NASCAR Weekend: An American Cultural Experience

Ka Hung Lee, Brian

Ka Hung Lee, Brian

Staff Writer

November 6 was a very busy Saturday, starting with a great Thunderbird event organized by our beloved Professor Rebeca Hwang. There also was a screening of the movie General Magic and a great panel event throughout the whole morning until 2 p.m. that day. There was Phoenix Pride, NASCAR Weekend, and a sold-out ASU vs. USC football game in our home stadium on the same day. I wish I could have attended all the events at the same time! However, I made the decision to attend Professor Hwang’s event and volunteer at NASCAR Weekend.

It was a 30 minute drive from Thunderbird campus to the Phoenix Raceway at Avondale without traffic. It was a beautiful Saturday except the hot Arizona weather (over 90º F that day), which was still hanging around even though we had entered November. My friend Grace and I were some of the volunteers from ASU that day, and we both had fun as volunteers for the famous NASCAR event! We were mainly ushering and using devices to help validate participants’ tickets. The engines from these cars are so loud that you can hear them roaring even standing far from the gate! You can find one of the clips on my Instagram account. Most of the people wore earplugs and headphones to avoid the loud engine noise hurting their ears. The atmosphere during the NASCAR event was amazing, and people were friendly to us volunteers. 

There was a wide variety of food at the event, as you can see from the pictures below, including tacos, grilled plates, seafood, and many others. You already know this event is unique when you’re mixing the smells of gasoline and food! Moreover, lots of NASCAR fans and people across the country brought their recreational vehicles (RVs) for the weekend. I could see the “Let’s go Brandon” flag hanging from one of them as well as t-shirts with the same slogan, a clear sign of opposition to President Joe Biden. Politics affect every aspect of our lives, and this event truly showcased freedom of expression with different opinions! As a native of Hong Kong, I attended the event not only just for fun but also to feel the atmosphere and learn to appreciate various cultures, especially given that NASCAR is regarded as a very “American” event. All in all, I am very grateful to be one of the audience and volunteers in this “traditional American” event!

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