There is a right way and a wrong way to look at NASCAR. The right way we know: Alec Soth showed us how with his milemarker photography books from the 2000s. Take your pick from 2004’s Sleeping by the Mississippi, 2006’s Niagara, or 2008’s Last Days of W. None of them are about NASCAR, mind you, but any title will do. The wrong way we know also: To that, we owe the elections of 2004, 2006, and 2008 and the grandstanding politicians who used to make hay out of who did and didn’t appreciate car racing. Here is the right way to look at NASCAR: This is an enthusiasm some people share. Here is the wrong way to look at NASCAR: This is a value-set my opponents don’t understand. Ann-Marie VanTassell knows the right way to look at NASCAR. Like Soth, she captures the dignity that is due to subjects simply for being individual people. Like Soth, she understands that the power of a portrait is greater than the forces that shape people’s lives: the Mississippi River, Niagara Falls, perpetual war, sheer velocity. With her show at Pleasant Plains Workshop, where she is a resident artist, VanTassell means to show viewers that the values shared by NASCAR fans are more powerful than politicos could guess. The exhibition is on view Thursdays and Fridays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., to May 31, at Pleasant Plains Workshop, 2608 Georgia Ave. NW. Free. pleasantplainsworkshop.com.