NASCAR is big business in America. Every year, more than 75 million race fans buy more than 3 billion dollars in NASCAR merchandise.
One Nebraska man shares a unique perspective on the NASCAR phenomenon.
Dr. Jack Stark knows how to motivate people.
He served as the team psychologist for the Nebraska football team from 1989 to 2004.
And while Dr. Stark was working with the Huskers, Nebraska won 88% of their games.
Eleven years ago, Jack took a big left turn and entered the wild world of stock car racing, "You get to know the people. It's intense, it's a combination of high technical issues and athletics and they mill together an once you go to the races and stand inside the pits and know everything that's going on it's very addictive and it's intense."
And that's just the way Jack likes it, "You're competing against guys and tenths of a second are everything...it's huge."
For the past 11 years, Dr. Stark has been the team psychologist for Hendrick Motorsports, "We've dominated the sport. Hendrick Motorsports as been identified as the 7th best sports franchise of all-time."
Jack works with some of the best drivers in the world...from Jeff Gordon, to Jimmie Johnson to Dale Earnhardt Jr., "I can tell you that these are really, really nice guys. They're very patriotic, they're very spiritual, they're very family oriented, you don't run into problems, there's not a stinker in the bunch."
Jack says football and motorsports have a lot more in common than one might think and after a long, successful career with the Huskers and after more than a decade with Hendrick Motorsports, Jack is a guy that would know, "The big thing is team unity, that's really what I try to work on. I have unity councils. I have team meetings, I have retreats, I do all those kinds of things."
Dr. Stark is the only permanent sports psychologist in all of NASCAR, "A lot of my duties on the psychological side is marriages, we have girlfriends, we have parents, we have kids, we have trying to get along with your crew chief who's a like a head coach. Every driver has about a hundred people assigned to them. You got to be a great driver, but you have to be a great leader, you have to motivate your people."