Have you ever watched the movie Talladega Nights and thought to yourself, “Is this really how NASCARⓇ works?” Well, fasten your seatbelts because we’ve got the scoop! Check out these quick facts and stats about NASCAR and pump the gas (metaphorically, that is). Blurt them out at your next NASCAR get-together and your friends will think you’ve been a fan for ages!
What does the acronym stand for? NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. It’s a family-owned company and was founded in 1948.
Stock cars are standard production automobiles that are built to exceed (pretty much any) speed limit. Most go over 200-300 MPH, and a typical car includes modifications to its engines, brakes, and safety equipment.
The Man, The Legend
Richard Petty is still, to this day, widely considered the greatest driver in the history of NASCAR. He won seven championships, won Daytona seven times, and won over 200 NASCAR races in his career, notes the Nascar Hall of Fame.
Flag ‘Em Down!
NASCAR has various colored flags that all mean different things during a race. Green signals the beginning of the race or a restart. Yellow means there is something on the track that makes it unsafe; it tells drivers to slow down and hold position behind the pace car. Red means all the cars need to stop and exit the track due to a safety issue. White means there’s only one lap left in the race. And of course, the black and white checkered flag means that the race is over!
The pace car sets the speed for all of the cars on the pit road at a stable 55 MPH. It is also responsible for making sure that cars slow down when the yellow flag is out. Wondering why the race cars can’t be trusted to go 55 MPH on the pit road? We did too. Turns out, stock cars don’t have speedometers! According to Road and Track, some shorter tracks have pit road speed limits as low as 35 mph, so drivers have to re-orient to the pace car at every race.
The Big Race
NASCAR’s biggest race of the year is the Daytona 500. It’s also the first race of the year.
The Nascar Sprint Cup…
…is what most people are referring to when they refer to NASCAR. A modern Sprint Cup Race Car is based on the “stock car” heritage of the sport, where people were able to drive their car to the track and race each other. Today, the race isn’t so lenient. There are official rules and regulations for just about every part of the race. These rules make sure every car that’s competing has a fair chance and cars are built from the ground up to fit NASCAR’s standards.
A Different Kind of “Fender Bender”
Unlike Formula One cars or cars that race the Indycar series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Cars have fenders on them, which allow for side-to-side contact with other cars. This is important, seeing as if they didn’t have fenders, the wheels of one car could hook onto the other car and cause a giant wreck.
Try It Out!
No, not the racing part. “I was trying to recreate the Sprint Cup,” are words that no police officer wants to hear from a driver. Unless you’re Dale Earnhardt Jr., you’ll likely never get rewarded for going fast, and that’s OK. But did you know you could get rewarded for playing it safe and going the speed limit? Try downloading DynamicDrive, a free app that helps you monitor and improve your driving behaviors. It gives you real-time feedback on gas-guzzling behaviors like hard braking and quick acceleration, and by using it you can earn a discount.
If it’s speed and thrills you’re looking for, head to the nearest NASCAR race and feel the wind whip at your hair as cars whiz past you! If it’s affordable car insurance you’re looking for, try monitoring your driving with DynamicDrive and give Direct Auto Insurance a try! Read up on your auto insurance options and give us a ring at 1-877-463-4732.