So you’re new to NASCAR and you want to learn what the sport is all about? I applaud you! In this short blog post I hope you learn everything you need to know to become a NASCAR newbie.
NASCAR: A Brief History
NASCAR is an abbreviation that stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. It is a family owned and operated business that handles numerous auto racing sports events. It is the biggest sanctioning body of car racing in the entire country, and draws in millions of fans every year. Between the sight of the cheering fans, the smell of burning rubber, the sound of the fast paced action, and the taste of a cold beer, it is easy to see why so many people come out to enjoy the NASCAR action. With over 1500 races featured at 100 tracks all over the United States and Canada, fans come out to any number of events to cheer on their favorite racers.
While many fans are already excited about these races, there are even more that are not sure how to get started watching them. Not all fans first got into NASCAR because of family and friends. Many developed their love for the sport by doing a little bit of personal research and learning more about how it works and what kinds of plays they can expect to see. Understanding NASCAR racing can be as easy as learning about the races and rules. It is not a difficult sport to follow, but it can be a little overwhelming for those who are not sure where to begin. By understanding the basics, you will find yourself at these events, cheering on your favorite racers in no time at all.
About Series and Cups
NASCAR sanctions several levels in stock car racing. These levels are usually sponsored by major companies, and the highest level is called the Sprint Cup series. All of the other levels are described as the Nationwide Series, which is the minor league, and the Camping World Truck Series, which is the pick up truck level. There are many other levels as well, but these are the most popular, and it is where almost all fans get started before they branch out into their other interests. The Sprint Cup is defined by 36 races, where each one has 43 stock cares, all competing on one track. The drivers of each car are strongly associated with their car numbers, which are basically their brands. All fans know these numbers, and usually cheer for their favorite drivers through them.
To win in this fast paced and exciting race is to cross the finish line, or win the checkered flag, which is waved at the end of the finish line to say that the race is over. This is the easy to understand part. What many fans have trouble with is understanding the point system. NASCAR features this point system to award drivers with points based on their final position in the race and the number of laps that they led. The driver collects points based on their performance during the first 26 races during the regular season. After this, the top 12 drivers will enter the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which is the last 10 races for the series. The 12 drivers who won the most points are the ones who will compete in the Sprint Cup Chase, though the track may stay the same.
This is a new development in the sport, one that has been around since 2004 to make it even more exciting. It is the same format, but with a final winner in mind after the end of the 10 races. The one who gathers the most points at this end will be the final winner of the Sprint Cup. These final races are among the most exciting parts for fans to watch because they get to cheer on their fans for what can be described as the play offs in NASCAR.
New fans should become familiar with some of the racing terminology as well. Drafting is what happens when cars drive close behind each other, reducing the air friction on the trailing car. This reduces the power requirement on the trailing car, which allows them to pick up their pace and keep up with those in front. The caution flag is a yellow flag that signals for racers to start to slow down. This is usually waved because of dangerous conditions on the track, such as what happens after a wreck. The pit road is the side of the track where drivers will pull over for gas, new tires, and maintenance. If the car pulls off, he is pitting, or making a pit stop. The pit crew is the group of mechanics and engineers that helps maintain the stock car after it has pulled into the pit. They are responsible for making correct adjustments to the vehicle as fast as possible in order to make sure that the driver can get back into the race as quickly as they can. Once you learn all of these basics, picking up the rest is just a matter of watching the races!