You may know of the Monster Energy Cup Series, the Xfinity Series or the Gander Outdoor Truck Series. Did you know that they are the three largest national NASCAR series in the world?
The earliest examples of a NASCAR race took place on dirt roads and abandoned highways long before the company was founded in the late 1940s. The mastermind behind NASCAR was William France Sr., was a Washington D.C based mechanic who later moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where NASCAR officially started.
What is NASCAR?
NASCAR (The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is an automobile racing company that was founded in 1948 in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR is popular in 48 states is broadcasted on TV, so it's likely you've seen a race and didn't even realize! You may know famous some NASCAR drivers, like Jeff Gordon or Richard Petty. Gordon is now an announcer for FOX NASCAR, after racing competitively for a few decades.
One of the most prominent features about any NASCAR driver is their uniform. The drivers wear fire-retardant jumpsuits and helmets for safety precautions, and they're usually reflective and very colorful. Inside of the car, it's common for a driver's helmet to attach to the seat of the car. This stabilizes his head and neck if a crash were to occur.
The tracks are typically two miles long, and races can last as long as three hours. However, drivers aren't driving for three hours straight. Races are broken down into three stages: one, two and final, and they get to take breaks in between each stage. The top 10 drivers earn points for their ranking after each stage ends. So while drivers are always focused on the final stage, they are also aiming to place in the top ten in each stage.
There are many different teams and groups involved in NASCAR. The first way that NASCAR is divided is by the type of car manufacturer, the top three being Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Each NASCAR team has race cars from a particular manufacturer of their choice. Each team has drivers, sometimes as few as one and ranging up to five. Did you know that in NASCAR, you can compete against your teammate during any given race? It's not uncommon.
Just like other sports worldwide, there are penalties and restrictions to keep the competition fair and safe. Some of these rules apply to when a driver can "pit" and refuel his car or change the tires. Drivers can receive lap penalties, which puts the driver behind a lap than his competitors. Intentionally crashing into another driver's car is a penalty, but some lesser-known penalties include a false start or even an illegal lane change.
There are a lot of components that go into a successful and safe NASCAR race.