How Kevin Harvick distinguished himself from the competition and became the champion
|Kevin Harvick earned the right to hold up the 2014 Sprint|
Cup Trophy with his run to the championship. (Getty)
They're the ones that drive this great sport of auto racing. They're there at Daytona when the season starts in February, and they're there all the way through the checkered flag at Homestead. Each week, they fill the stands and camping lots, mob the souvenir haulers, and go through whatever means necessary to try and get close to their favorite drivers. The NASCAR fan base is unlike any other in sports.
That passion is fueled by the nature of the competition. Unlike if you attend a New England Patriots game, where you're either a fan of the Patriots or you're not, in NASCAR, there are 43 cars on the track. That means at any given time, there are fans of 43 different "teams" (if you will) at the same venue or on the same social media site.
This results in more imminent debates than in other sports. For every Kyle Busch supporter, there's a Brad Keselowski fan. For every member of Junior Nation, there's someone to remind them about the lack of a championship. For every fan pulling for Jeff Gordon to win a long-awaited fifth championship, there's an equally passionate fan hoping for Jimmie Johnson to keep rolling with a seventh.
That's our sport. That uniqueness in fans is what defines it from any other in the world.
But, that passion can get ugly when a fan's love for their own driver turns into a hatred for the others. Instead of cheering on their own driver, some openly hope that others get intentionally wrecked. Instead of being disappointed by a poor performance, some call other drivers and crew chiefs cheaters. (It never seems to matter who; if it's not that person's driver, the rest cheated.) Instead of tipping their cap to a good performance, they boo a champion and try to discredit the accomplishment.