Editor’s Note

In late January and early February, the Super Bowl dominates headlines across the nation. Once the big game is behind us, how do Americans spend a Sunday in February?

Nearly 13 percent of households watched Jimmie Johnson drive into victory lane during last year’s Daytona 500, according to a 2013 USA Today article.

If those numbers are matched this year, millions of us will be watching the Feb. 23 Great American Race, exposing ourselves to rapidly moving advertisements. The 43-car field will sport ads for everything from GEICO to GoDaddy on hoods and fire suits.

Regardless of whether they’re in victory lane or walking out of the infield care center, drivers, team owners and crew members will spend their camera time thanking the sponsors that pay their bills. It sounds almost ridiculous at times. “First of all, I’d like to thank …”

So what does it take to land a job in one of those big-dollar rides? Talent has a lot to do with it, but having a well-known last name, a pretty face or a father who owns Menards probably won’t hurt. After all, the sponsors and fans help make each race happen with their support. The drivers they choose to back have a better chance of making it to the highest level.

Like it or not, you probably know someone who tunes into a NASCAR race every now and then. According to a recent ESPN.com article, 7 percent of Americans call auto racing their favorite sport. At least I’m not the only one who enjoys watching advertisement-loaded, four-hour events.

A 500-mile race can feature some exciting moments. On other Sunday afternoons, a NASCAR race provides the perfect opportunity to head over to my dad’s, grab fourth gear in one of his recliners and take a mid-race snooze. And if I miss a couple of Danica Patrick appearances on track or in GoDaddy commercials while I’m sleeping, I can always look forward to the next race.