VOLUME 6 (2018)

Donald Trump, Confederate Flags and NASCAR: Understanding Fandom in Stock Car Auto Racing

 

Thomas Mueller Appalachian State University, muellerts@appstate.edu

 

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.

 

From the Driver ’s Seat: Fan Expectations of IndyCar Drivers’ Twitter Usage

 

Ryan Vooris State University of New York at Cortland, ryan.vooris@cortland.edu

Ju Young Lee Indiana University Kokomo, lee432@indiana.edu

Galen Clavio Indiana University, gclavio2@indiana.edu

Paul M. Pedersen Indiana University, ppederse@indiana.edu

 

ABSTRACT

Responses from 401 IndyCar fans were analyzed qualitatively to determine the characteristics fans wished to see in the Twitter activity of IndyCar drivers. A coding scheme was developed in line with Merriam (2009) and applied to respondents’ feedback. Results revealed five traits respondents wanted to see from IndyCar drivers’ engagement with Twitter: interaction, the common man, relevant racing information, honest authenticity, and personality. These results are then discussed in relation to previous research on social media and Indycar drivers’ perception of fan expectations (Clavio, Walsh, & Vooris, 2013).

Politics

Politics

Donald Trump, Confederate Flags and NASCAR: Understanding Fandom in Stock Car Auto Racing

Social Media

Social Media

From the Driver ’s Seat: Fan Expectations of IndyCar Drivers’ Twitter Usage Ryan Vooris, Ju Young Lee, Galen Clavio, & Paul M. Pedersen