Learn twelve things you might not know about NASCAR with these interesting facts.
The NASCAR season gets officially underway tomorrow with the Daytona 500 and it goes until November. But there is actually a lot more to NASCAR than just racing around the track and winning a race, learn about the points, the standings and more with these Twelve Things!
- The NASCAR acronym stands for the "National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing."
- Bill France, Sr. is the one credited with starting NASCAR. NASCAR was officially "born" on Feb. 12, 1948 in Daytona, FL.
- The first NASCAR race was held on June 19th, 1949 in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4 mile dirt track.
- The early races in the NASCAR season are really about setting the pace for the rest of the season. The top drivers can change weekly during the early races and being a point leader doesn't mean too much. The early part of the season lasts from the Daytona 500 until the return to Daytona in July.
- Since 2004 the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship has been decided by a kind of playoff system called The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Only twelve drivers can qualify for the actual chase.
- Before The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins there are 43 drivers in every race.
- Because only twelve drivers can qualify for the The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the last 10 races (from the return to Daytona in July and on) prior to the cutoff are the most important of the season.
- NASCAR operates on a point system, not a straight up win-lose system. If you come in first in a NASCAR race you earn 43 points, each spot thereafter loses a point, so for example if you come in 27th you get 17 points and if you come in last you get 1 point. There are also bonus points. Three bonus points are awarded to the driver that wins the race. One bonus point is awarded to any driver that leads any lap. An additional bonus point is awarded to the driver that leads the most laps in each race. NASCAR prides itself on being a system that rewards consistency not just winning a single race.
- 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.
- Races can be stopped for the following reasons: An unsafe track, a blocked track, too much precipitation, and a crash resulting in an injured driver that must have medical attention. A red flag is used to signal a stop to the race.
- NASCAR cars are meant to resemble the standard American sedan and have fenders unlike IndyCar and Formula One race cars which are open wheeled speedsters. They also are required to have three "stock" parts from the manufacturer: the hood, the roof and the trunk lid are all considered standard. They also have to stick to shape templates to ensure the cars all look roughly the same.
- NASCAR drivers are sponsored by huge corporations and the cars are decorated in decals and colors to represent those sponsors. This helps distinguish one car from the next on the track.
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