All photos: Getty Images. Image credit: Raphael Orlove/Jalopnik

NASCAR has many terrible things associated with it, but it has committed perhaps no higher crime than its deep-seated affectation for nostalgia. “Oh yeah, back in the 1950s it was guys in STOCK CARS RACIN’ ON DEERT!” This is dumb, because we still have this. It’s called the World Rally Championship.

Think about it. Relatively stock cars, going real fast, on dirt and gravel and whatever detritus the world wants to throw at them. The cars even have to be road legal, but they’re still crazy fast. You can’t look at this, and still try and claim that modern-day so-called “NASCAR,” with its super-slick oval superspeedways, has more in common with its origins than this:

I’m fairly certain they’re driving that way because they’re being chased by a local posse (???) for moon(????)shining(????). And they look good doing it, because they’re not running around in cars that have beaten into submission by the rules to look damn identical.

Okay, so the Ford Fiesta WRC isn’t exactly like the Ford Fiesta sitting in your driveway, but it’s close enough. All WRC cars start as full factory shells that roll off of a regular assembly line, it’s just after that they get all beefed up for racing.

No one on this planet is buying a Camry because of how well the Toyotas did at Martinsville, but I’m sure as hell that people bought a Fiesta ST because of how awesome it looks when it’s rallying.

Modern-day NASCAR is buttoned-up and neat. It’s all about pleasing the sponsors. Modern-day WRC? There’s a team that’s called “Fuckmatiè,” and a lot of the time it doesn’t even race because fuck it, that’s why.

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Also, they roll cars and nobody cares.

But let’s say you like the nostalgia. You pine for the days when there were no rules, and lots of people died. Your hankering for death knows no bounds. Look no further, then, than the 1980s, when rally was dominated by a class of cars known as Group B. Wild, overpowered monsters screamed and spit fire at local populaces, and yes, people died. That’s why it was banned.

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Nobody watches NASCAR anymore, and while there are probably a ton of reasons for that, it’s undoubtedly has to do with the lack of characters, lack of “stock” cars, and lack of dirt.

Want NASCAR, but hate NASCAR?

Watch WRC. It’s NASCAR.