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Do Fans Pick Favorite Drivers Based On Their Own Personalities?

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NASCAR fans have a perception of every driver's personality, whether it's accurate or not, and often make decisions on who to root for based on those ideas.

Mostly, these perceptions are gained from watching the drivers through interviews on TV. Occasionally they are formed through autograph sessions or chance meetings.

But we wondered: Is there a connection between fans' favorite drivers and identifying with those drivers' personalities?

At least according to our small, informal Facebook survey, there seems to be.

 

The majority of those who responded said they rooted for their favorite driver in large part because they related to his personality.

"I'm Joey Logano because I'm young, naïve and everyone seems to think that they can overpower me because of my age," wrote Logano fan Jessica Tow. "But, like Joey, I catch onto things fast and I don't hold a grudge for too long."

Another fan, Jason Dyess, said he likes Kevin Harvick because the current points leader "likes to play pranks, seems to be happy-go-lucky and enjoys spending time with his wife and friends."

"Pretty much just like me," Dyess wrote.

Martha Bishop said she shares characteristics with her favorite driver, Tony Stewart.

"I'm funny, fun to be around and I can hand out sarcastic comments as needed (whether appropriate or not)," she wrote.

The English education major added that it "helps that I dislike print media as well."

And April Hazell, who goes by the Twitter name "nascarmom18," said her favorite driver is Kyle Busch because "I want to be the best at what I do and I think it sucks to lose."

"Don't catch me in the heat of the moment," she wrote. "I just might say something stupid."

When choosing which driver to root for, "it's about more than wins," Harvick fan Brian Sargent wrote.

"I think that if I didn't relate to a driver's personality, there'd be no way he could be my favorite driver," he said.

Susan Gardner, a Stewart fan, theorized that "most people are very similar to one of their top three (favorites) because we like ourselves and people who behave in a similar way."

But not all fans said they related to their favorite driver's personality.

Rachel Gordon cheers for Dale Earnhardt Jr. but said from what she's seen on TV, she's most similar to Kasey Kahne.

"More reserved and quiet," she wrote in describing her personality. "Shy even."

And Mary Allworth said her personality is a combination of Harvick and Matt Kenseth, but she prefers to root for Earnhardt Jr.

Is Allworth sure she and Earnhardt Jr. aren't alike?

"I don't believe I'm remotely similar to him," she wrote, "but wouldn't mind the chance to find out!"