We get it—not everybody takes stock car racing seriously. After all, NASCAR is notorious for having a stereotypical fan base that emerges from the backwoods donning mullets and Dale Earnhardt tattoos on race day, and it’s debatable whether handling a car that’s going 200 m.p.h. requires raw athletic talent.
But then there are gym-going guys like Jimmie Johnson, one of the winningest drivers in the country, who make it hard for us to deny NASCAR a spot in our sports-watching schedules. When you flip through the May issue of Men’s Fitness (it hits newsstands today), you’ll learn that Johnson was among the first drivers to use physical fitness to enhance his on-track performance. How? Eating right and training for triathlons help him stay energized and focused when he’s behind the wheel.
Our interview with Johnson really warmed us up to the idea of tuning into NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series this summer. As we familiarize ourselves with big-name drivers, tracks, and races, we’ve scoped out six of the best NASCAR stories the web has to offer.
NASCAR: Ranking the 10 Best Venues to Watch a Race (Bleacher Report)
Learn which racetrack loops a full 2.66 miles around, and which venue deserves a spot on your bucket list.
15 Hilarious NASCAR Fan Photos (Heavy)
Picture a hard-core NASCAR fan, then multiply it by ten. That’s the level of redneck going on in this worst-of-the-worst collection of photos, which range from decorated back hair to a six-pack (of beer) stomach tattoo.
Female in the Pits: Christmas Abbott Is Set to Enter Where Few Women Have Gone Before (Yahoo!)
Five-foot-three, 115-pound Christmas Abbott is one badass chick. She’s currently working on Jennifer Jo Cobb’s Camping World Truck Series team and attempting to make the cut as a tire changer in the Sprint Cup Series. She’s also spent time in Iraq and owns a CrossFit gym in North Carolina.
Six Generations of NASCAR Cars (ESPN)
When Gen 6 racers took the track earlier this year, ESPN rated the best and worst stock cars from 1948 to present.
Top Feuds in NASCAR History (Fox Sports)
A look back at the biggest NASCAR beefs. Think of these fights as road rage on steroids.
Top 10 NASCAR Finishes (AskMen)
How a driver finishes a race can make or break his reputation. AskMen picked these 10 nail-biting finishes as the most pivotal in NASCAR history.