Has Technology Ruined Racing?
It certainly isn’t the racing our fathers watched. Nor is it the racing our grandfathers invented. But it’s still racing. In my mind I frequently envision the start of the caveman, grunting and gesticulating to their closest haven in a manner consistent with, “I beat you there, No food for you!” Truly racing has come so incredibly far from the inception of the combustion engine as a necessity when horses could no longer do the jobs society demanded and steam engines weren’t powerful enough which brings us to the conclusion – man will ever and always race.
It’s kind of what we do. It is certainly as universal as mathematics. The same in any country. “I beat you to that lamp post, I win!” We go as fast as we possibly can, at all times, no matter where we go or what we’re doing. We even complain when “instantaneous,” answers in the palm of our hand aren’t fast enough!
Modern day racing has become an all out siege on everything we once thought of as fast. It matters not what the mode of transportation is, it only matters, “How fast can it get me there?” Naturally, this must be the greatest sport in human history, right? Well, no. The most popular sport in human history is currently, soccer, followed closely by cricket…“Say, What?” I know, cricket. I mean… Cricket. But that is just my Americanism showing through. Good news though if you’re a Formula One fan, they came in at #7 thanks to Totalsportek.com who actually uses factors in their consideration. Still, Formula One isn’t an American Race. And very few people care much for Indy cars anymore. But isn’t it some of the most fun you have ever experienced getting into any car you have ever owned and racing someone to dinner? To the mall? To the airport? So why are we not enjoying watching other people do it?
I have a theory. We are jealous. Well, I am. I want to be the one screaming around the track with gorgeous women handing you trophies and flowers and accolades…but it isn’t to be. My son is five and whenever you ask him, for the last two years of his short life, what he wants to be when he grows up his answer is invariably, “I wanna be a race car driver.”
Me too! But my car isn’t fast. Maybe therein lies the problem. We don’t look at our cars the same way those before us did; as potential. We see necessity, sure. Economics? Absolutely. Our runarounds of today aren’t the heavy cylindered, behemoths of the past the required 300 horsepower to get out of bed every day. But when you woke those old cars up, you were in for a treat! The sounds, the smells, the sheer force of gasoline ignition propelling you forwards and the God intended rear wheels spinning mercilessly like two wheels trying desperately to exit hell before the devil knew they were there unintentionally…our problem still remains. America isn’t interested anymore.
Granted, Dodge is exploring a comeback with this Hellcat, 700 horsepower, stock, passenger car and the others, being Chevy and Ford, will soon have to compete on some level, but the reality is, the new demographic doesn’t care.
The Pokemon Go players of the world and the Snapchatting, Facebook, Twitter addicts are too busy signaling Uber’s from the latest calorie free loving franchise to even consider driving themselves anywhere, let alone quickly and with style! But the Noise! You haven’t driven properly until you have experienced the sound of your right foot collapsing onto an accelerator with evil intent; a sound that shakes you to your core and whets the appetite for…more.
Luckily, it isn’t too late. There is still gasoline on this planet and it isn’t too late for you to go find a car, a friend, rent a car and experience a real ride in an automobile that will get your heart racing! I really feel for the masses that will never experience the seat of your pants driving that happens when you mash the accelerator and your vehicle is suddenly sideways and heading anywhere but straight and all you may have are your wits, gumption and wherewithal to straighten it out before it’s too late.
Those Americans are missing out. America is missing out. Help me bring motorsports back to the mainstream.