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The NASCAR logo
NASCAR racing at Texas Motor Speedway 2008

The NASCAR ( N ational A ssociation for S tock C ar A uto R acing ) is a major US motor sports association based in Daytona Beach . The name is derived from " Stock Car " (Eng. Series vehicle), since originally only modified large series vehicles could be used. In the meantime, strictly regulated, almost identical racing vehicles with touring car silhouettes on tubular space frames are used, which only look similar to the current series models. The drive concept, a 5.7 liter V8 engine with a central camshaft and rear-wheel drive, reflects the technical status of the early 1970s. NASCAR operates three nationwide racing series: the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ( NASCAR's top division), the Xfinity Series and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series . There are also regional racing series and NASCAR divisions in Canada and Mexico .

NASCAR leagues

Top leagues

NASCAR Grand National Divisions

NASCAR Modified

International series

In addition, NASCAR maintains numerous smaller leagues in the USA.



NASCAR's history began in the United States during the Prohibition Period . When the production, sale, and shipment of alcoholic beverages for human consumption were banned, there were large smuggling rings whose drivers transported home-made alcohol through the United States at night. To do this, the smugglers - also known as “bootleggers” - coiffed their cars so that they could escape the police patrol cars. They also developed daring maneuvers for the same reason. An example of this is the bootleg turn, a 180 ° turn at full throttle that prevents drivers from being caught at road blocks. Bootleggers also began to hold car races on weekends.

The mechanic William "Bill" France, later also known as Bill France senior , owned a gas station with a repair shop in Daytona Beach , the meeting place for the local motorsport scene. In 1936 he convinced the city council to hold the first stock car race on the Daytona Beach Road Course . The city authorities agreed and even organized a prize money of 5000 US dollars. Bill France Sr. drove himself and finished the race in fifth place. However, financially, the race resulted in a loss of $ 22,000. Nevertheless, France saw the financial potential and took over the organization of the races from 1938. He worked towards founding his own racing series. There were three races each in 1939 and 1940. Planning for the 1942 races was interrupted after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II; most of the races rested during this time.

After the war, the races were resumed in 1946 and many smaller racing organizations were founded, but all had different regulations or a different format. On December 14, 1947, Bill France, Sr., met at the Ebony Bar in Daytona Beach, Florida with car race organizers in the eastern and midwestern United States. The NASCAR racing series was founded there.

With the NASCAR Strictly Stock season-1949 the current NASCAR Sprint Cup began. The first race took place on June 19, 1949 at Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte , North Carolina . The race was won by Jim Roper.

Grand National / Winston Cup time

Richard Petty Plymouth Superbird

In the 1950s, near-series vehicles from the brands Chrysler , Chevrolet , Ford , Oldsmobile , Plymouth , Pontiac , Dodge and Buick with so-called stick block engines were used on the classic round or oval courses and a few road racing tracks.

The NASCAR engine technology was standardized to the level of the 1960s, strictly regulated V8 engines with 5.7 liters displacement , carburettors and valves operated via bumpers are still used. Today's engines develop well over 590 kW (800 PS), but are throttled on high-speed ovals by means of an air flow limiter (AE: restrictor plate) for safety reasons to around 330 kW (450 PS). Electronic injection has been used instead of the carburetor since 2012. The dull rumbling, powerful thunderous sound of these typically American engines certainly contributes to the success of the NASCAR series.

From 1973 to 2003 the top division of NASCAR was called the Winston Cup.

NASCAR today

Tire change on Casey Atwood's car

Brian France has been the CEO of NASCAR since 2003 . During his tenure he has already had to put up with a lot of criticism. For example, fans are outraged by the elimination of many traditional events, such as the races on North Carolina Speedway or the Southern 500 on Darlington Raceway .

In 2004, the top NASCAR racing series was renamed the Nextel Cup, replacing long-time series sponsor Winston . At the same time, the point system was also changed. So not all points from all races were added up and the one with the most points was crowned champion. Instead, the chase , a play-off system, was introduced, in which the ten best drivers in the overall standings were determined after the 26th race to win the title among themselves. For the 2007 season, the number of drivers who can take part in the Chase has been increased to twelve. Critics claim the chase was introduced to discredit Matt Kenseth's 2003 season championship title, which he achieved with just one win. After the merger of Sprint and Nextel, the 2008 season was again renamed Sprint Cup. The play-off system has been called the Chase for the Sprint Cup since then .

The bodies have only had a few superficial features in common with the current production models and are largely standardized. The series closeness is to be created by gluing certain vehicle-specific elements such as the headlights as decorative elements on the silhouette vehicles . Since the 2007 season , for the first time in the history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup, a non-American car manufacturer has participated with Toyota . The vehicles used by Toyota are based on the Camry production model . Another innovation for the 2007 season was the use of the new Car of Tomorrow in the Cup series, which is said to be safer and cheaper than the previous car and was used in a total of 16 of 36 races in the first season.

NASCAR driver Ken Schrader with the HANS system

NASCAR has increased safety standards , not least since Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001. The HANS system (head and neck support) has been mandatory since 2001. Very high average speeds are achieved on the oval racetracks. In 1987 the official record was set on the Talladega Superspeedway by Bill Elliott with a Ford Thunderbird with an average speed of 342.482 km / h. In 2004 Rusty Wallace drove an unofficial lap record of 355 km / h in a test with a top speed of 367 km / h. In order to be able to better protect the drivers of the top divisions in the event of an accident, NASCAR requires the installation of the SAFER Barrier (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier ) on all ovals . The SAFER Barrier is a barrier wall in front of the route that absorbs part of the energy released in the event of an accident.

This reduces the risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries and can minimize damage to the vehicles, which is also a financial advantage. In a multi-year development program, NASCAR also developed the Car of Tomorrow , which, in addition to lower costs, was supposed to ensure more safety. When Michael McDowell had a serious accident on April 4, 2008 while qualifying for the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway , it became clear that all these components make a functioning whole. Michael McDowell hit the wall tangentially with the front of the vehicle at around 260 km / h and got out of the car unharmed immediately after the accident. Since the 2008 season , only the Car of Tomorrow has been used. It was originally planned to be used in 26 of the 36 races of the season, but this was changed due to successful test drives and the wishes of many teams.

Logo for the 60th NASCAR anniversary (2008)

In 2008 NASCAR celebrated its 60th anniversary. Despite criticism of the direction NASCAR is headed, under the leadership of Brian France, the races remain among the most popular sporting events in the United States. The alleged production proximity of the vehicles as well as acceptable admission prices and a relatively open paddock are reasons for this. Some racing legends, such as Richard Petty with 200 victories and seven championship titles, or the fatally injured Dale Earnhardt , who also won seven titles, are revered like folk heroes. Even less successful racing drivers have a fan base here, with a starting field of 40 cars there are always enough identifying figures. The big races are like folk festivals, where people celebrate with children . Despite its almost sole concentration on the USA, NASCAR is also very popular worldwide with the exception of a few races in Canada and Mexico in the Nationwide Series and amateur divisions in the countries mentioned.

In May 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in Charlotte, North Carolina . Dale Earnhardt , Bill France senior , Bill France junior , Junior Johnson and Richard Petty were the first five people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Sprint Cup season begins in mid-February with the famous Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida , other highlights are the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway near Charlotte , North Carolina , the Brickyard 400 at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway , the Amp Energy 500 on the Talladega Superspeedway and the season finale, the Ford EcoBoost 400 , which takes place in November on the Homestead Miami Speedway .

NASCAR Technical Institute

NASCAR Technical Institute logo
Vehicles at the NASCAR Technical Institute

The NASCAR Technical Institute is located in Mooresville , North Carolina . There are also ten other locations in other states. The Technical Institute is an offshoot of the private, US-wide operating provider Universal Technical Institute , which specializes in the training of its student members. The university offers courses in engine and mechanical engineering in the field of fuel and lubrication systems, as well as in relation to the body, the manufacture of individual car parts and the chassis. In a special training program, the students are made familiar with the rules and regulations of NASCAR.

NASCAR in the media

  • Video games:
See: List of NASCAR Video Games

See also

Web links

Commons : NASCAR  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: NASCAR  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Pete Fink: The Nascar Phenomenon . AZ Druck und Datentechnik GmbH, 2012, ISBN 3-88006-307-9 , p. 29.30.41 .
  2. ^ NASCAR Hall of Fame member: Bill France Sr. Class of 2010. In: April 10, 2013, archived from the original on August 7, 2017 ; accessed on August 7, 2017 .
  3. Kristian Stooss: Talladega Superspeedway. In: October 28, 2010, accessed May 24, 2014 .