Part I NASCAR Nation As/In Petrol Empire
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If automobility and its attendant location within the field of the NASCAR enterprise reveals anything about the nation’s political and economic trajectory over the past decade-plus, it is that the “domestic” infrastructure of an increasingly interconnected global economy—mined by Exxon-Mobil in the Gulf of Mexico, overlain with miles of criss-crossing interstate pavement, forged in Detroit factories and Pennsylvania mines, and speculated upon in Wall Street trading halls—is crumbing at its foundations. In the United States, “foreign” automobile manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda now outsell American stalwarts General Motors and Ford in the domestic marketplace (for more, see Chapter Seven). Moreover, as concerns over fleeting energy resources and environmental catastrophe abound, hybrid fuel-cell cars (e.g., Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt), tighter fuel emission standards, and green thumbprints have made strong headway in challenging—if not in some quarters supplanting—fetishes for V-8s and roaring engines in the popular imaginary. At the same time, the current trajectory of U.S. congressional political discourse, especially over the past five years (c. 2005–2010), remains pre-occupied with resuscitative promises for “off-shore drilling,” “energy independence,” “emissions control,” and contentious wars to secure enough oil to “keep America running.” As a result, the American car—and the resources that make it run—has, to many, become as much a national burden as a symbol of the nation’s industrial proclivity.
KeywordsToyota Prius Race Team Estimate World Population Global Free Market Determine Growth Model
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