NASCAR Cup Series
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|NASCAR Cup Series 2020|
|Country or region||United States|
|Current name||NASCAR Cup Series|
|Previous names||Strictly Stock Series, Grand National Series, Winston Cup Series, Nextel Cup Series, Sprint Cup Series, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
|vehicles||Chevrolet Camaro , Ford Mustang , Toyota Camry|
The NASCAR Cup Series is the highest motorsport division of NASCAR . Previously it was called the Strictly Stock Series (1949), Grand National Series (1950 to 1971), Winston Cup (1972 to 2003), Nextel Cup (2004 to 2007) Sprint Cup (2008 to 2016) and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (2017 to 2019).
Strictly Stock & Grand National
In 1949, NASCAR introduced the Strictly Stock class, after only racing in the Modified class in 1948. Eight races took place on seven different dirt ovals, i.e. unpaved racetracks, and the Daytona Beach Road Course . After just one season, NASCAR changed its name to Grand National from 1950 to emphasize efforts to build a professional and prestigious racing series. She kept this name until 1971.
A season in the Grand National Series sometimes consisted of over 60 races per year. Often there were two or three events in one weekend, and occasionally even two races on the same day in different states. So there was no racing calendar with one race per weekend where most drivers participate in every race.
In the early years of the Grand National Series, most of the races took place on unpaved short-track ovals less than a quarter mile to more than half a mile in length, or unpaved oval courses at fairs ranging from half a mile to a mile in length . 198 of the first 221 races were held on these so-called dirt tracks. In 1959, when Daytona International Speedway opened, there was still more racing on the ground than on tarmac. Their number was reduced in the 1960s when new super speedways were built and the old oval courses were paved.
From 1972 to 2003 NASCAR's top series was called the Winston Cup because it was sponsored by the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company . In the later years, sponsorship controversy grew after U.S. legislation severely restricted the advertising of tobacco and cigarettes.
Support for RJ Reynolds Tobacco from 1972 is widely considered to mark the beginning of the Modern Era of NASCAR. The season became shorter and the point system was changed several times in the following four years. There were no more races on unpaved roads, as well as oval races with a distance of less than 250 miles. In addition, Bill France senior , founder of NASCAR, passed control to his son Bill France junior . In August 1974, Bob Latford developed a points system in which equal points were awarded for all races regardless of race length or prize money. It operated without change from the 1975 season until the introduction of the Chase for the Cup in the 2004 season.
In 1981, a banquet for the presentation of the awards was held for the first time in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel . After initially taking place in the Starlight Room, it moved to the Grand Ballroom in 1985, where it was held until 2001. In 2001, the banquet was abolished in favor of a simpler ceremony and took place in the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center in 2002 . In 2003 the banquet was reintroduced and moved back to the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria.
Nextel & Sprint Cup
In 2003 RJ Reynolds Tobacco ended its sponsorship because the target group preferred other brands. The telecommunications company Nextel became the new sponsor . The name of the series has been Nextel Cup since the 2004 season . Due to the merger of Sprint and Nextel, the series has been called the Sprint Cup since the 2008 season .
The main innovation was the introduction of a play-off format, the so-called Chase for the Sprint Cup , in order to maintain the tension of the championship decision as far as possible until the last race. The season is divided into two parts, a kind of qualification phase consisting of 26 races and the play-off known as "Chase". In the qualification phase, the drivers fight for a place in the play-off and only the drivers who have qualified for the play-off have a chance at the championship, the score of which is equalized after the entry.
In 2016, the starting field was reduced from 43 to 40, and a so-called charter system was introduced. 36 teams received a charter that guaranteed the car a starting place for all races. This should bring more stability and predictability to the sport.
The drivers' championship has been held in a play-off procedure since the 2004 season, the so-called Chase for the Cup . In the first 26 races of the season, the drivers fight to get into the chase. Then three segments with three races each are held, after each segment the four drivers with the fewest points are eliminated. There are four drivers left in the season finale, the one who finishes the race with the best result is the new champion.
Cup Series Owner's Championship
The Cup Series Owner's Championship is a championship among the car owners or the teams of individual cars, as each car is looked after by its own team. A team that sends three cars into the race, for example, consists practically of three independent teams, each responsible for their own racing car. In the Owner's Championship, a racing car is awarded points based on its performance in the race, regardless of which driver was behind the wheel. Unlike, for example, in Formula 1 , the points of all the cars belonging to an owner are not added up, since an owner can send one or more cars into the race and this would lead to an unfair competition. Points are awarded in a similar way to the drivers' championship with one addition: If more than 43 cars attempt to qualify for a race, owner points are also awarded for non-qualified cars. The first non-qualified car, usually the one in 44th place in qualifying, receives 31 points, three fewer than the 43rd in the race. If there is more than one non-qualified car, points are also credited to them. The points decrease by three per placement. The decision about the title is also played in a chase.
Since the 2005 season, a placement in the top 35 has guaranteed the team in question in the respective racing car a starting position in the next race regardless of the qualifying result. Conversely, this means that only eight of the 43 starting places will be awarded based on the times achieved in qualifying. For example, if nine drivers of cars that are not among the top 35 in the owner points achieve faster qualifying times than the worst in the owner points, the ninth fastest of them is still not qualified. In addition, if a former champion is not qualified for the race via the top 35 rule or the qualifying time, he can “buy” a starting place via the so-called “ Past Champion Provisional ”. This reduces the number of free starting places to seven. The owner points are also important if a qualifying is canceled due to rain. Then the starting grid for the race is determined based on the owner points.
In addition to the driver and owner championship, the Cup Series also has a manufacturers championship. But it is not as respected as the drivers' championship. In the past this was different as more manufacturers were represented in the series and the Manufacturers Championship was an important marketing tool.
The points are awarded according to the Formula 1 point system as it was used between 1960 and 1990. The winner receives nine points, the next manufacturer six, the third manufacturer four, the fourth three, the fifth two and the sixth-best manufacturer one point. In practice, this means that if, for example, Chevrolet occupies places one to ten, nine points are credited as a manufacturer. If the car is a Ford in eleventh place, Ford receives six points as the second best manufacturer.
Before the early 1960s, the cars were based on large road cruisers like the Chevrolet Impala or the Ford Galaxie . From the mid-1960s, these came into use with the advent of mid-range cars such as the Ford Fairlane .
At that time, touring cars were still near-series vehicles that were also available from car dealers. This was stipulated in the NASCAR regulations: a vehicle had to be produced at least 500 times or, alternatively, a car had to be sold to a customer for every dealer of the respective manufacturer in the United States. This rule makes it clear that the NASCAR regulations did not match those of the FIA and Groups 1 , 2 , 5 or later N , A , and B.
Sometimes vehicles were made specifically for NASCAR, such as the Ford Torino Talladega with a special aerodynamic design. The best-known of these vehicles, known as "Aero Warriors", were the Dodge Charger Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird , which came with a rear wing that was higher than the roof. Together with the pointed front section, this resulted in top speeds of over 220 mph (354 km / h ). In doing so, they outperformed most other cars. Shortly thereafter, NASCAR changed the rules to end such aerodynamic trickery. Exactly the opposite of these aerodynamic vehicles was, for example, the AMC Matador by Penske from 1972, which was also known as the “flying brick”.
In the 1980s, the cars got smaller and Fairmonts, Thunderbirds and the now smaller Monte Carlo were used. In the 1990s, General Motors switched to the look of the Lumina and Grand Prix with V6 engines and front-wheel drive . In the NASCAR car, however, the V8 engine and rear-wheel drive remained , only the shape of the body was adapted. When the Ford Thunderbird was discontinued, the Ford teams were forced to use the shape of the four-door Taurus , as Ford did not have a two-door vehicle at times.
Although the Cup Series cars are named after the corresponding series models from the respective manufacturers, they have little in common with the racing cars. They consist to a limited extent in the shape of the body and in the paintwork of the front section, with which the radiator grille and headlights are indicated. Until 2003, the bonnet, roof and trunk lid were the same as those of the production vehicles, but this was abandoned by NASCAR in favor of the equality of the cars.
Car of Tomorrow
See also: Car of Tomorrow
The Car of Tomorrow , or COT for short, is a completely new vehicle that debuted at Bristol Motor Speedway in March 2007 . During development, the main focus was on safety, including moving the driver's seat in the car and widening the car itself by four inches . In addition, the front section was redesigned to prevent bump drafting, that is, pushing each other. The most noticeable change was the new rear wing , which replaced the previous spoiler and was distributed to the teams by NASCAR by drawing lots before the race.
The original plan was to use the car in the 2007 season on all ovals with a length of less than 1.5 miles, in the road races and the autumn races on the Talladega Superspeedway and, after a further intermediate step in 2008, exclusively from the 2009 season to use the Car of Tomorrow. Contrary to this plan, the 2008 season was completely driven with the Car of Tomorrow.
For the 2010 season, the rear wing was replaced by a spoiler, as it was used before 2007. In the next year, the front of the car was revised.
The Generation 6 vehicles introduced in 2013, also known as Gen6 , should look closer to the production vehicles. The brand-typical designs of the Chevrolet SS , Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry can now also be found in the NASCAR racing cars. Safety has also been further improved and weight has been reduced by around 73 kilograms , which was achieved, among other things, by means of bonnets and trunk covers made of carbon fibers reinforced with Kevlar . At the beginning, the cars had more downforce than the COT, but for the 2016 and 2017 season the downforce values were reduced by reducing the size of the rear spoiler and the splitter. The rear spoiler was shortened from 8 inches (20.32 cm) in the 2015 season to 2.375 inches (approx. 6 cm) in the 2017 season.
So far, new lap records have been set on all routes except Talladega, Daytona and Atlanta. Overall, the cost increased by about $ half a million for each chassis compared to the COT vehicles.
The cars are rear-wheel drive, highly motorized racing cars with a tubular frame chassis and thin metal cladding. They are powered by strictly regulated V8 engines with electric manifold injection , around 5.9 liters displacement and valves operated by tappets , bumpers and rocker arms . These are essentially stick block motors . Carburettors were used until 2012 . This engine technology dates back to the 1960s, but thanks to the use of modern technology and materials, the engines achieve an output of over 625 kW (850 hp). However, the power is reduced to around 725 hp by means of air flow limiters. Up to the 2006 season they were operated with leaded fuel, since 2007 they have been using unleaded fuel. The cooling air is supplied through a radiator grille below the bumper. The correct configuration of the air inlets has a decisive influence on the driving performance: To make the car more streamlined, the cooling air inlets are partially covered with adhesive strips, so-called duct tapes, or grill tapes. However, this also means that the engine will heat up faster and reach the 200 ° Fahrenheit limit (around 93 ° C ). Since there is no telemetry , the driver has to observe the engine temperature himself.
The power transmission is conventional via a manual, unsynchronized four-speed gearbox to the rear wheels. This concept was largely replaced by automatic and smaller, transversely mounted V6 engines with front-wheel drive in road vehicles that served as a model.
In addition, the gearbox, brakes and aerodynamic components are specially selected for the different racetracks. When adjusting the car, special attention is paid to adjusting the downforce, the spring rate, the adjustable Panhard rod on the rear axle ( track bar ) and the brake balance. Certain settings can be made mechanically with simple means during a pit stop , for example the configuration of the track bar with a crank or the spring rate by inserting flat rubber washers into the spring, the spring rubbers .
Oversteer or understeer can be controlled via the wedge , i.e. the weight ratio between the front right and rear left tires, the camber and the air pressure of the tires. The former and the latter can also be changed during a race. However, the terms understeer and oversteer are practically unknown in NASCAR. Instead, they speak of “tight” or “loose”.
- Displacement: 5.86 liters (358 in³) bumpers - V8
- Translation: four-speed gearbox, manual transmission
- min. without driver and petrol: 1497 kg
- min. with driver and petrol: 1576 kg
- unthrottled: about 533 kW (725 PS)
- throttled: about 331 kW (450 PS)
- Fuel: unleaded petrol
- Filling capacity of the tank: 68 liters
- Fuel delivery: injection
- Air-fuel mixture ratio: 12: 1
- Self priming
- Wheelbase: 2.8 m (110 in)
- Steering: Power - recirculating ball steering
Cup Series Cup routes
- See also: List of NASCAR racetracks
The races do not take place on identical tracks. Oval courses vary in length from 0.526 miles (847 m) of Martinsville Speedway to 2.66 miles (4.28 km) of Talladega Superspeedway . While some routes are ovals in the classic sense, such as Bristol Motor Speedway or Dover International Speedway , there are also many tri-ovals such as Kansas Speedway or Daytona International Speedway . Other configurations include quad ovals like Lowe's Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, or D-ovals with Auto Club Speedway , Michigan International Speedway, and Richmond International Raceway . There are also other special track configurations such as the Darlington Raceway with different curve lengths , the triangular configuration of the Pocono Raceway or the almost rectangular Indianapolis Motor Speedway .
The routes vary not only in the form of the route, but also in the elevation of the bends with different route lengths, which affects the maximum speeds that can be achieved. For example, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway with 7 ° and the Phoenix International Raceway with 11 ° are relatively flat . This contrasts with the Talladega Superspeedway with an elevation of up to 33 ° or the Bristol Motor Speedway , whose curves are elevated by 30 ° and even the straights are elevated by 10 °.
In addition to the races on the oval courses, two events are held on classic street courses. They take place at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International . Rain tires have been developed for these tracks in the past, but apart from a training session in Watkins Glen they were never used in the race, as the Cup Series races only take place in dry conditions.
The speeds achieved depend largely on the racetrack. The fastest is the Talladega Superspeedway, on which the record for the highest average speed of a race is 188 mph (about 303 km / h). This is also where the fastest qualifying lap ever driven was achieved with an average of 212.809 mph (about 342.483 km / h), which was driven by Bill Elliott in 1987. The major part of this is also due to the excessive elevation of the curve: It ensures that a lap can be driven completely at full throttle and the brake is practically only required to enter the pits. Due to the prescribed restrictor plates, however, these speeds are no longer achieved, they are just above the 200 mph mark.
The slowest tracks are Sonoma Raceway, which averages 81 mph (about 130 km / h) in the race and 99 mph (about 159 km / h) in qualifying, and Martinsville Speedway, where the average speed in the race is 82 mph ( about 132 km / h) and in qualifying at 98 mph (about 156 km / h). The average speed in the race results from all laps driven from start to finish including laps under yellow, where the race is neutralized.
Grand National (1949-1971)
- Chevrolet Chevelle : 1964-1971
- Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 88 : 1957-1958
- Pontiac Chieftain : 1958-1963
- Chevrolet Bel Air : 1950s
- Chevrolet Impala : 1950s to mid-1960s
- Pontiac Catalina : early 1960s
- Pontiac GTO : 1960s to early 1970s
- Pontiac Grand Prix 1970s – 2004
- Buick Gran Sport : 1960s and 1970s
- Buick Regal 1980s – 1990s
- Buick : 1954–1955
- Cadillac : 1949
- Ford Fairlane : 1960-1967
- Mercury Monterey : 1950s
- Mercury Comet / Cyclone : 1963-1971
- Ford Torino / Ford Torino Talladega: 1968–1971
- Ford Thunderbird : 1959–1963 (drove as a separate brand against other Ford models in the Manufacturers Championship)
- Lincoln : 1949-1950
- Mercury : 1950-1959
- Dodge Coronet : 1953-1957
- Chrysler 300 letter series : 1954-1956
- Plymouth Belvedere : 1964-1967
- Plymouth Road Runner / Superbird : 1968-1971
- Dodge Charger / Dodge Charger Daytona: 1969–1971
- DeSoto : 1959
Winston Cup (1972-2003)
- Buick Regal : 1981–1985, 1988–1991
- Buick LeSabre : 1986-1987
- Chevrolet Chevelle : 1972-1977
- Chevrolet Caprice / Impala early 1980s, along with the Monte Carlo
- Chevrolet Lumina : 1989-1994
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo : 1979–1989, 1995–2007
- Oldsmobile Cutlass : 1977-1992
- Oldsmobile Delta 88 : 1986-1987
- Pontiac Grand Prix : 1977-2003
- Dodge Charger : 1972-1978 and 2004-2007
- Dodge Intrepid : 2001-2003
- Dodge Magnum : 1975-1977
- Plymouth Road Runner : 1972-1978
- Dodge Avenger : from 2007
- Ford Torino : 1975-1980
- Ford Thunderbird : 1981-1997
- Ford Taurus : 1998-2005
- Mercury Cyclone / Montego 1972-1980
- AMC Matador : 1972-1980
Nextel Cup (2004-2007)
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo : 2004-2005
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS : 2006-2007
- Chevrolet Impala SS : 2007 ( Car of Tomorrow )
- Pontiac Grand Prix : 2004 (no factory support)
- Toyota Camry : 2007
Sprint Cup (2008-2016)
- Dodge Charger : 2008-2012
- Ford Fusion : 2008-2016
- Toyota Camry : 2008-2016
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (since 2017)
- Toyota Camry : since 2017
Cup Series Statistics
- Richard Petty won the last Grand National / Cup race on an unpaved dirt track on September 30, 1970 at State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh , North Carolina . He won it in a Plymouth that had already been sold to Don Robertson by his Petty Enterprises team and rented for the race.
- The youngest driver to win a race in the series is Joey Logano , who won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 on June 28, 2009 at the age of 19 years, 1 month and 4 days.
- The youngest champion of the modern era from 1972 onwards was Jeff Gordon in the 1995 season at the age of 24, the oldest champion Bobby Allison in 1983 at the age of 45. The youngest ever champion was Bill Rexford in 1950 at the age of 21.
- Benny Parsons , Bill Rexford , Ned Jarrett and Matt Kenseth are the only champions in the series to have only one win of the season in their championship season. So far, no driver has been able to reach the championship without a single win of the season.
- Tony Stewart (2011) and before him Alan Kulwicki (1992) were the last champions to be drivers and team owners at the same time. Dale Earnhardt was the last driver to claim the title for a one-car team.
- Tony Stewart and Cale Yarborough are the only drivers to finish last at the Daytona 500 and still win the championship that same season.
- Cale Yarborough and Jimmie Johnson are the only drivers to have won three championships in a row.
- Richard Petty scored the most wins in a single season in the 1967 season with 27 wins. This season was also the first in which a driver could win over $ 100,000 in prize money. In the 1967 season, however, 48 races were held, while the racing calendar for the 2007 season includes 36 races. Richard Petty also holds the record of most victories in the modern era from 1972 onwards, with 13 wins in 30 races this season.
- In the 2011 season, after 36 long points races, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards were tied with 2,403 to 2,403 points. For the first time in more than 60 years of NASCAR history, the tie-breaker decided on the title. Stewart won five races of the season (5 of the 10 Chase races), Edwards only one.
- "Strictly Stock Standings and Statistics for 1949" ( Memento of the original from March 2, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed May 9, 2007.
- Fielden, Greg, "NASCAR Cleans Up," Speedway Illustrated , September 2004.
- Mitchell, Jason, "How Do They Do That ?: Winston Cup Point System," Stock Car Racing ( ), Volume 36, Number 10, October 2001.
- NASCAR implements team owner charter agreement for Sprint Cup Series . ( nascar.com [accessed December 21, 2016]).
- NASCAR feels carbon fiber impact . ( nascar.com [accessed January 5, 2017]).
- NASCAR Notebook: Jeff Burton - More downforce and grip mean better racing . ( yahoo.com [accessed November 22, 2016]).
- NASCAR unveils 2017 race package to further reduce downforce . In: USA TODAY . ( usatoday.com [accessed November 22, 2016]).
- Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site - Sprint Cup Series All-Time Pole Winners. In: www.jayski.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016 .
- Smith: Win on Sunday, sell on Monday? In: ESPN.com . ( espn.com [accessed January 5, 2017]).
- Horsepower reduction among 2015 rules package changes . ( nascar.com [accessed January 5, 2017]).