Your source for Race Car News!

This website is dedicated to bringing you the latest news about NASCAR, SCCA Pro Racing, American Le Mans, ASA, Champ Car, and so much more racing organizations. So if you are a fan of any of those professional racing associations, you should subscribe to this website’s news feed. There will not be a race car news article that you will ever miss again if you decide to subscribe to this racing news website.

All of the top level race cars will be covered by this website. From the Indianapolis 500 to the various other NASCAR races, this website covers all of that news. And even racing organizations that are not NASCAR will also be included as part of the news as well.

Other large professional racing organizations and competitions, such as the IRL and NHRA will be included as well. So you will not miss a thing if you read through our website. And best of all, the different racing organization news are organized by categories on our website. So you should have no trouble at all, looking for the racing news that you want to read. You can simply select which kind of racing news that you want to read, and you will get all of the different news articles for the specific racing organization.

Pro-Racing Events

There are many different fans of pro-racing, because of the adrenaline-fueled and fast-paced nature of the sport. The world of stock car and professional racing has been a popular one ever since the emergence of race cars in the early 20th century. So it is no surprise that there are many professional racing organizations that have popped up over the years. And because there are so many different racing organizations, it can be hard to follow them all. So if you would like to read all about what is going on in the worlds of SCCA, IndyCar racing, NASCAR, and many others, this is the website where you can get all of that news and more.

NASCAR and even SCCA Pro Racing Circuit will be on this website. So whatever kind of professional racing fan you are, you will be able to find relevant news on this website. There are various other racing organizations included as well. So for any kind of fan, of professional racing, this will be the website for you. You will finally be able to catch up on all of your favorite race car news on one website. All of the biggest and major racing events will be on the news of this website. So you will never miss anything again when it comes to news that is related to professional race car driving.

The National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) is arguably one of the biggest professional racing organizations around the world. And it is certainly the biggest one in North America. It features professional stock car racers from all around the country, and even around the world as well. And all of these professional race car drivers are all competing to be the top NASCAR Champ. And there is a load of different professional racing tourneys that NASCAR holds as well. There are the Daytona 500 and the famous Indianapolis 500 as well.

NASCAR was officially founded in December 1947, when various professionals in the race car industry wanted to standardize the rules for race car driving. Since that time, the racing organization has grown to be one of the most watched ones in the world. The NASCAR races, such as the Indianapolis 500, boasts having the biggest turn-outs of fans for any race car competition. And since NASCAR is so big, there is a lot of news to cover. And we will deliver all of the NASCAR news that you could ever want on this website.

The SCCA Pro Racing association is part of the Sports Car Club. And it is the division of the sports car club that deals exclusively professional racing. So it has its own races and competitions that make it distinct from any other race car organization. There are a lot of racing competitions that the SCCA holds. And these are the Pirelli World Challenge, United States Formula 4 Championship, and the Trans-Am series of races. So that single racing organization alone could have hundreds of news articles that you will have to read. Not to worry, though, you can get all of that news about those races, through this website.

And if you like to read news about drag racing, then we cover races that are held the NHRA as well. This website literally will cover any sort of professional race car news. As long as the race was held by a North American racing organization, we have got your back covered on any news that you may miss out on.

This website also covers other news about the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the IndyCar Racing association, and even the American Speed Association (ASA) as well. So whatever kind of flavor of professional racing that you are into, you can get news on it. If you like to read more about traditional stock car racing, then that is no problem, we have got news about that as well. Or if you prefer news about drag racing, then you can check out our articles on the NHRA.

You will be hard pressed to find another website which serves the same amount of race car content as this one does. So if you are ever in need of news about the latest developments in professional racing, you know which website to turn to. This is the premier website for any source of news about professional racing in North American. This website will cover it all, in regards to many of the popular and large racing organizations around the country.

Proper NASCAR Tailgaiting

We’re also going to give you great advice on how to have a proper NASCAR tailgate! You cannot enjoy a NASCAR race without having a great tailgate full of BBQ, beer, chips, and more! We’ve partnered with our friends over at SousVideWizard.com to bring you the latest tips on sous vide machines for NASCAR, grilling, meat cooking, and more.

NASCAR Inspired BBQ Ideas

The 2017 NASCAR circuit is in full swing! Jimmy Johnson is doing better than ever, with Dale Jr. right on his toes. I’ll admit, it’s not the same without Jeff Gordon anymore, but NASCAR is awesome to watch!

When you’re watching NASCAR you need to have great food! The simple burgers and hotdogs aren’t going to cut it. You need to step up your NASCAR BBQ game with these 4 ideas:

  • Brisket

Smoking a brisket has never been easier thanks to modern smokers! Hell – you don’t even need to have a modern smoker to make a great brisket. All you need to do is wrap the delicious piece of meat inside of a few layers of tinfoil, start up your grill to a low 350, and let it sit on their for 10+ hours. Anyone can do it – it’s that simple.

However, the hard part is finding the correct dry rub to put on there. You could do a wet rub, but that’s not the way that brisket is meant to be eaten. You want a good Texas dry rub. After all, NASCAR is HUGE in Texas!

  • Ribs

Ribs are the easiest thing in the world to make thanks to the advent of processed foods. Most grocery stores have packaged pre-cooked BBQ ribs. Sweet Baby Rays makes some of the best pre-packaged / cooked ribs that you’re going to be able to find.

They’re very simple to cook. Heat your oven up to 400 degrees, put the ribs in, wait 4 hours, and boom – you have some of the most delicious ribs that you’re ever going to eat. All you need to do is convince everyone that you cooked these by yourself. There isn’t a better way to watch a race than with some good ole BBQ ribs.

  • BBQ Chicken Breasts

BBQ chicken is delicious and can easily be cooked in a variety of ways. The most common is to smother the chicken in BBQ sauce and throw it on the grill.

However, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We want you to cook your BBQ chicken sous vide. When you cook sous vide, you’re essentially doing a set-and-forget cooking style thanks to submerging the vacuum sealed BBQ chicken breasts inside of a water oven that’s heated by a new Anova or Sansaire sous vide machine. This is one of the most modern means of cooking that’s taking the world by storm.

You’ll be able to make the perfect meal each and every time. You can go ahead and tell your NASCAR racing friends that you cooked it on the grill (you’ll have to sear and torch it when you’re done cooking). But those Budweiser drinking, crash-loving NASCAR friends will never know the difference. Find the best sous vide machine reviews at SousVideWizard.com.

  • Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is INCREDIBLY easy to make if you know what you’re doing. The easiest, and best, way that I have found is to cook the pork inside of a crock pot for 10+ hours on a low setting. This allows the pork to cook evenly, and slowly. By the time it’s done, you’ll simply be able to pull the pork apart using two forks.

It’s going to come out absolutely perfectly so you’ll be able to eat it as is or put it on a roll. Either way it’s going to be absolutely delicious. If you don’t have a crock pot and want to combine a few of these items, you can cook the pulled pork inside of a sous vide machine. You’ll have to use a 2-3 hour setting at around 140 degrees. Once it’s done, though, it’s going to be some of the best meat that you’ll ever taste. Your NASCAR buddies will love it!

Steak + NASCAR = Love

Steak + NASCAR = Love

What are the two best things on Earth? Steak and NASCAR.

What happens when you combine the two? Absolute bliss.

There is nothing that we love more than NASCAR and Steak. We’re simple people, after all.

That’s why this NASCAR season has seen us spending so much money on high-quality steak to BBQ. While we absolutely love cooking on our grill, we also love cooking on our sous vide machine.

We brought our sous vide to our local midget racing circuit and cooked up some steak for our friends. It came out great and they loved it.

Know what else we love? We love how well Jimmie Johnson is doing. It’s been a few years since he was last racing this good. It feels great to have the champ back out there doing what he’s best at.

With the NASCAR season winding down, we reflect on all of the good food that we ate with our friends.

We tried so many new things – like BBQ chicken breast and tenderloins. We’re normally red meat people, so this was a bit of a change of pace for us. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it very much.

While there’s still some season left, we wanted to thank you all for reading and following NASCAR with us. Going forward, we’re going to post more about the food that we eat while we watch NASCAR.

Quarter Midget Racing

Quarter Midget Racing

Enormous amounts of fun can come in small packages like the cars used in Quarter Midget racing. Engines get revved and ready with racers from as many as 13 divisions behind every wheel at most races. The North Georgia Quarter Midget Association is part of the national organization that offers young people from ages 5-17 an opportunity to be involved in a competition sport that challenges the mind and spirit. Quarter Midget racing is fun for the whole family, and Quarter Midget racing can often lead to a giant sized career in motor sports and motor sports management. What looks like tiny cars zooming around and passing each other on the track is actually a detailed strategy for winning in quarter midget racing. It’s a race that includes specific rules for how and when to pass the competition at average speeds of 32 mph. “This is more than just racing because we really have to think about what we are doing. The hardest thing is making that mental decision to pass someone. There are a few rules that have to be followed and thought out in just a few seconds and it is scary that first time,” said Nikki Burger who placed 5th in the Heavy Honda division in Georgia that had a total of 16 racers. “As a female racer, it’s also hard to get respect from the boys,” added Burger who clearly enjoys the challenge.

Quarter Midget racing is a family affair that often includes Dad as Crew Chief and mechanic while Moms can be spotted in the tower scoring the races and making sure laps are accurately counted. Transponder devices are attached to the racecars, counting and recording each lap, but accuracy is double checked to ensure the transponders did their job. Driver skill and ability play a big part in the races and practicing is the best way to get comfortable with the sport. “Members of the North Georgia Quarter Midget Association are provided with a key to the 1/20 mile oval shaped track where they can practice as much as they want,” explained Nikki’s Dad, Crew Chief and mechanic, Tom Burger. The sport can get cost plenty by the time a trailer and tools are purchased for car maintenance, but it’s a safe and fun hobby that can often segue into a variety of careers in the motor sports field. Tom Burger not only manages his daughter Nikki’s racing hobby, but also will soon see his older daughter graduate from Belmont Abbey College holding a business degree with an emphasis on Motor Sports Management. She will work with NASCAR Race Teams grossing $75 thousand annually by her third year. “Who would have thought a weekend hobby would turn out to be a career for a young lady who will spend her life doing something she loves involving motor sports,” said Burger, a proud father and husband whose wife, Cindy works in the tower. The couple seems to have just as much fun as their daughters with the kind of laid back competitive spirit that truly exemplifies the real meaning of family sports activities. The racecars are safe and include features like full roll cages, five point seat harnesses and full-face helmets. Safety features to the smallest details are constantly evaluated by Quarter Midgets of America. Spring devices were recently placed behind pedals to cushion the heel in quick stop situations. Quarter Midget racing is one of the few sports where a trophy is earned for accidentally flipping your car. “It’s really not scary at all. The first time I flipped, I wanted to do it over again,” joked Nikki Burger.

Getting involved in Quarter midget racing is easy because there are so many parents in the club and directors are always willing to help new families get started. Parents and kids start with novice training before they have to buy a car and equipment. Starting this way gives families a chance to see how they are going to enjoy the sport before they have to spend any money. For details in the state of Georgia, visit the

North Georgia Quarter Midget Association on 120 Castleberry Road in Cumming

Summit Point Motorsports Park: A Race Fan’s Guide

Summit Point Motorsports Park: A Race Fan's Guide

Summit Point Motorsports Park offers many great locations to watch motorcycle and automobile racing along its 10-turn, 2.0-mile layout. You’ll be able to stand at the end of the 2,900-foot-long main straightaway where drivers test their nerves while they wait for the latest possible instant to outbreak each other. Or you can watch the masters of car control as they four-wheel-drift through the tricky infield section. There’s something for everyone at Summit Point. Grab a Summit Point Motorsports Park track map and check out where to watch the action and fine out what you’ll see:

Start/finish straight

Grab a lawn chair and sit on top of the hill overlooking the start/finish line at Summit Point and you’ll see nearly four-corners of action while racers try speed down the track’s longest straight and attempt to outbreak each other entering turn No. 1. Then they grab as must speed was possible while jockeying for position in corners two and three. Too much throttle and they spin out. Too little and they get left behind.

Turn No. 1

Stand along the mound at the end of the front straight at Summit Point and you can see racers rocket down the track and hear tires chirp while they break on the limit of lockup. Or go along the guardrail and hear the motorcycle racers knee pucks scrape against the asphalt.

Corner No. 5 bleachers

The corner No. 5 spectator position at Summit Point is on a set of bleachers on a mound that’s about 10 feet higher than the track. You’re on top of the action at this location, looking down at the riders and drivers as they race downhill and try to grab as much brake as possible to set up for the track’s infield section. Turn five is the slowest corner on the track and drivers tend to chose from one of multiple racing lines through the corner as they set up for the rest of the five-corner infield section.

Infield section

If you watch anywhere automobile or motorcycle racing in the infield portion of Summit Point raceway, you’ll see about half a lap (30 seconds or so) of racing action. It all begins as drivers race down from the mountain through turn No. 4, brake hard for corner No. 5. From then on they balance speed, control and smoothness as they gain speed through corners 6-9. Anywhere in this section, you’ll be able to see all of the action. A favorite of mine is high on top the bleachers outside of corner No. 8 because the elevation allows you to see so much more action. Corner No. 9 is tricking because it’s an uphill, right-hand corner where the fastest driers slide through the corner. They use the incline on exit to catch them from going off track.

Turn No. 10

Some fans, especially the car racing enthusiasts, prefer sitting on top of the bleachers at the corner because they get to see all of the action in the pits at Summit Point. Or they can watch cars speed all the way down the front straight. Turn No. 10 is important because it leads on to the main straight. A few feet gained at the exit of turn 10 turns into a car length or more by the time you reach the end of the straightaway.

For auto racing schedules go to Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Club. For motorcycle racing schedules, go to WERA racing or CCS racing.

Implications of Sport Psychology for Aerobatic Accident Prevention

Implications of Sport Psychology for Aerobatic Accident Prevention

For approximately nine years I experimented with the application of sport psychology principles to the teaching of primary flight students. I reasoned that the motor skills needed to fly an airplane were no different from those needed to learn a sport activity. While every sport’s activity has specific per­formance requirements, all sports demand various degrees of hand, eye, and foot coordination, and most importantly, all require mental control.

Since there was nothing published on applying sport psychology princi­ples to flying, my efforts consisted of trial-and-error methods extrapolated from sport psychology research data gathered for other sports. After three years of experimentation, I was astounded at the excellent results obtained using sport psychology principles in teaching primary flight students.

At this point I realized the implications of sport psychology for aerobat­ics, be it competition or fun flying. Again, I started trial-and-error research. Fortunately, most of my students at that time were enrolled in a university aviation program and had logged 100 to 200 hours of flight time but had no previous aerobatic experience. Therefore, it was possible to evaluate the results based on various teaching techniques utilizing subjects who had comparable flight experience, yet without the influence of previous aero­batic training. With data from teaching these students, I began work on sport psychology for teaching aerobatics and for application to the compe­tition aerobatic environment.

While the element of physical danger is minimal in some sports, others have a significant risk of physical injury; the nature of the sport determines the type and severity of the injuries. Like any motor sport, aerobatics has the risk of accidents, and these accidents can easily result in death. Just as in other motor sports, there is always the risk of mechanical failure, but aer­obatic accident statistics consistently show this to be a low occurrence. This speaks well for the design, construction, and maintenance of the airplanes designed and built for aerobatics. However, the pilot is the most common causal factor in accidents. In fact, 85 to 95 percent of all aerobatic accidents have, as at least one common causal factor, the human element.

During the years that I explored the application of sport psychology to aerobatics, I studied, on a regular basis, aerobatic accident data from National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations. I came to the realization that sport psychology has implications for aerobatic accident prevention, something not associated with the traditional use of sport psy­chology.

NASCAR–The People’s Sport

NASCAR--The People's Sport

It’s the stuff of which legends are born and movies are made. A local boy outruns and out-maneuvers the Feds running moonshine out of the North Carolina mountains. This feat not only requires iron-wrapped nerves, super driving skills, but also cunning ideas on ways to soup up a car. After a time, when a guy is tired of fighting the law, he can take these talents and drive on a track. He can race other drivers, rather than the ‘revenuers. At least that’s what Junior Johnson did.

That’s one of the big draws about NASCAR–just everyday, down-home boys that make good. They wear overalls and baseball caps, talk with a drawl and will never win a speech contest. If they look like they just came off the farm or out of the garage, they may have. None of this matters, though, when they crawl in behind the wheel. They can drive. Lordy, they can drive. And we “drive” with them. We imagine that is us strapped in and flying around that track. The roar of the engines and the smell of oil is as familiar to us as our own driveways.

NASCAR has always been a sport for the regular guy. Starting at small, dusty tracks in cars built in the local garage and tested on back roads, NASCAR is the people’s sport. And it’s the people who support it. Older fans cheered Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr., to name a few. The younger generation follows their sons and grandsons. It’s a generational, family thing. Even the losers have the charisma of movie stars.

Then there is the specter of the wreck. What is it about human nature that enjoys watching a wreck? Unexplainable, but there. NASCAR meets that quirk in us. Fortunately, with the safety equipment in place, most of the spectacular, horrifying wrecks can still end up with the driver walking away with minor injuries. There are those other times, though, that are still talked about around the bar-b-cue pit–the war wounds of NASCAR that took Dale Earnhardt, Sr and young Petty. Unforgettable events, unequaled in other sports.

We don’t just adore the drivers alone, however. The cars are also our idols. We see them in the dealer lots as well as on the track. The muscle cars in makes and names we are know and can afford. We can buy them and fix them and test them in our own neighborhood with our family, friends and neighbors cheering us on. We reap the benefits of innovative modifications by seasoned crews and automotive suppliers. Our faithful support of NASCAR gives back to us in the new car models and accessories

No one would disagree that NASCAR is a man’s, macho sport, but it draws the women, too. They like the thrills of the race and some dream of breaking the predominate male world behind their own wheel. Yep, NASCAR belongs to the people. I may not be able to bat .300, sink a long ball shot, or catch a pass for a touchdown, but by gosh I can drive. And while I’m behind the wheel, I can dream……

Seven Obscure Qualifications Needed for Stock Car Racers

Seven Obscure Qualifications Needed for Stock Car Racers

Stock car racers are a very special breed of people who must possess several different qualities, potentially non-redeeming, to enter into the arena they have chosen. In no particular order:

Stock Car Racers Must Have a Slight Inclination Towards Masochism

This fetish doesn’t lean towards the sexual in many cases, but stock car racers must love pain and that is definitely a beginning sign of masochistic tendencies.

Stock Car Racers Are Manly Men and Women

Robin Hood Men In Tights references aside, aren’t stock car racers awfully masculine (or masculine in a feminine sort of way)? Their predisposition to metal to metal contact reminds one of primordial chest thumping all grown up or the clash of shields on the battle fields in Roman wars. Surely they think so!

Stock Car Racers Must Be Unsure About Organs

Any good stock car racer looking to enter the field must have a tentative stance on organs. After all, despite the best protection science can afford jostling and shaking will occur. Organs only love that in an alternate universe. Stock car racers have to compartmentalize these body signals.

Stock Car Racers Must Love Their Parents

It is a surety that all of the young people in stock car racing have to love their parents! Nothing says “You are the best Mommy in the whole wide world,” quite like a blow-out or a last minute crash into your fellow racers!

Stock Car Racers Must Have Young Parents

The prior qualification leads into yet another need for stock car racers – young parents. To break into stock car racing you need young parents – ideally 35-45 (they were young lovers, huh?). If your parents are any older than this you may spend a good bit of your practice time helping them cope with nervous breakdowns or visiting them in the ICU ward in the hospital after their 6th or 7th stress related illness.

Stock Car Racers Should Have Been Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts have badges to display their various accomplishments. Stock cars have hoods and bodies that are so decorated with insignias it is hard to find the car color. These racers are Boy Scout badge lovers who moved from helping old ladies across the street to courting corporate sponsors. The lettuce is the same.

Stock Car Racers Must Have an Innate Love for Their Fellow Man

Having an innate love for mankind is an inherent quality in all successful stock car racers – so much so that it is a necessity. How else can one describe the self-sacrifice that goes into containing this manic need for speed to a race track? It is love. If stock car racers didn’t love people we would all be victims of road rage in the passing lane!These basic requirements for a good stock car racer may seem tough, but they serve a very important purpose and help separate the wheat from the chaff before going onto the racetrack.

Holiday Shores Campground and Motor Sport Rental

Holiday Shores Campground and Motor Sport Rental

If you are looking for the best place for camping and boat rentals in the Wisconsin Dells Area look no further than Holiday Shores Resort and Motor sports.

Holiday Shores

3901 River Road

Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin 53965

(608)254-2717

When it comes to a family run recreation business Frank, Alice and there kids do a tremendous job. They offer everything from tent camping to cabin and trailer rental. They also have the motor sport business on the upper Wisconsin River.

When it comes to water sport rentals Holiday Shores has almost everything you could think of. If you’re just looking to do some fishing they have fishing boat rentals. Most of these rentals are a fishing boat and motor.

If you’re looking to do a more leisurely run on the river with your family there half day or full day pontoon rental may be just what you’re looking for. They have different size pontoon boats that will accommodate from 2 people to 10 people.

If you’re looking for a bit more speed you may want to rent one of there many wave runners. There wave runners will accommodate two people with no problem. Most of these rentals are hourly.

If you are slightly more adventurous you may want to think about trying there parasailing. Here you get to take a tour of the scenic Upper Wisconsin dells via a parasail.

Remember that Wisconsin Dells is a very popular tourist area. Holiday Shores boats are rented out very quickly, so if you want to rent a watercraft make sure to make reservations.

My Favorite Piece of Sports Memorabilia: Diecast Car Autographed by Tony Stewart

Diecast Car Autographed by Tony Stewart

My Favorite Piece of Sport Memorabilia

All of my sports memorabilia is NASCAR-related. Perhaps it is a southern thing? The greatest race tracks of NASCAR are in the south: Daytona, Charlotte, Bristol, Talladega. Naturally, the racing teams pass through many parts of the South. Yet despite the popularity of NASCAR, drivers remain accessible to fans. My favorite piece of sports memorabilia is an Action 1/24-scale diecast replica of two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart’s 2003 #20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

How I Got It

I was once fortunate enough to work for Tony’s major sponsor. When he came to visit our headquarters, I bought the high quality model and had it autographed By Tony Stewart and his Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli. Tony Stewart’s visit to the corporate headquarters was an exciting event. One of the traveling exhibition race cars was driven around the front parking area and parked in a position of prominence. The driver’s merchandise trailer opened and did a brisk business selling jackets, hats, and replica cars. I went down and bought the replica car early so that I had it when it was time for autographs. Even though I went down a little early for an autograph, a long line of people ran the length of the building. I was in line for 30 to 45 minutes, but eventually I got to the area were Tony and his crew chief were seated. Tony Stewart signed my car quickly while talking to a company PR person, but Greg Zipadelli took the time to say “Hi” and sign neatly. It was a brief brush with NASCAR greatness and one of the things that made working for a major NASCAR sponsor pretty cool.

Other NASCAR Memorabilia

Since that brief encounter, I’ve had the opportunity to work for other NASCAR sponsors and meet other drivers. I even met and scored a hat autographed by Daryl Waltrip himself for answering a trivia question correctly on NASCAR Day at another employer. I also got a T-shirt autographed by an up and coming driver. I call the hat my boogity, boogity, boogity, hat, but I never wear it because I don’t want to mess up Old D.W.’s autograph.

The Future

Ironically, I never been to an actual NASCAR stock car race. The closest I’ve come has been a Craftsman Series Truck Race in St. Louis many years ago and a dirt track race near Atlanta. At one race, I learned the value of ear plugs and at another I learned not to eat nachos while sitting in a turn grandstand at a dirt track. Both experiences were valuable life lessons and a lot of fun. When the American economy turns around, NASCAR can be assured that I’ll definitely be in the stands for at least one race. Until then, my Action diecast replica of that famous bright orange car will remain a very tangible reminder of a memorable encounter with a major motor sports figure.

A Beginner’s Guide to NASCAR

A Beginner's Guide to NASCAR

NASCAR (which stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the country, especially among women. Yet if you’re flipping through your television stations and come upon a race for the first time, or if you have a significant other who is a fan, you may have taken in the rush of cars, the noise, and all the hoopla and wondered, “What’s the big deal about a bunch of cars driving in circles for four and a half hours?”

The Big Deal

To appreciate NASCAR is, for one, to grasp the fact that the drivers can complete a race (not to mention finish in the top five) at all. Consider that the average driver is literally installed into the car’s cockpit with a five-point harness, is wearing a heavy, fire-resistant Nomex suit, a helmet with earplugs and a radio feed to his crew and sometimes, to the television announcers. Temperatures can reach up to 130 degrees inside the cockpit, and the driver is trapped there for the length of the race. Cars zoom around a tightly curved track at speeds up to 200 miles per hour, often mere inches from their competitors. At times, they face exhausting gravitational forces equivalent to those pulled by a test pilot. They have that right foot crushed to the metal and hands locked to the wheel, and need to be consistently aware of flying debris and the condition of their vehicles, not to mention worrying about what the other 41 drivers are doing.

But there is more to NASCAR than sheer speed. Or waiting for the cars to crash.

The Basics

NASCAR oversees many different types of racing across the US. The one most commonly referred to as simply “NASCAR” is the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. (Sponsored by, you guessed it, NEXTEL.) These races are usually on Sundays.

The Cars…

These are not your father’s stock cars. While they may be based on four-door American-built cars (the currently eligible vehicles for NASCAR are the Ford Fusion, the Dodge Charger, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and for the first time, the Toyota Camry), NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars are modified to be as finely-tuned as racehorses, and can be just as temperamental. And expensive. Just check out the number of logos on the car and you’ll know the kind of sponsor bucks it takes to keep these cars going, not just through the race but through an entire racing season. Plus, get into a wreck during practice and you have to have a backup car. This is also why the logos are now printed onto a giant sheet of Mylar that wraps around the body of the vehicle. Because it would cost too much to replace them all individually should the car get knocked around a bit during a race. And while the cars might look the same from race to race, underneath the body can be different guts, optimized for different types of race conditions. For “short track” racing (which requires a lot of turning and therefore, constant braking) you need larger-caliper brakes and pads; for larger tracks, such as Daytona, teams use smaller brakes and pads because there is not as much braking required. Also, depending on race conditions and strategies used, the rear wings, the nose, or the height of the car can change. But you can’t make just any change you want: NASCAR officials strictly regulate what you can and can’t do to your car.

The Strategy

Yes, the fastest guy (or gal) is often the one who wins. But a kind of chess match develops as the drivers jockey for position. Drivers usually don’t race alone. A major sponsor will have teams of drivers on the course at the same time. And often these drivers work together to block out other drivers so their team members can get into a more advantageous position. A strategy called “drafting” is used to work with the physical pulse of air created as a car moves forward (compare this to the wake of a ship or the buffeting you feel in your car on the highway as you’re passed by a fast-moving truck) Drafting can either push other drivers out of your way, or let him or her tuck in behind a leader and ride the “calmer” air the lead car is pushing away. Marathon runners also use this strategy: stay close behind a leader and you can save your endurance for the last kick to the finish line. The team member who helps you do this is called your “draft partner.”

Also important to strategy is making efficient pit stops. NASCAR’s pit crews put Jiffy Lube to shame. These speedy professionals can change all four tires, fill the gas tank and sometimes adjust a thing or two on the car’s body – all in twelve to fifteen seconds! But if any delays getting out of the pit (on a large track a car can cover the length of a football field per second) can cost a driver dearly. And a bad pit stop – for example, if tire’s lug nut is not securely tightened and falls off – will cause further delays, since race officials will force the driver to return to the pit to have it fixed.

The Track

Currently the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (which runs from February to November) consists of 36 races on 22 different racetracks. While most tracks are oval or “D” shaped, and two races are run on road courses (Watkins Glen in New York and Infineon Raceway in California’s Sonoma Valley). And they don’t all have to be the same size. The Martinsville Speedway is a mere half-mile (requiring drivers to make those “short track” modifications mentioned previously) and the giant Talladega Speedway (2.66 miles). Most are banked (which means the track surface is slanted, to make all that turning easier), and the angle could be as steep as the roof of your house.

The Races

The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season kicks off officially in February, with the popular Daytona 500. Some of the other major races include the Brickyard 400, run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the exhausting Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway (near Charlotte, NC), which can last up to six hours. Each race win is worth the same number of points, and the driver with the most points at the end of the season wins the NEXTEL Cup. (This is not always the driver with the most wins, but the one with the most consistent top finishes)

And A Few Props For Those Drivers

Add more enjoyment to your NASCAR experience by picking a driver you like and rooting for him or her. Some of the current heavy hitters are Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. Learning the rivalries, the personalities and the team partners also helps. And there’s lots of info on rules, drivers, and current standings on the web if you want to know more. Or, for the brave, you can also go on line to buy tickets for a race near you and experience the roar of the crowd and the volcanic rumble of the track in person.

But for now, install yourself into your easy chair and let’s go racing!

How to Understand NASCAR Racing

How to Understand NASCAR Racing

The history of NASCAR racing can be traced back to the Prohibition era of the 1920-s and 30’s, when the underground moonshine running business was in full swing. Modern day stock car drivers sprung from the illegal bootleggers that ran whiskey from hidden stills to hundreds of outlets in the Southeast.

These bootleggers preceded the modern-era of auto racing by jetting around under cover of night eluding the police and racing to their next locations. Eventually, competition emerged between the moonshiner’s about who could get to their destination the fastest. Word grew, and crowds gathered on Sunday night’s to watch the bootlegger’s race each other.

By 1938, William H.G. Bill France decided that he would sanction the first race among these drivers. It happened on the sands of historic Daytona Beach. The purse: a bottle of rum, a box of cigars and a case of motor oil. This race was the foundation to what NASCAR has become today.

World War II brought stock car racing a standstill, albeit for a handful of events at Daytona. In 1947, France decided it was time to organize stock car racing by creating a sanctioning body with rules and regulations. At the Ebony Bar located in the Streamline Inn at Daytona Beach, the National Association for Stock Car Racing was born.

NASCAR grew exponentially throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, but its breakout year was 1970. When the Nixon administration instituted a ban of cigarette advertising on the television and radio, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company had an ingenious idea of how to continue to market their tobacco products, particularly their Winston brand of cigarettes.

Beginning in 1971, the Grand National Division of NASCAR, became known as the Winston Cup series. The money funneled into the sport by RJR exploded stock car racing into the mainstream media.

Television viewers got their first taste of the excitement of NASCAR in the late 1970’s when flag-to-flag coverage began on the major networks. The appeal of NASCAR is their ability to run on a wide variety of racetracks, from the 2.66-mile superspeedway at Talladega, Alabama to the .75-mile short track at Richmond. Each garners their own special variety of excitement.

Talladega and Daytona are the infamous restrictor plate race tracks. Due to their enormous track size and high banking in the corners, a thin piece of metal is placed on the carburetor on these tracks to artificially reduce speed. With the plates, speeds run about 190 mph in the corners and create close side-by-side racing.

Restrcitor plate racetracks are the wreck fests. Where the racers motor around at top speeds door-to-door in a tight pack of cars, if one small bump goes awry and a car spins in front of the field, a huge multi-car crash will ensue. Those crashes are often referred to as the “big one” collecting 15-20 cars in one fell swoop.

In extreme contrast, are tracks like Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond, short-tracks where Short track racing is the home grown banging sheet metal action that makes NASCAR racing come alive. Tight tracks like Bristol make for some of the most exciting racing of the year.

Cars roar around the .533-mile oval beating and battling for position. Racers race right up on each others bumpers, and often shove the competition out of the way to further their climb to the front. Short track races are filled with wrecks and tempers tantrums. It’s not unheard of to witness a fistfight on pit road between two drivers after the event, and a long line of frustrated people looking to plead their case to NASCAR officials post race.

All-in-all NASCAR races four restrictor plate races, and six short track events, the rest of the schedule is filled in with 26 events at intermediate tracks. There are also three non-point productions, such as the Nextel All-Star race held in Charlotte every year the week before the Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600.

NASCAR, once populated by drivers with a Southern lineage, has seen an influx of new faces. These drivers known as the “young guns” became the rock stars of the sport. Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle are not only brash exciting racers, but handsome and well-spoken, reaching out to younger audiences bridging the gap between NASCAR loyalists and the MTV generation.

“Coming into the series,” said Gordon. “I didn’t expect a lot of things that have happened. I never dreamed of commercials on television or dreamed of the number of fans that follow our sport all over the country and the growth that it’s had, the audiences that come in person.

“I never thought that the sport and the business of the sport would get to this level or go to the level that it’s gone to.”

While the popularity of these drivers is immense, no one is more beloved by the NASCAR nation than Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Junior inherited the millions of loyal fans his father acquired, after Dale Sr.’s untimely death, in a last lap crash at the 2000 Daytona 500.

Earnhardt, Jr. paid his father the ultimate homage this year; by winning the season-opening Daytona 500 six years to the day Dale Earnhardt, Sr. pulled the No. 3 Chevy into victory lane. They are now the only father-son race car driver’s to every both score a win on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

With emotional race endings like this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR has become the number two watched sport in America, with over 75 million fans, 30 million of them women.

With the exit of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company sponsorship at the end of 2003, NASCAR forged a new partnership with Nextel, a wireless service provider, to inherit the title sponsorship of what had been known for thirty some-odd years as The Winston Cup series.

That saw that title sponsor change to the NASCAR Nextel Cup series and opened the door for NASCAR to spread its wings. The limitations on how NASCAR could market its Winston Cup series because of the relation to tobacco often halted the mega-marketing machine of the sport. With Nextel on board, the sky is the limit.

“We love the hard core traditional fan,” said Michael Robichaud, Director of Sports and Entertainment Marketing for Nextel. “We are thrilled to be in business with NASCAR as it grows. It is the simple fact that we have the ability to market our product to 75 million fans.”

That year also brought alterations in how NASCAR determines its season end championship driver. The sanctioning body created a playoff format, where after the 26th race of the season, every driver in the top-10 and any driver within 400 points of the leader will be eligible for the chase for the championship. The current point leader will have his points reset to 5050, with all trailing competitors being reset in descending 5 point increments (i.e. 2nd place = 5045, 3rd place = 5040, etc).

It creates a “Super Bowl” type appeal for fans, and added excitement as NASCAR closes the season. NASCAR hopes it will keep people glued to their couches during a critical TV time when the sport competes with Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

NASCAR won’t stop motoring forward until they surpass the NFL as the most watched sport in the country. Anyone who’s ever been to a NASCAR race knows the appeal. The smell of the asphalt, the whirr of the engines, and the frenetic pace in the garage, race morning is addictive. Adrenaline junkies get their fix, and die hard race fans get their appetite satiated.

NASCAR’s Very Sophisticated Good Old Boys

NASCAR's Very Sophisticated Good Old Boys

Daytona Beach, Florida in February is known for it’s world famous SPEED WEEK, with a series of races that initiates the years professional “Stock Car Racing Season.” Several racing teams “crew chiefs” were suspended for trying to gain a competitve edge by trying to game NASCAR’s strict rulebook that is meant to ensure each racing team has a fair chance at the “Finish Line”, was the most talked about subject in the area’s many restaurants.

Daytona Beach is located on the Atlantic Coast, the far eastern edge of a patchwork of cities and counties that make up “Central Florida.” Orlando, which is Central Florida’s Keystone City, and where most visitors to the area end up staying, because every hotel and motel in Daytona Beach is booked solid in January and February leading up to SPEED WEEK.

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, legend has it that the backroads of the south were used by transporters of “White Lightning” , whiskey made in unlicensed (and most importantly-untaxed) stills in the backwoods under the light of the moon (thus the name “Moonshine Whiskey”) to deliver their illicit product to their customers, bars in the cities and roadhouses on the edge of towns.

The cars used as “tankers” were mostly late forties Ford models because they were powered by the legendary “Flat Head V8”, the hood symbol reminecent of a cattle brand in the American “Old West”: a numeral “8” nestled in the elongated arms of a capital letter “V”. That particular Ford engine was favored because of many years service as a truck engine left thousands of them to be used to power ” racecars (cars “stripped-down” of the back seat, insulation in the doors and radios to save weight) that met-up on deserted back roads for challenge races.

An innovative mechanic figured out that adding another “carburetor” (the first fuel injection on a production car didn’t occur until 1957) would enable the flathead Ford V8 to intake more fuel and oxygen per engine revolution thus increasing the power transmitted through the drivetrain to the rear wheels, multplying the amount of work done: making the lightened street racer go faster, or a moonshine tanker to carry a hundred gallons of liquid gold at a higher speed around the mountain roads, faster than the “Revenuers” family sedans (Federal Government agents seeking to tax the alcohol and put the distillers and drivers in federal prison.)

So the era of the homemade Hotrod was born. As the mechanics became more adept at modifying the engines with parts from other makes of cars they started fabricating major components of the fuel and exhaust systems from “scratch” and an industry developed around their garages.

When an unused horse track was rented, admission could be charged and Sunday afternoons would be forever filled with roaring exhausts as various variations of “Flat Track ” racing evolved. From this humble beginning the modern NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series developed over the next three decades into an industry that spans our nation and creates employment, directly and indirectly for hundreds of thousands of north Americans, at the automobile manufacturer’s assembly plants and at independent suppliers of everthing from fuel cells to brake pads.

Speed Week in Daytona Beach, Florida requires two months of intenseive preparation for the Daytona 500 Mile Race at the Daytona International Speedway. The racecars must be setup and the suspensions tuned for the particular conditions that triple-digit-speeds require on the banked turns of the Super Speedway, so as the weeks go by of testing the cars and modifying them to improve the results on the track there is time for after hours comparing of notes at Daytona Beach’s many restaurants.

Some nights the notes compared are grace notes of the flavors and aromas of the wines produced by NASCAR driver’s and racing team owner’s. The southeastern United States population has been known to prefer beer and bourbon, but more NASCAR fans are making different choices, a big influence:

Richard Childress is one of the winningest NASCAR racing team owners. His current cars: Numbers 2, 21, 29 and 31 are being run in the tradition of Dale Earnhardt’s car, number 3 who drove for Childress for many winning seasons, and the RCR Racing Collector’s Edition of wines bear those numbers on their labels

Now his Childress Vineyards is the at the entrance to the Yadkin Valley Viticultural Area, North Carolina’s federally recognized region for the development of a wine industry in the southeastern United States. The varieties of grapes that are being developed are chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, merlot, cabernet savignon, cabernet franc and Syrah.

As you can see those varities originated in the widely distributed winegrowing regions of europe so the viticulturist at Childress Vineyards is expermenting with the various vines to determine what grapes will yield the best wine when grown in the humid climate of North Carolina.

Richard Childress Racing’s 29 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 500 mile race with a run from the pack to pass front runner Mark Martin in the 01 Chevrolet. Kevin Harvick started the race from the number 34 position and he managed to drive through a series of multiple wrecks and yellow flags to be in position to make the break for the photo finish win.

Randy Lynch owns a race car team, The Bennet Lane Race Team. That is named after the winery he bought in Calistoga, California which is located in the traditional wine growing region The Napa Valley. The Bennet Lane Maximus Cabernet has flavors and aromas of blackberry. The Napa Valley has a hundred years of experience growing wines and the Univerisity of California at Davis has a department that Randy Lynch can contact for information on growing the Cabernet grapes that the section of valley that Bennet Lane is located in is best suited to producing fine Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Randy Lewis another former NASCAR driver and his Lewis Cellers are also located in the Napa Valley and produces Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines.

As NASCAR drivers have achieved success on the racing circuit and the money invoved has grown over the years, especially with the NEXTELL Cup Series generating more interest in NASCAR racing among Americans, there will be more drivers investing in businesses not usually associated with stockcar racing.