18 Facts about NASCAR You Didn’t Know
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is motorsport’s leading stock-car racing organization. The only sport in the United States with more viewers and fans than NASCAR is professional football.
When a sport is this popular, you should definitely learn a little bit more about it. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the largest and most prestigious racing competition for professional stock car teams.
- Bill France founded the company in 1948 and his grandson Brian France became CEO in 2003. The three largest racing-series sanctioned by this company are the Sprint Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series.
- NASCAR cars reach speeds above 150 mph, with many averaging speeds around 180 mph, and some pushing 200 mph. At 200 mph, NASCAR drivers in one second travel 293 feet, almost the length of a football field.
- On turns, drivers experience between two and three G’s (up to three times the force of gravity) every turn. In addition to this, temperatures in the car often exceed 100 degrees, reaching as much as 170 degrees by the floorboards.
- Stadiums for NASCAR venues can hold up to 170,000 spectators – this is much more than for any other sport in North America. Of all auto racing NASCAR is the biggest. There are over 75 million NASCAR fans in the United States. Internationally, its races are broadcast in over 150 countries. In 2004, the company holds 17 of the Top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world.
- NASCAR’s biggest race of the year is the Daytona 500, and it’s also the first race of the year.
- There are eight different flags that the NASCAR officials use from the flag stand to control the race. The only flag that is shown only once per race is the white flag, which signals that there is only one lap remaining in the race.
- Drivers can lose 5-10 pounds in sweat during a race. If a driver loses more than 3 percent of his body weight in sweat and doesn’t replace those fluids, focus and reflexes start declining.
- Every aspect of the cars is thoroughly researched and tuned to peak performance standards. Technicians consider every possible advantage by adjusting tire nitrogen pressure and temperature, driver hydration, lubrication, and pit stop spring time. Millions were spent on motor oil research and development to gain an additional 10 horsepower from the strictly regulated engines.
- Racing legend Richard Petty won 200 NASCAR races in his career. He won 7 stock car championships, won Daytona 7 times and is still to this day known as the greatest driver in the history of NASCAR. Richard is credited with inventing the window net to help keep drivers arms inside the car to avoid injuries during a crash.
- The total weight of a Sprint Cup Series car is 3,450 pounds. The weight includes a 200-pound driver and helmet. If a driver weighs less than 200 pounds, weights are added in 10-pound increments to make sure all drivers weigh 200 pounds.
- In 1976 Janet Guthrie became the first female racer to participate in a Winston Cup race. She finished 15th in the world 600 race. She also participated in the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500.
- No driver has died since NASCAR began requiring head-and-neck restraints in 2001.
- In a race, a NASCAR driver maintains the same heart rate 120-150 beats per minute for 3-plus hours as a serious marathon runner for about the same length of time.
- SAFER barriers, which NASCAR has installed at most tracks, reduce crash impacts on drivers by 70 percent or more. SAFER stands for “Steel and Foam Energy Reduction.”
- Every driver in Sunday’s Daytona 500 must pass a physical and drug test, as well as the vetting process. However, they’re not required to have a driver’s license. That means somebody could legally drive a race car 200 mph but not be allowed to drive to the airport after the race.
- A race car generally uses up three times as much motor oil as your passenger car. Also, race cars only use water in the radiator.
- NASCAR racers do not manage to hold it in whenever they’re on the track racing. They just go in their seats since you can’t exactly go at a rest stop during a race. Before they get out of their cars, they hide the fact that they peed in their pants by pouring water over themselves too.
- All those paint jobs are all stickers made out of vinyl that are applied on the car using a hair dryer. The whole car is basically covered in a vinyl decal. Obviously, a lot of hair dryers are needed to apply the various vinyl decals on the NASCAR cars.
If you know any interesting Nascar facts, please write them in the comments below.