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Abstract

The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is undergoing a radical shift in social perception. Controversial current actions have included the CEO’s endorsement of President Donald Trump; a Confederate Flag exchange program at Daytona International Speedway; and race team owners who were opposed to “taking a knee” during the National Anthem. As the sport – and society – shift in perspective, it is important to understand the psychological underpinnings of motorsport enthusiasts. This study (N=489) builds on existing research to better understand NASCAR fandom. An 18-item Perception of NASCAR Scale produced a 4-factor solution that captured the dimension Social Change which collected a negative relationship between “macho sport” and “more diversity.” Analysis of variance testing for “like to see more diversity” indicates Christians and those of Jewish faith were significantly different. Christians and those who identified as non-religious also held significantly different views. Regarding politics and diversity, Republican and Independent voters held significantly different views. The factor Violent History supported the most highly correlated scale items “When drivers and crews get into fights it heightens my NASCAR experience” with “Crashes are an important part of my NASCAR experience.” The factors Man and Machine and Commercialized represented a perception of high risk auto sport used to sell sponsor products and services.

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