NASCAR races vary greatly in length. NASCAR races are different lengths depending on the type of race, the track at which they occur, and the stages that are occuring, also known as the different amount of laps that a race is.
NASCAR races take place at various race tracks across the United States of America. There are twenty four different tracks that are a part of the NASCAR cup series. Every single NASCAR race track is slightly different, varying in length, surface, configuration, and banking. Even race tracks that are the exact same length will have some differences in them, something that is very important for NASCAR drivers to consider. NASCAR race tracks fall into one of four length categories; short track, intermediate, road course, and superspeedway. Within those categories there are still differences depending on the different race tracks.
The first kind of race in NASCAR is a short track race. Of the thirty total race tracks that span different NASCAR series, five are listed as short tracks. The short track race courses are all under one mile around, most of them are closer to half a mile. These short track races are built to be faster, more exciting, and shorter in terms of the total amount of hours watching. These styles of races have gained popularity in recent years, especially as NASCAR struggles to keep its viewers. Short track races might not be the most common kind of race right now, but you certainly may see more short track NASCAR races in the future.
As the least common type of race for NASCAR, and also the least popular, there are very few road race courses in the NASCAR circuits. The most well-known of these are Sonoma in California and Watkins Glen in New York. These races aren't necessarily on actual roads but instead they are a different shape than the other race courses. Road races for NASCAR are more like Formula One races in that they have left and right turns, complicated curves and more. It is very rare to see road races in NASCAR because they are so different and are highly technical.
Intermediate race tracks are the most common type of race track, with fifteen of them in the NASCAR circuit. Intermediate tracks have some variance but they will all be around 1.5 miles in length. These tracks are best suited for all-around NASCAR drivers. They have the combination of speed of a short track with the long distance stamina of a superspeedway race. Popular intermediate tracks include Homestead and Concord. These races may become less popular as short track grows, but they will always be the classic NASCAR length.
The longest NASCAR tracks are superspeedway races. The most famous race courses also tend to be superspeedway races, including Talladega, Daytona, Pocono, and Indianapolis. These tracks are over two miles long each and involve a lot of patience and skill for drivers. Daytona is a perfect example of a superspeedway race.
The Daytona 500 is the most popular NASCAR race with over ten million viewers in most years. This event, held yearly, is a perfect example of a Superspeedway race. The Daytona International Speedway, where the race is held, measures 2.5 miles all the way around. The total number of laps in the Daytona 500 is 200 laps. If you multiply 2.5 miles by 200 laps you get 500, the number of miles of the Daytona 500. Since the drivers in NASCAR go at about 200 miles per hour most of the time, you would think that the Daytona 500 should take about 2.5 hours. This is not the case though, as drivers are not always going at 200 miles per hour. With pit stops, crashes, and weather all being factors, the Daytona 500 actually will take about three and a half hours to be completed, varying slightly every year. The mileage of the Daytona 500 is not the rule for all NASCAR races, but since it's the most popular race in the NASCAR cup series, it is a good race for beginning NASCAR fans to watch and enjoy.
Another factor to how long a NASCAR race will be are the different stages. Different stages take place at the same race course and are just different numbers of laps. Take Bristol as an example. At Bristol there are three stages. It varies year to year but common stage lengths will be 125-125-250. What this means is that there will be three different races taking place. The first and second will both be 125 laps and the third will be 250 laps. This too will affect the length of a NASCAR race.
A NASCAR race can vary greatly in timing. The different factors that affect the length of a NASCAR race are the race track, the stages, the speed of the drivers, the weather, and so much more. The longest races, at superspeedways, are over two miles long and involve a few hundred laps. Something like that should take just over three hours. However, so many other factors will impact the speed of a race, such as crashes, pit stops, and weather delays.
The mileage of the Daytona 500 is right in the name, 500 miles. This comes from a 2.5 mile long track and 200 laps to that race. If you multiply 2.5 by 200, you get 500, the total mileage of the Daytona 500 race. Racers usually complete the five hundred mile race in about three and a half hours. Being in the car for that long can be quite exhausting but it is very worth the reward to the drivers who complete the course and win.
The amount of laps in a NASCAR race varies greatly. This depends on the type of race as well as the stages of the race. In longer races, the track is longer and the NASCAR racers go through more laps. Shorter races have fewer laps. On average a NASCAR racer will do anywhere from 100-200 laps in a race. However, there are differences outside of those numbers. Even at the same event, there can be multiple stages, leading to different numbers of laps at the same event.
Generally there are four kinds of NASCAR races. These four types are; road races, short track races, intermediate races, and superspeedway races. Short track races are the shortest, intermediate are in the middle, and superspeedway are the longest in terms of track length. Road races are unique because they don't take place on the signature oval shape track of NASCAR but instead they are on a winding track, like the ones used in Formula 1 racing.