I did write about the new NASCAR TV deal with NBC this week. Don’t think that qualifies me for this list.
Anyway, Viv Bernstein put up a post titled, “The Merry Jews of NASCAR.”
From the post:
Yes, Nascar was born in the Bible Belt South. And racing and religion are inseparable. Each weekly driver’s meeting ends with a prayer and every pre-race ceremony includes an invocation.
Goyishe sport, right? Oy! Would you believe there are enough Jews in Nascar to fill an Adam Sandler song? And then some.
No, they’re not the ones driving the racecars, so you’re not going to read about them. But here’s the thing: You probably will read them. That’s because we’re all in the press box and media center. It’s one of the oddities of Nascar: Many of the people who cover the sport happen to be Jewish.
Nascar fans have probably seen the byline of Jeff Gluck, one of the lead motorsports writers for USA Today and formerly with SBNation.com and the old Nascar Scene. The indefatigable Nascar reporter for The Sporting News is Bob Pockrass. The Associated Press national motorsports writer is Jenna Fryer. Lewis Franck writes for Autoweek and has contributed to ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated’s SI.com and Reuters.
Yep, all Jewish.
“Years ago at a media tour — this was 2005, the year I met Gluck — I was riding up in the Hilton elevator one night with Gluck, Mike Harris and Lewis,” Edelstein wrote of the annual gathering of media and Nascar race teams. “And Gluck looked at all of us and said, ‘I feel like this must be the Nascar elevator minyan.’ “
There is no simple explanation for why so many Jewish writers and reporters gravitated to Nascar with its comparatively small media contingent. We all found our own paths at various times.
“I like to tell people I’m just a simple Jewish kid from the Bronx, so of course Nascar is one of my favorite sports,” said Edelstein, who lives in New Jersey. “Thank goodness I’m not so devout that I have to care whether the moonshine is kosher.”
And in closing:
I doubt folks in the sport even realize how many of us are in the media center these days. If they did, maybe they would think twice about serving pulled pork every weekend.
So now that you know, would it be too much to ask for a little kosher spread to nosh on instead? Hey Charlotte Motor Speedway, how about a bialy and schmeer?