
Google Answers also claims (per British Airways) that a typical BA 747 burns approximately 3378 Gallons of fuel per hour. So a 3 hour flight would use 10,134 gallons. (Close enough for my comparison).
So if we’re going to boycott NASCAR, I expect this clown to stay away form airports too.
He also complained that NASCAR doesn’t care about fuel economy.
That is also very untrue. Fuel economy often wins races. I suspect nearly 1/3rd of the races come down to fuel economy, and it’s not always the fastest car that wins, but the one who can get to the end without taking more fuel that does.
I can’t speak for NASCAR but they do care about fuel economy.
That’s akin to saying McDonalds is anti-chicken because they serve eggs for breakfast.
The reality is, NASCAR, and racing in general is directly responsible for many of the fuel efficiency, power, and safety improvements in your every day car. It is the testing bed for a number of technologies.
So if this clown is really concerned with fuel wastes, there are plenty of other places to start. He fully admits that stopping NASCAR would be a miniscule drop in the bucket. His reason for pushing forward? “You have to start somewhere, and it sends a message”.
I’ve got a message for him…