- HOW TO CONTACT NASCAR?
At the NASCAR.com site: NASCAR.com Contact Information / Feedback, NASCAR.com Customer Service (with a live chat) or via their Facebook page, where you can leave a post
OR their email address at email@example.com.
NOTE do not CC me emails sent to NASCAR, not my thing, they will NOT be posted and I will NOT forward them to NASCAR or teams, etc.
NASCAR's mailing address is:
PO Box 2875
Daytona Beach, FL 32120
Contact this department to ask questions and share opinions on NASCAR rules, regulations, and any issues not addressed on this page. (Issues related to purchasing tickets should be submitted to the individual tracks) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
NASCAR no longer has a job hotline. employment.nascar.com/ or nascar.teamworkonline.com are the links about jobs with NASCAR.
NASCAR Research and Development Center:
7010 West Winds Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
More info at NASCAR Privacy Info
NASCAR PRODUCT LICENSING (ONLY)
NASCAR product licensing applications are usually mailed with 7 to 10 business days. To obtain an application contact:
- Info on Sprint? contact info?
more info on the company at www.sprint.com
to Contact Sprint regarding NASCAR:
10115 Kincey Ave, Suite 210
Huntersville, NC 28078
6391 Sprint Parkway
Overland Park KS 66251-4300
EMAIL form at: sprint.com
- What is NASCAR?
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport – with more of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S. than any other sport, and is the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport.
NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. Also part of NASCAR is Grand-Am Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach (Fla.), NASCAR has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte (N.C.), Concord (N.C.), Conover (N.C.), Bentonville (Ark.), Mexico City, and Toronto.
- How can someone get a NASCAR Sprint Cup [or Nationwide or Trucks] Rules Book?
Only teams, drivers, NASCAR Officials can get a Sprint Cup rules book. NASCAR does not sell them and I can't get them for anyone. You can join NASCAR, last I heard it was $400, see 1st question above on ways to contact NASCAR
Rules and Guidelines
NASCAR issues five different Rule Books, each of which includes in its title reference to a particular NASCAR-sanctioned series. There is a NASCAR Rule Book for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, a NASCAR Rule Book for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Regional Touring Series and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. Each NASCAR Rule Book is published exclusively for NASCAR members.
NOTE: per legal reasons, I could not post the rules book(or parts of) even if I had one
- How did the top-35 work? And Qualifying? Daytona 500 qualifying?
Qualifying in 2013: The first 36 spots will be based on qualifying speed, then six spots go to non-qualifiers based on owner points. The final spot goes to a past champion. If there’s no past champion, the final spot goes to the next driver based on owner points.
OLD rule 2004 thru 2012 - For the first five races of a season, the top 35 in owners points from the previous year are locked into the Sprint Cup field. Starting with the sixth race, the top 35 teams, based on the current season's owner points, that show up for the event are guaranteed spots, leaving seven spots to be determined by qualifying speed and one spot for a past champion. If there’s no past champion, then the final spot also is determined by qualifying speed.
See more on my Qualifying Rules page
- Why are NASCAR car numbers facing the infield or inside of the track?
a couple therories.... goes back to the beginning of NASCAR. People who tried to keep track officially of the cars ans the laps run [call scorers] were at the start finish line in the inside bleachers. Lap after lap the scorers kept track of their car and had to write the time down. Thus the cars were numbered so the trackers could keep track. This was used until the early 2000's, NASCAR and the teams each supplied scorers, to check and double check. But in the early 2000's NASCAR started using electronic scoring with the loops, so scorers are not needed any long.
some other notes found:
1) up until just a few years ago, each team and nascar had scorers for each car [2-3 per car] most of the times they sat in the infield or on top of an infield building to cound their car going by each lap, to the number faced in
2) cause many of the tracks are banked, when the car is fathest away from the grandstands, they can see then car number better, and if the car is is front of you on a banked track, you can hardly see the roof anyway [like Dover or Bristol](1-1-2010)
- Why do sometimes a driver who finishes lower then another driver get more money? and How much do drivers get paid?
In part from the Charlotte Observer in 2001: A lot of NASCAR drivers are eligible for various NASCAR awards programs based on past performance. For example, drivers who have won races in recent years, are part of a Winner's Circle program that pays them a predetermined amount of money for each race they start. The defending Sprint Cup champion, gets a $10,000 bonus for every race started this season. Other differences are based on which contingency award programs a particular driver participates in. For example, Gatorade pays bonuses to the top three cars at the halfway point of a race. But, if one of the cars in the top three does not carry the Gatorade sticker on its driver-side quarter panel, it is not eligible to collect that money. This holds true for more than a dozen contingency award programs. Another explanation: there are different plans from where you are in points or if you're in the winner's circle. Top-25 in points there's one plan, 25-40 there's another plan. Then, the winner's circle, the car owner's guaranteed so much money to represent their team at the race.
And from a NOL Q&A with Gary Nelson: The guaranteed finishing position purse for any particular NASCAR Sprint Cup race is distributed as set forth in the official entry blank for that race. This purse is based on revenues from tracks and television broadcasts. At most races there are additional awards based on achievements other than final finishing position. These are prizes offered by "contingency sponsors," and may include money for winning from the pole position, leading at the race's halfway point, being the top finisher to display a particular contingency decal, or other accomplishments. Some may also be based on media-voted criteria such as pit strategy, or the "cool move of the race," etc. Due to these prizes from contingency sponsors and other awards or bonuses, it is possible for a lower-finishing driver to win more total prize moneys in a particular event than another competitor with a better finishing position.(7-27-2000)
Q: Why do some drivers who finished deeper in the field get more prize money then some at the front?, I am all the sports casters and media get his asked all the time. The USA Today as a few stories that may help out:
Prize plan participation can make big difference and
NASCAR rewards top teams, win or lose by Chris Jenkins(7-17-2002)
- How much does it cost for a NASCAR license to be a driver? team owner?
The cost for a license will be $2,420. And if you want to race in the Nationwide or Truck series as well, it will be an extra $110.
How about being a NASCAR owner? It will cost you $2,970.
- How much does it cost a team owner to enter a NASCAR Sprint Cup race?
If the entry blank is mailed and recieved on time [usually 13 days before the race date] the entry fee is $4,300 to enter a car in a NASCAR Sprtint Cup race. The fee is none-refundable. A late / post entry fee is $5,675 and the car owner nor the driver get any points.(2-12-2013)
- Are drivers required to wear full-face helmets or gloves?
Drivers must wear a full-face helmet carry certain certifications listed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules book. All drivers must wear an approved Head and neck restraint device / system.
All drivers must wear a fire resistent uniform meeting current SFI specification. Each driver must wear fire resistent accessories that cover the remaining parts of the body. Unless authorized by NASCAR, all drivers must wear shoes and gloves during compeition that meet current SFI specification.(2013)
- Are drivers required to have a valid driver's licence from a state / country to race in NASCAR?
A valid driver's license is NOT a requirement to compete in NASCAR. Competitors must have a valid NASCAR license.
- Why 43 drivers/cars in a race? Where did NASCAR come up with that number?
Back in the old days of NASCAR, there were some tracks where there were no limits, such as Darlington (as many as 75) and Daytona (in the 50's many times). Over the years the size sort of evolved. It was 40 for the large tracks and 32 for the small tracks in the late 70's and early 80's. Then if was 42 for large and 36 for the small/short tracks. The the champion's provisional took itt to 43 and NASCAR made 43 universal at all tracks including thee small/short tracks, like Bristol. As good explanation is at NASCAR.com but the link from 2002 no loger works as of 2013: 43-car field a product of slow change by Dave Rodman.(3-23-2002)
- Why does NASCAR (or NASCAR.com) use three digit numbers for some cars?
Sometimes different cars (Owners) have to share the same last two digits of a number. For instance, at the end of 2002, Rick Goodwin [Team Bristol] indicated that he would be renewing his Sprint Cup #54 because at the time, he had a full sponsorship from Toys "R" Us [which went away]. After the renewal of his license this year, Travis Carter and his sponsorship [National Guard] wanted to use the Sprint Cup #54 as well. Since no two owners can occupy the same number, NASCAR licensed the #154 to Travis Carter with the caveat that should Rick Goodwin enter an event, they would have to find another number for Carter's car to use at that same event.
In an effort for membership and points to correctly assign championship car owner points, NASCAR has to distinguish between Owner 1 (#54) and Owner 2 (#154). Therefore, each owner continues to maintain throughout the season the car number they were originally licensed with. So if owner 1 and owner 2 enter the same race and both make it, owner 2 would need to use a different number.
- Who owns the NASCAR car numbers?
NASCAR owns and assigns car numbers to an owner(s). NASCAR reserves the right to revoke or transfer car numbers to another owner/team at any time. Car numbers are non-assignable and non-transferable, except by NASCAR. NASCAR works with teams and sponsors when a specific number is requested. If duplication of numbers occur, which usually happens with the part-time teams, the fastest qualifier usually gets to use the number unless one team is considered full-time. In 2002, the #27 was used by Scott Wimmer for Bill Davis Racing and by Kirk Shelmerdine, both part time, however, Wimmer was listed in the #27 and Shelmerdine in the #`172 and when they attempted the same races, Wimmer got to use the #27 and Shelmerdine ran the #72, so NASCAR uses it's judgement in deciding who runs the number.(9-6-1999/9-17/2003)
AND NASCAR said it owns the numbers used in the Sprint Cup Series, not car owners. And since they own the numbers, they're not for sale. Car owners are allowed to lease each number for one year, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. Teresa Earnhardt, who currently controls her stepson's #8, can renew that lease next year to keep him from using it.(6-26-2007)
AND 2: NASCAR owns and assigns car numbers and licenses them to teams on an annual basis. Teams do not own the numbers. Teams submit to NASCAR requests for a car number. Depending upon availability, that number is issued via an owner’s license, which is good for a year. However, one team may allow another team to use the number with NASCAR’s approval. For administrative purposes, the official car number may be a three-digit number, however on the car only two digits are displayed (a 100 and 200 would both display as 00). If there is a conflict at any given time, by general procedure, the team submitting an entry form last would have to pick an alternate display number. Generally, if a team has been using a number that number is re-issued to the same team. If a team relinquishes a number, it reverts back to NASCAR.(Pocono Record)(6-5-2009)
AND 3: How NASCAR allocates car numbers:
• NASCAR owns and assigns the car numbers and licenses them to teams on an annual basis.
• Teams submit to NASCAR requests for car numbers. Depending on availability, that number is issued via an owner's license, which is good for a year. However, one team can allow another team to use the number with NASCAR approval.
• Generally, if a team has used a number, that number is re-issued to the same team. If a team relinquishes a number, it reverts back to NASCAR.
- How much do drivers get paid?
There is no set answer, it depends on the team, sponsor and the driver. Each team does contracts differently, some sponsors help pay the driver. If a driver brings a sponsor, they may get a cut. If a team is a winning team and belongs to certain NASCAR winners plans, they could get paid more while that plan is in effect. There is no set answer. (see above question).
- How does the Sprint Cup award points to drivers and owners?
Each driver who competes in a Sprint Cup race is awarded points in the following manner: starting at 43 points, dropping 1 point from spots 1-43. 43rd is worth 1 point.
Three (3) bonus points are giving to the driver who wins the race.
Any driver who leads a lap gets one bonus point.
The driver that leads the most laps is awarded one point (in a case of a tie, both drivers get a bonus point).
Owners are awarded points in the same manner,
BUT owners do not get points for attempting a race like they did in 2010 and before. See chart:
HOW NASCAR Sprint Cup POINTS ARE AWARDED
NOTE: Driver Leads a Lap (under Green or Yellow Flag) gets 1 Bonus Point
Driver who leads the most laps gets 1 Bonus Point (ties, drivers each get bonus point)
Winning driver gets 3 bonus points
The driver who starts the race gets the points and the finishing position credit.
In addition to the points above, any driver who leads a lap during a race receives ONE bonus point.
The driver who leads the most laps receives an additional ONE bonus point.
In the event of a tie for most laps led, each driver gets ONE bonus point.
Owner points are calculated the same, with the exception that owners whose entries do not qualify for the race are NOT awarded any points, NASCAR will keep track of the team attempts to be used in case qualifying and practices are cancelled since both are now used to set the fied
- How to break a tie during qualifying? (same speed/time)
When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings (not drivers standings).
- How does someone break into Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Truck Series as a driver or crew member?
The best way to start is to get joined up with a team on one of the local NASCAR racing series somewhere. You need to build up a 'resume' for a team to even look at you. Connections are good to have. NASCAR will not just let anyone drive a Cup/Nationwide car in qualifying or a race without some sort of 'Racing Resume' with previous racing experience. Jayski can't really do anything for you as I have not seen you work or really know how you work. To contact the shops, I have Team Addresses for the Cup and BGN teams with addresses and phone numbers. Also on my Racing School/Jobs Links and Info page, there are a few sections that may help, such as the Classified Ads/Jobs and Markets, check them out. Or see my Racing Schools/Jobs page for info on schools/colleges and job services. Also, see the column - About.com NASCAR 101: How do I get started in NASCAR? by Steve McCormick. Or send a resume into NASCAR. Best bet: get experience at a local track.(11-30-2000)
- What makes a race track a short track or a superspeedway?
Pretty simple actually, an oval track of one(1) mile or more is considered a superspeedway. An oval tracks under a mile in length is considered a short track. At present there are only three short tracks, Bristol(.533 mile), Martinsville(.526 mile) and Richmond(.75 mile). Of course Sears Point and Watkins Glen are road courses.
- How does the manufacturers' championship points system work?
There is a page for each season, see the link for it and past years on the Stats Links page
- What is the differences between race trim and qualifying trim(setup)?
In qualifying trim the teams are not worried too much on how the car will drive, they are going for the fastest lap they can get. In race trim/setup the team concentrates on getting the car to handle as best as possible, trying to get rid of any pushing or loose conditions. The team wants the car to drive well on long green runs when the tires get hot and there's a full tank of fuel.
- What are the differences between a Sprint Cup Car, A Nationwide car, a Truck?
See the table I made: Car Differences page
- What is the catch can and what purpose does it serve?
NASCAR now uses a fueling can and system that no longer requires a catch can or catch can person.
It was a small can with a tube that was inserted into an overflow tube on the car. There was a check ball system with an inlet and an outlet. The catch can tube opened the valve to let air out and fuel in when refueling. When fuel came out of the tube and into the catch can, that signaled the car was full of fuel.
- How do you get pit/garage passes?
This is up to the race track, some of them sell these tickets some do not allow fans onto the pits or in the garage area. Some tracks only allow tour groups (like fan clubs, sponsors, etc) in the garage area. The only other way is to sponsor a Sprint Cup team/car. I CANNOT get anyone garage/pit passes, sorry. NASCAR is cracking down on garage passes and it is getting harder to get. Remember the teams and drivers have jobs to do. NASCAR technically owns the garage area at each track and limits the number of passes each team is allotted for each race. Pit passes are given out by the track for those needing credentials for work purposes
- Why don't Cup cars run chrome wheels anymore?
NASCAR rules do not allow for it, the reason? the rims of the wheels would crack underneath the chrome, which made it hard to detect and cars would end up with broken wheels during the race. There are some teams that use a chrome colored paints/etching that is approved by NASCAR.
MORE: from an artilce at Foxsports by Larry McReynolds: "NASCAR never made painted wheels of any color illegal. You could always paint your wheels any color you wanted. They outlawed chrome wheels several years ago because it's hard to keep the wheel weights on a chrome wheel. Michael Waltrip Racing's wheels aren't chrome. They are chrome anodized. [Editor's note: anodize is to coat (a metal, especially aluminum) with a protective oxide layer by electrolysis.] NASCAR has approved it because it doesn't matter what color it's anodized, it's all the same. It's actually a chrome product."(3-23-2007)
- How does air pressure affect the handling of a car?
Changing air pressure effects the spring rate of the tire . The more air pressure you run in the tire, the stiffer it makes the tire's sidewall, and that acts like a stiffer spring. If you decrease air pressure it softens the sidewall and it acts like a softer spring.
- In case of rain, is the driver who is awarded the pole, via leading the points, eligible for the Sprint Unlimited?
No, a driver has to earn the pole through a timed qualifying run.
- What is the difference between a CREW CHIEF and a CAR CHIEF:
The basic difference: the crew chief has the ultimate decision. He also is more of an organizer. The car chief has a responsibility of the structuring of the groups of the people who work on the cars at the racetrack and implements the changes at the track as well as setting the car up before shipping to the track. This may differ from team to team
- What is the Chassis Dyno?
The Chassis Dyno measures actual horsepower to the rear axle of the car. It's like a trailer that the car is placed on, the rear wheels placed on wheels on the dyno, then the car is run at speed on the dyno, calculating horsepower
- Where can a reader get scanner frequencies?
See Jayski's Scanners Links Page
- What ever happened to the 'Hat Man' who used to great the winning drivers in the winners circle?
The Charlotte Observer's David Poole has a story about 'The Hat Man' in which he tells us that, Bill Brodrick hasn't been booted from that job as reported. Brodrick worked as a publicity and public relations specialist for Unocal. According to a statement issued by Tosco Corporation, which purchased the assets of Unocal's 76 Products Co. in April, Brodrick retired from Unocal effective July 31, 1996, so he never was officially a Tosco employee. His duties in Victory Lane are controlled by tracks and race organizers, and the Tosco statement said Brodrick is free to continue those duties.(Observer)(11-27-97)
UPDATE 1: Was watching Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel on Monday night and Dave Despain was asked: "What ever happened to the 'Hat Man' who used to great the winning drivers in the winners circle?"....well here is what I have posted on my Racing FAQ/Q&A Page, since I often get qustions about him: Well from what I hear, after Bill 'The Hat Man' Brodrick was released of his duties when Tosco bought out Unocal he bought a restaurant or tavern in the Chicago area.(6-16-1999)
UPDATE 2: some more tidbits, Brodrick is the owner of a tavern near the Fox River in Algonquin, Illinois, in the Northwest Chicago suburbs, that he actually has owned for some time(6-17-1999)
UPDATE 3: Brodrick was interviewed by Claire B. Lang on XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) in May 2003, where at that time, Brodrick was working with the Nationwide Series team #27 of Brewco Motorsports and driver Joey Clanton and sponsor TrimSpa. Of course, Clanton is not longer with Brewco and TrimSpa is the sponsor for the #32 Braun Racing Dodge with driver David Stremme, so not sure if Brodrick is still with Brewco.
AND recently heard from a reader who saw Brodrick at the Wisconsin Motorsports Charities Banquet this past January.(4-6-2004)
UPDATE 4: Dave Despain talked to Bill Brodrick via the phone on Wednesday's Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel and Brodrick said he sold his tavern to his son, did some work for GM/Cadilac and is now semi-retired and enjoying life.(4-8-2004)
UPDATE 5 - Where is Bill Brodrick? who? The Hat Man.. since I get asked about him a few times a month and even have a section for the question in my Racing FAQ's....the lastest. He's been to more Victory Lanes than Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon combined. Officially, Bill "The Hat Man" Brodrick was in charge of public relations for Unocal's racing division. He's remembered, however, as the burly guy with a lion's mane of coiffed hair and beard to match who was in charge of Victory Lane. His celebrations were orchestrated with the finely tuned precision of a symphony conductor. Brodrick was almost always the first person to a winner's car once it got to racing's version of the Promised Land, and as a result, he was almost always on television for at least a few seconds. Unocal was bought out in 1997. Although he'd been with the company just a few weeks shy of 29 years, at the end of the season, Brodrick was shown the door. Afterward, he refused to be a "hanger on," who begs for passes. He operated Tavern at the Bridge in Algonquin, Ill., for four years and then turned it over to his son. "My son talked me into it, and my wife, of course, was on my son's side," Brodrick said of his decision to buy the bar. "This place was available, and my son knew it real well. To make a long story short, I bought that saloon and had to go to work. My son runs the business now and it's doing quite well. It was work. I'd never worked that hard in all my life." He still handles a few things here and there with the tavern, and he's also a contract driver for a courier company. Brodrick stays as busy as he wants to be. Read full story on NASCAR.com.(3-29-2007)
UPDATE 6: Bill Brodrick, The Hat Man, emailed with an update: "I am back running my gin joint, the Tavern at the Bridge, here in Algonquin, IL located at Route 62 at the Fox River. After turning the business over to my son in 2007 he decided he wanted out and I went back to running things in January of' 2008. Heck, I had 34 years of racing experience. Might as well but it to good use and run a tavern. I still get one of my trading cards in the mail (P. O. Box 14, Algonquin, IL 60102) once in a while for an autograph which I'm more than happy to do. I have a lot of old racing memorabilia in the Tavern and fans come in to watch the big screen and BS. That's the one thing I miss about being out of the business.....the fans. Race fans are the greatest people in the world. And they never forget you.
If anyone comes through Algonquin (40 miles NW of Chicago) they're more than welcome to stop by. The beer is always cold and the popcorn fresh. God bless"(4-7-2009)
- How come those cars that are almost a lap down get to start in front of a leader sometimes under yellow?
With the advent of the wave around rule, cars are now waved around that are on the tail end of the lead lap, thus putting the cars in the lead at the front of the pack. Car's that were on the tail end of the lead lap, used to be in front of the leaders. Driver A was behind the leader when the caution came out(he may have been in the pits or recently completed a stop). The pace car picks up the leader, the leader pits. Driver A remains on the track and passes the leader in pits. Driver A is back on lead lap, but since Driver A cannot pass the pace car, Driver A is now on the tail end of lead lap. This is no longer the rule and cars are now waved around before the restart of a race.
- Why do teams put tape on the grill of the car for qualifying?
For aerodynamic reasons, it gives the car less drag. The air has no openings to go through so it goes directly over the car, adding downforce so it adds a good amount of straightaway speed
- How do they calculate track lap speeds?
Use the formula Speed = Distance multiplied by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph(5-12-1999) - now this may not be a perfect explanation on this but the calculation works and is correct. A college professor corrected it in the past and gave me what is now presented, some folks (a few uppity type's) disagree with it, but all I know is that it is simple and works.
- Has a rookie ever won the Sprint Cup championship?
No, the closest was in 1966 when rookie of the year James Hylton was 2nd to David Pearson, he didn't win a race but had 32 top 10's in 41 races.
- Has a driver ever won the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championship in the same season?
No, Kevin Harvick was the closest in 2006 when he won the Nationwide Championship and finished 4th in the 2006 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Others that were close were Carl Edwards in 2005 when he finished 3rd in both and Kevin Harvick in 2001 when he won the Nationwide Series Championship and came home 9th in Cup points.
- What do each of the flags and their colors mean?
Yellow: Caution; slow, hold position
Black: Pull into the pit for consult
Black/white stripe: not being scored for laps completed, failing to obey a black flag
Blue/yellow-orange stripe: Move to another lane/Slower traffic move over
Yellow/red stripes: Oil on track
White: Entering last lap
Black/white checkered: The race is finished
- What is the origin of the Checkered Flag?
The checkered flag is the most recognizable flag in NASCAR. Dropped only once, it signals the end of the race. The story behind why the checkered flag is checkered, though, is a bit of a mystery. A standard theory that has been passed down through the years dates the checkered flag origins back to the 1800s. Racing at that point was done on horseback, and those at the races would typically eat together afterward. To signal when dinner was ready and the racing should end, a tablecloth – which, during this time period, was checkered – was waved.
A less romantic theory: In the early days of racing, the tracks were on dirt roads. With dust and dirt kicked into the air throughout the race, visibility was incredibly limited. A flag with contrasting colors – such as black and white – was an easy target to spot for drivers gunning for the win.(NASCAR.com)
Another theory: it appears the use of the checkered flag evolved from the days in France when Men wore checkered vest to indicate to bicyclist the route to take through the cities during long races. Eventually the checkered material was put on poles instead of asking people to stand in the way of racing cyclist. The idea came to this country through a French man to use the checkered material to end motor car races. I was able to discount the idea that the black and white flags were used together to end a race and they were eventually combined to make a checkered flag because the white flag is relatively new to racing
- When did the phrase “Gentlemen, start your engines” begin?
The most famous words in motor sports actually began in open-wheel racing just after World War II. During the late 1940s, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Wilbur Shaw popularized the iconic “Gentlemen, start your engines” before runnings of the Indianapolis 500. Respondents to an unscientific IndyStar.com poll three years ago voted that phrase the most popular tradition at the Indy 500 — more popular than kissing the bricks or the bottle of milk presented to the winning driver. After Shaw’s death in a 1954 plane crash, Tony Hulman Jr. carried on the tradition at the Indy 500 from 1955 to 1977. But it quickly spread beyond Indianapolis and open-wheel racing, becoming engrained amid the starting festivities in all of motor sports. The phrase is believed to have jumped to stock-car racing in the mid-1950s, where its importance and popularity have only continued to surge. But it has also changed.(Kansas City Star), when a female runs a race, the expression commonly used now is “Drivers, start your engines”.(10-9-2011)
- Is regular air or something else used to inflate tires on a NASCAR car?
NASCAR teams use nitrogen because it's a cleaner air with no moisture in it. Moisture builds heat, and when compressed air is used, there is water in the airlines and air systems, and when that water gets into the tire, it will expand the tire and puts heat into it, and will eventually cause a tire problem(NOL/Tommy Baldwin)(10-6-1999)
- How does NASCAR measure the length of a race track?
NASCAR measures its race tracks with SAFER at a point 13 1/2 feet inside the outside wall
Without SAFER NASCAR used to measure its race tracks at a point 15 feet inside the outside wall
- What is a template?
Templates are the metal-measuring tools that fit each manufacturer's body and make sure the car meets NASCAR specifications
- How do drivers/teams select which pit stall they use during the race?
Each team selects the pit stall they want based on how the driver qualified. The driver / team winning the pole position picks which stall they prefer first, the second driver selects his next and so on.
- Do heavier drivers have a disadvantage over the drivers that don’t weigh as much?
Each car must weigh a minimum of 3,400 pounds ready to race, which includes the weight of the gas, oil, water, etc. Weights are added to cars whose driver weighs less than 200 pounds. Based on a starting driver weighing 200 pounds, drivers add weights in 10-pound increments up to a maximum of 50 pounds. For example, a driver weighing 185 pounds, adds 20 pounds of weigh to the car, and a driver weighing just 145 pounds adds the maximum 50 pounds(7-19-2000)
- How do drivers choose their qualifying position for a Sprint Cup race?
See my Qualifying Rules page
- How did 'Bootie' Barker get his nickname? How did he end up in a wheelchair?
Have never been able to get an answer to why NASCAR crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker is nicknamed 'Bootie'. Barker refuses to tell folks why and no one has ever found the answer.
As for why Barker is in a the wheelchair, answers.com reports: He was paralyzed from the waist down after suffering injuries in a car accident while a senior in high school. Barker has since overcome his injuries to be a respected crew chief and one of NASCAR's most brilliant minds.
- What is the maximum number of crew members allowed over the wall in a pit stop during a Sprint Cup Race?
Six is the maximum allowed unless NASCAR deams that weather conditions merit a seventh (to clean windshield, etc). The crew includes: two tire changers, two tire carriers, a jackman, a fueler (gas man), and, if warranted, an extra man. Each has his specific tasks. Tire changers replace old tires with new ones beginning with the right side and proceeding to the left. Tire carriers carry the 75-pound tires to the car's right side and then remove the old ones. They repeat the process on the left side. Jackers carry a 45-pound hydraulic jack to raise the car's right side. When the tires have been replaced they repeat the process on the left side. Fuelers pour two 12-gallon dump cans of fuel into the 18-gallon fuel cell of the car. An extra person are usually allowed over the wall on abnormally hot days to clean the windshield or service the driver with water. in 2011 NASCAR started using E15 Ethanol-blended Sunoco race fuel.
- What does it mean when a tire is "equalized"?
It is when the inner liner and the outer tire have the same air pressure. That is caused by the inner having a tear, hole or something that causes the air to leak out
- The Red Flag? What a team/driver can do to a car during a red flag
Rule 10-5 of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rulebook preventing any repairs on a car during a red flag: Red Flag - The red flag means that the race must be stopped immediately regardless of the position of the cars on the track. The red flag shall be used if, in the opinion of NASCAR Officials, the race should be stopped. Cars should be brought to a stop in an area designated by NASCAR Officials. Repairs or service of any nature or refueling will not be permitted when the race is halted due to a red flag. All work must stop on any car in the pits and/or garage area when the red flag is displayed, unless the car has withdrawn from the Event. Work cannot be resumed until the red flag is withdrawn (race is restarted).
- How does drafting at Daytona / Talladega work?
Drafting Explanation/Article: In aerodynamically intense stock-car races like the Daytona 500, the drivers form into multi-car draft lines to gain extra speed. A driver who does not enter a draft line (slipstream) will lose. Once in a line, a driver must attract a drafting partner in order to break out and try to get further ahead. Thus the effort to win leads to ever-shifting patterns of cooperation and competition among rivals. This provides a curious laboratory for several social science theories. See the full story and analysis at: Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCAR's Biggest Superspeedways by David Ronfeldt at First Monday
- What does the term "______" mean, see below for some terminology:
WALLY’S WORDS from an old MSNBC Article
AIR DAM: The three-to-four inch leading edge below the front bumper that helps direct air over the race car creating downforce. The air pushes the front of the car down into the racetrack improving its grip.
APRON: The very bottom area of the racetrack between the racing surface and the infield.
BRAKE BIAS: Control knob used to adjust how much braking effort is carried out between front and rear wheels.
DOWNFORCE: Pressure exerted on the roof and hood of the racecar as it goes through corners. A car with good downforce uses all the available air to push on its body to get the car maximum grip on the racetrack through the corners.
GROOVE: The fastest line a car can take around the racetrack, usually at its bottom and visible by the blackened pavement and skid marks created by all the cars using it.
HAPPY HOUR: The last official practice session held before a race, usually on Saturday, which allows teams to make final adjustments to setups.
LOOSE: Occurs when a car’s rear tires lose grip with the racetrack. Loose in is when a driver is off the gas getting into a corner and the car wants to get sideways. Loose off is when he get on the gas coming off the corner and the rear tires slide and fishtail. Opposite of tight.
MARBLES: Debris and excess rubber that get kicked off tires and collect high on the racetrack above the outside groove. When heated tires run over this loose stuff, it can cause cars to slide. When you see a driver wiggling his car down the straightaway, it’s to rid his tires of the marbles he collected.
SCUFFS: Tires used at least once to take the factory glaze off them, but still saved for more racing. Scuffing tires for a lap gets them heated and hardens the compound, keeping them consistent when they’re put back on for the race.
SETUP: How a car’s engine, suspension, aerodynamics and tires are adjusted to handle on a particular racetrack.
SPOTTER: Race-team member usually perched atop the grandstand who is a driver’s second pair of eyes. Talks directly to a driver during the race to help direct traffic around wrecks, especially when smoke is involved. Are mainly there for safety, but will also make suggestions on strategy.
STICKERS: Name given to brand new tires, originating from the manufacturers stickers usually found on them.
TIGHT: Occurs when a car’s front tires stop gripping and start sliding up the racetrack as it heads into or out of a corner, forcing the driver to stay off the gas until it starts to grip again. Also known as push.
See more at the NASCAR.com Glossary.
- When did Winston come aboard and what other names has the 'elite' series been known as?
It was called Grand National first (No Busch and no sponsor) from 1950-1970, Winston [R.J. Reynolds] came aboard in 1971 and it was known as the Winston Grand National Series from 1971 thru 1985. From 1986 to 2003 the series was known as the Winston Cup Series, after after Winston/RJR opted out of their 5 year deal with 4 years to go, NASCAR signed Nextel for 10 years and the series was known as the Nextel Cup Series, then Sprint bought Nextel and after years of rumor, the Cup series was renamed in 2008 to the Sprint Cup Series. A quick timeline:
1948: Modified Championship [not used in record for Cup]
1949: “Strictly Stock” Championship [considered the first season of 'Cup']
1950-1970 NASCAR called their top division, “Grand National.”
1971-1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National.
NOTE 1972 starts of the “Modern Era”…Races were reduced from 48-60 range to 30 in 1972, races were over 250 miles [except road courses] and no more dirt tracks.
1986-2003 NASCAR Winston Cup. (The Busch Series takes on “Grand National” moniker until 2000, see next FAQ.)
2004-07 NASCAR Nextel Cup
2008-current NASCAR Sprint Cup
So most drivers who raced in the top series, are now considers Sprint Cup champs. drivers, etc
- When did the Nationwide Series start?:
The Busch Series started in 1982 as the Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series thru 1983, then is was known as the Busch Late Model Sportsman series from 1984 thru 1985. In 1986 is bacame known as the Busch Grand National Series until 2002 and then just the Busch Series thru 2007, when Busch left and Nationwide became the title sponsor for the series.
- When was the last dirt track race ran in the Sprint Cup [Grand National] Series?:
At State Fairgrounds Speedway [1/2 mile] in Raleigh, NC on September 30, 1970, won by #43-Richard Petty before a crowd of 6,000. It was a 100 mile race, 200 laps, Petty won by 2 laps over #06-Neil Castles. #4-John Sears won the pole with a speed of 71.380mph and finished last of the 23 cars in the field.
- What is the largest margin of victory in the history of the Sprint Cup Series [Grand National / Winston Cup, etc]?:
Ned Jarrett won by 14 laps at Darlington Raceway in the Southern 500 in 1965.
- When was the last time a driver lapped the field while winning the race?:
October 1994 at North Wilkesboro, NC when Geoffrey Bodine won, completing 400 laps while 2nd place was Terry Labonte, who completed 399.
- How many drivers have won a race in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Truck Series?
See my All Time, Active Wins page / charts for the list.
- Why do drivers on an oval counterclockwise and only make 'lefts'?
Have heard a few things. One is that race cars go counterclockwise on ovals because horses go counterclockwise on their tracks. And as we all know, most of the first automobile races in America were held at horse tracks. (not including the road courses)
- Where can a list of NASCAR driver death's be found?
NASCAR drivers who have been killed on tracks since 1952, including the setting, location and the date:
Larry Mann, race, Langhorne, Pa., Sept. 14, 1952
Frank Arford, qualifying, Langhorne, Pa., race, June 20, 1953
Lou Figaro, race, North Wilkesboro, N.C., Oct. 25, 1954
John McVitty, qualifying, Langhorne, Pa., April 21, 1956
Clint McHugh, qualifying, LeHi, Ark., June 9, 1956
Thomas "Cotton" Priddy, race, LeHi, Ark., June 10, 1956
Bobby Myers, race, Darlington, S.C., Sept. 2, 1957
Gwynn Staley, race, Richmond, Va., March 23, 1958
Joe Weatherly, race, Riverside, Jan. 19, 1964
Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, race, Charlotte, N.C., July 2, 1964
Jimmy Pardue, tire test, Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 22, 1964
Billy Wade, tire test, Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 5, 1965
Buren Skeen, race, Darlington, S.C., Sept. 13, 1965
Harold Kite, race, Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 17, 1965
Billy Foster, practice, Riverside, Calif., Jan. 20, 1967
Talmadge Prince, qualifying, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 1970
Friday Hassler, qualifying, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 17, 1972
Larry Smith, race, Talladega, Ala., Aug. 12, 1973
Tiny Lund, race, Talladega, Ala., Aug. 17, 1975
Ricky Knotts, qualifying, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 14, 1980
Terry Schoonover, race, Atlanta, Nov. 11, 1985
Rick Baldwin, qualifying (died in 1997), Michigan, June 16, 1986
Bruce Jacobi, qualifying (died four years after crash), Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 4, 1987
Grant Adcox, race, Atlanta, Nov. 19, 1989
J.D. McDuffie, race, Watkins Glen, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1991
Clifford Allison, NNS practice, Brooklyn, Mich., Aug. 13, 1992
Neil Bonnett, practice, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 11, 1994
Rodney Orr, qualifying, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 14, 1994
John Nemechek, NCWTS race, Homestead, Fla., March 21, 1997
Adam Petty, NNS practice, Loudon, N.H., May 12, 2000
Kenny Irwin, practice, Loudon, N.H., July 7, 2000
Tony Roper, NCWTS race, Fort Worth, TX, Oct. 14, 2000
Dale Earnhardt, Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 18, 2001
Found this list on the Philadelphia Daily News website site in Feb 2001, no deaths have occurred in a NASCAR National Series [Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series since 2001.