The MLS is to International Soccer, as Nascar is to _____?

The answer is Formula One.

It seems that former Formula One star Jacques Villenueve will follow in the footsteps of Juan Pablo Montoya and take his services to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. This exodus of once talented, but relatively washed up, Formula One drivers to NASCAR seems eerily similar to the exodus of once talented, yet relatively washed up, international soccer stars (see Beckham and Denilson) to Major League Soccer.

“You know, after Formula One, when you want to carry on racing, you want it to be at a tough level,” Villeneuve said of the move. “And in North America, the top level is NASCAR.”

We realize the popularity of NASCAR, but comparing the two, Formula One blows oval racing out of the water, especially when it comes to driver skill and their lightning quick reflexes. See Juan Pablo Montoya’s rookie success, particularly on the non-oval tracks on the NASCAR circuit. Whether this trend helps raise the profile of Formula One in the United States, or gets more Europeans to watch NASCAR, remains to be seem, but either way it's a win for the sport of auto racing.

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