Do you know what is the second most popular sport in the U.S. after the NFL? Do you know what sport is broadcasted in over 150 countries? Soccer? Nope, Nascar.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing also known as NASCAR was founded in 1948 by Bill France, and now it is an organization that features hundreds of races every year in and around the United States.
The top series in Nascar, the Nascar Sprint Cup Series, was previously known as the Nascar Nextel Cup Series. It includes 36 races, more than 45 top Nascar drivers such as Jimmie Jhonson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, and many more drivers that race every week from February to November on many tracks.
There are four types of Nascar tracks: a super speedway, a short track, a standard oval, and a road course.
The first three tracks I said are ovals; they all have only left turns, and the cars race counterclockwise on them. They all have two main differences: shape and size. Some examples of these tracks are Daytona Superspeedway, California Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Chicagoland Speedway.
The fourth and last track I mentioned is a road course; that has irregular figures with both left and right turns, where cars race clockwise. Two examples are Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway.
Now I know you are probably wondering about the cars. Well in 2007 the cars that were driven were: the Ford Fusion, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the Dodge Charger, and the Toyota Camry. The cars for 2008 and for the years to come are a little bit different.
The car of tomorrow or C.O.T is designed for control, parity, and driver safety.
There are some differences between the car of tomorrow and the car from 2007. For example, the C.O.T has a special front bumper to avoid the bump and run tactic. The height is increased by 5cm and the width is increased by 10cm. The new cars also have a rear wing to help them grip the track. They will be the Ford fusion, the Chevrolet Impala, the Dodge Charger, and the Toyota Camry.
Something you might find weird on Nascar race cars is that they have no door! The driver has to go in through the window. The reason for this is that with no door, the hinge free frame of the car means that the car is much stronger and safer.
Let’s move on to the races now. You might have heard of Daytona International Speedway, home to the “all time greatest race of them all”: The Daytona 500. It is Nascar’s most important race of the season and is also the first major race of the year for the drivers. It will be held on February 17 on fox Sports at 3:30pm if you are interested.
Another important race is the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speed Way. The start/finish line is made of checkered dark and light bricks, instead of the checkered black and white line. That is why it is called the brickyard 400.
There are many other races from February to November, but only 12 cars compete for points in the last 12 races. That’s because the drivers get points and are numbered in the point standings according to how many points they have. So in the first 24 races, 43 drivers compete to get many points. At the end of the 24 races the first 12 drivers in the point standings go on collecting points for 12 more races, at the end of the those 12 races the driver with the most points and first in the point standings wins the championship.
Well, now you know about my favourite sport, and I hope you like it too. Who wouldn’t.