Serial cars that run in circles for a few hours. And so every week, for 10 months of the year. Sounds interesting? Evidently even very much, because NASCAR races are the second most popular sport in the USA after American football. When you get to know the essence of this spectacle, you can really love it!
In the United States, basketball, hockey, baseball, American football, and NASCAR races are referred to as national sports. Although each of these disciplines is accompanied by crowds of spectators, powerful sponsors, big money and great interest in the media, the one that best captures the temperament, approach to competition and American sports culture, is the latter. Why do we have a look at it?
Let’s take a closer look at what NASCAR is basically.
NASCAR – what is it?
NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is one of the largest racing organizations in the world and the largest in the United States.
Its three largest racing series aisthe Monster Energy Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Cup Series. Taking into account other series of lower rank, NASCAR sponsors a total of 1500 races held on 100 tracks located in several dozen different states of the USA, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
It should be emphasized that the series cars referred to in the organization’s name have little in common with the cars available on the mass market, which we use on a daily basis. In practice, they are super-powerful and super-fast, specially developed for the needs of car racing – they have powerful engines, properly modified interiors, as well as a number of other construction solutions that regulate the regulations in force from above.
In NASCAR races, what counts is a man, not a machine.
However, it’s not modified machines that attract millions of fans every year to the tracks scattered all over the states.
The Americans love NASCAR races because it’s all about the skill, courage, and cleverness of the individual – that is, the driver. Nobody is at the start privileged, there are no strong favorites to win, and the situation on the track is so dynamic that it is not clear who will win until the last lap. There are spectacular overtakes, unexpected twists and turns, breakdowns and pit-stops as well as spectacular caramels.
What is more, all racing drivers, looking from the technical side, have at their disposal basically the same equipment. The role of the teams and technology is relatively small, and the vehicles themselves have neither ABS nor other assistive systems. There is, therefore, no space armament race between teams.
It is a rivalry between people, not cars – it is simply the best driver who wins. The winner is the one who first comes out of a few hours of wheel-to-wheel combat and a bumper-to-bumper fight (literally, because it is allowed). A fight in which the speed reaches 340 km/h and the slightest mistake can result in premature falling out of the race. This can really please you!
Unfortunately, it should also be noted that in the history of this sport there were quite often macabre accidents in which drivers died – statistically, since the 1950s, at least one per year. Although safety is now one of the organization’s priorities and is at a very high level, it still remains one of the most dangerous sports in the world.