Mary Katharine Ham pointed out this wonderful Sports Illustrated piece by the S.I. NASCAR beat writer, Richard O'Brien, about how he and his daughters developed an interest in NASCAR thanks to his assignment.
The author's 16-year-old daughter, Valentina, writes in a sidebar piece: "I decided to watch so I would have something to talk about with my dad." This sounds rather like me -- I started paying a little attention about 6 years ago so I could discuss the subject with my oldest son, who had recently become interested in NASCAR and quickly developed into a passionate fan. Before too long I found myself turning on the races "for company" even if he wasn't home.
Now the entire family watches together. Each family member roots for a particular driver -- Bobby Labonte (older son, who was a Ward Burton fan until he retired), Jeff Gordon (younger son), Dale Jarrett (older daughter), Jeff Burton (younger daughter), Matt Kenseth (husband) and Elliott Sadler (me -- how could I not root for the M&Ms car?!).
We agree about the fun commercials -- as mentioned here last February, they're much more entertaining than Super Bowl commercials.