Can You Tie In NASCAR?

Can You Tie In NASCAR

The winner of a NASCAR race is determined based on who completes a specified amount of laps in the shortest time. Sometimes the difference between the time of the top finishing drivers is only a matter of milliseconds. Is it even possible to tie in a NASCAR race? Keep reading to find out.

Is It Possible to Tie in NASCAR?

With the advent of speed cameras, electronic monitoring, and enhanced recording, a tie is practically impossible in NASCAR. While it is theoretically possible to have two drivers finish the last lap at the exact same time, the accuracy of timekeeping in NASCAR means that for a tie to occur, both drivers would have to finish at the same thousandth of a second. The odds of that occurring are simply astronomical. In fact, a tie has never been recorded in NASCAR since the advent of electronic timekeeping and electronic scoring.

What Happens if There Is a Tie?

While two cars would have to finish at the exact same millisecond of a race to produce a tie, which is nearly impossible, there are rules in place to determine a winner if that event were to occur. The first metric used to determine a winner is by awarding first place to whoever led the most laps during a race. If the drivers in question both lead the same number of laps, the win is then determined by whoever holds the highest position in the greatest number of laps. If there is still a tie after the second metric is used, whichever driver has the highest position in the earliest lap will be awarded the win.

Has a Tie Ever Occurred in a NASCAR Race?

The closest first-place finish in NASCAR history was at Darlington Raceway in 2003. Ricky Craven beat Kurt Busch in the final lap of the Darlington 500 by only 0.002 seconds. In other words, Busch was bested by only two thousandths of a second! The only recorded tie ever in NASCAR was a third-place finish in 1974 between Buddy Baker and Carl Yarborough. This tie was decided, as prior to 1993, there was no electronic scoring system in place, and the finishing position was called a dead heat due to how close the drivers were when they crossed the finish line. A straight tie for first or second place has never been recorded in NASCAR history.

Ties are rare because the technology used by NASCAR is so accurate and so efficient that there is no practical way a race could be finished by two drivers at the exact same time. There have been numerous finishes with a margin of less than 0.01 second between drivers though, but there has never been a 0.0 second difference in any modern NASCAR race.


Is a tie possible in NASCAR?

A tie is nearly impossible in NASCAR, but hypothetically two cars could finish at the exact same time. While racers can be incredibly close to each other when they cross the finish line, the advanced nature of electronic timekeeping means that races come down to the thousandth of a second. There are rules in place to ensure that a tie is broken if a race is close.