How Much Does A NASCAR Car Cost?

How Much Does A NASCAR Car Cost

Have you ever wondered how much a typical NASCAR race car costs? Founded in 1948, NASCAR has had a long racing history in the United States. During the earlier periods of NASCAR, drivers competed in stock cars, which were unmodified road cars bought at dealerships. However, due to changing rules and regulations, teams now purchase specially built NASCAR cars directly from a race car manufacturer. This has drastically increased the price of a standard NASCAR race car. Read on to learn more about what makes these cars so expensive.

Total Cost of a NASCAR Car

For a complete NASCAR race car, which includes the engine, tires, chassis, wheels, brakes, bumpers, and additional parts, costs can range between $200,000 and $600,000. With expensive costs stemming from equipment, repair, and maintenance, teams will spend an average of $15 million per car during the course of a NASCAR season.

Cost of a NASCAR Engine

The most expensive part of a NASCAR race car is the engine. They require a significant portion of the total money spent on a race car due to the performance demand from these machines. Because of the many parts needed to build an engine, they tend to be technologically complex and expensive. NASCAR cars use V8 engines that are regulated to be 358 cubic inches, or 5.8 liters. These engines are capable of producing nearly 1,000 horsepower, but they are mechanically limited to 510 or 670 horsepower, depending on the trackEach engine costs $100,000. With teams being allowed to build 13 engines per season, the budget for engines can easily surpass $1 million.

Cost of NASCAR Tires

NASCAR has had a sponsorship with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for almost 70 years, and NASCAR race teams are only allowed to use tires from their partner. Each tire is hand-crafted and custom-built to handle the performance demands of racing, tailored to the individual track and expected weather conditions. As a result, these tires are especially expensive and can cost between $350 to $500 per tire. With teams being able to have up to 16 sets of tires per race, and with 36 races in a season, teams will typically spend up to $720,000 per season on tires alone.

Cost of a NASCAR Chassis

In the past, teams would custom-build the chassis, or framework, of their race cars. As a result, teams spent anywhere between $70,000 to $150,000 building the chassis, depending on the quality of parts individual teams were able to afford. However, since the 2022 season with the introduction of the Next Gen car, NASCAR has mandated that all teams use the same chassis made by a single company called Technique Inc.

The chassis for NASCAR cars now cost $28,000, which dramatically reduces the amount that teams have to spend. Such drastic changes were made to reduce costs and to maintain a certain level of parity so that teams with larger budgets are not able to gain a significant competitive advantage over teams with smaller budgets.

Cost of NASCAR Maintenance and Replacement Parts

With the exhilarating nature of NASCAR racing, there is a certain level of inherent risk that teams need to anticipate. As a result, teams will spend a significant amount of money on maintenance to keep their cars in top racing condition and repairs in the event of an accident or a malfunction.

Additionally, there are major components that are required in order to have a functioning race car, and each one is expensive. For example, just the cooling system of a NASCAR engine can cost $6,500. The brake system of the race car can cost nearly $30,000. With NASCAR components having major cost points, teams will typically allocate 10% of the total cost of the race car per season on maintenance and repairs alone.

Cost of NASCAR Fuel

NASCAR teams will spend around $40,000 to $50,000 per season on fuel. With an average NASCAR race having anywhere between 150 to 500 laps, and with NASCAR race cars burning about half a gallon of fuel per lap, teams need to have large amounts of fuel ready for each race.

Cost of Wrapping a NASCAR Car

One of the most noticeable things about NASCAR race cars are the bright color schemes and sponsorship logos displayed across their bodies. To differentiate their own race cars and to feature the logos of their many corporate partners and sponsors, teams customize the livery of their race cars by designing and printing large vinyl sheets that are then wrapped onto them. Wrapping a NASCAR car can cost a team anywhere between $2,500 and $3,500.