A red, white and blue salute to NASCAR for being the leaders in promoting American patriotism in sports. People often equate NASCAR with “rednecks.” That’s not too far from the truth, because most all fans bleed red, white and blue, making it one of the most patriotic sports for redneck fans in the world. Where else will you find teams sporting the colors and logos of our nation’s military with their car paint schemes?
NASCAR teams travel across the country, up and down the highways in haulers. Each hauler bears the drivers name, team logo and the American flag. People line up along streets as the haulers pass through towns, and many travelers wave or honk as the truckers drive past them. One can’t help but smile when they see hundreds of NASCAR team haulers make their way down the highway.
The NASCAR community doesn’t show patriotism out of commercialism, but rather out of heart-felt love for our country. The men and women who have served and are serving are recognized weekly, whether on the track or off the track, through various foundations supported by drivers, teams and owners.
There hasn’t been a weekend race that I have attended where I didn’t see a sign, a car sticker or t-shirt stating love and gratitude for the fallen soldiers and/or for our veterans. Military men and women can be found visiting with their favorite drivers, along with the opportunity to checkout the cars up close and personal. Time after time I’ve heard people taking a moment to thank or salute those in uniform for their service while standing in line to buy merchandise or concessions.
The moment I walk through a gate at any speedway I feel the energy, the excitement and yes, the patriotism fueled, not by diesel or standard gasoline, but by Sunoco racing fuel, which helps me walk tall and with pride. Each race begins with pageantry and the parade of drivers in the back of pickup trucks, and on these trucks are flags — the team flag and the American flag. Of course, a race never begins without the Star Spangled Banner and a salute to Old Glory by fans and the US military men and women.
Following a win, Brad Keselowski and other drivers are handed their two favorite flags for their burnout. The one seen almost every week is the American flag or the checkered flag. The waving of the American flag by the winning driver is one of my favorite patriotic tributes to our great nation. These winning drivers aren’t waving the flag for political correctness but out of pride to be an American.
I don’t need a national holiday or tragedy to help me connect with my patriotic feelings. I just need a NASCAR race. Call me a redneck if you want; it’s all good, because I bleed red, white and blue. Thank you NASCAR for the red, white and blue salute.