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NASCAR fans say crashes add to fun
Andie Hosmer and Verna Bartlett of Pittsburg relax in the RV and camper area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)
Hosmer, of Pittsburg, explained her point Friday as she and some friends sat outside their RV at New Hampshire Motor Speedway's RV Park. They came from the northernmost town in the state to see the races, particularly today's Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Her close friend, Verna Bartlett of Pittsburg, interrupted.
"I love to see crashes!" she piped in.
Bartlett said that she, too, doesn't want to see drivers injured, but crashes add to the excitement of the race.
A few RVs away, Raymond Saucier of Pelham backed Bartlett's view.
"Anyone who tells you they don't like to see crashes isn't a real race fan," Saucier said. "I don't want to see anyone get hurt either, but it definitely adds excitement. It's part of the sport."
"Everyone wants the excitement of the crash," she said.
"If something happened to one of the drivers, it would be terrible, but most of the time they're OK; they just blow a tire in the air or something."
"People get an adrenaline rush at live sporting events, it goes back to the gladiators," he said. "They love their drivers, and they like to see them driving on the edge sometimes. It's pretty natural."
Driving in NASCAR races is much safer than it used to be, he said.
Since Dale Earnhardt died in 2001 at the Daytona 500, the sport has made drastic improvements in the area of driver safety, he said.
In the 1990 movie "Days of Thunder,'' Robert Duvall's character, Harry Hogge, admonishes Tom Cruise's character for whining about his car being bumped by another driver. Hogge says: "No, no, he didn't slam you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you, he rubbed you. And rubbin', son, is racin''.'
"Rubbin' racing is a big part of these races. I don't think anyone comes here hoping someone crashes, but it's hard to deny that it adds excitement, and everyone likes it."