NASCAR emerged from bootlegging
Good news for all motorsport fans: With our new HD channel SPORT1 + HD you can now also experience top-class NASCAR motorsport action LIVE. For the next week, for the first time, a NASCAR premier class race with a larger audience is on the program. Immerse yourself with us in the fascinating world of NASCAR motorsport, which is also gaining more and more popularity in this country!
NASCAR: The wild west on the racetrack
The NASCAR racing series are particularly popular in the USA, where stadiums are sold out and millions of viewers in front of the screen. In Europe, NASCAR gained popularity in 2006 when European racing drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve switched to NASCAR. In the meantime, the EuroNascar has also become a European offshoot of the NASCAR series.
NASCAR races are a captivating mix of Wild West, folk festival, tradition and puristic motorsport. Completely different from the high-tech series like Formula 1, the focus here is on simple cars, simple races and lots of shows around the events. The focus is not on the cars or the technology, but on the drivers.
The whimsical history of NASCAR
The wild and rebellious character of NASCAR has its roots in the extraordinary genesis of the motorsport giant: At the time of Prohibition in the USA between 1920 and 1933, alcohol smugglers, also known as "bootleggers", engaged in wild chases with the police.
To escape the law enforcement officers, the bootleggers pimped the cars with a tuned machine that at the time put about 115 hp on the road. The police cars with only 95 hp were left behind. In addition, the drivers were already experimenting with special springs and shock absorbers in order to be able to trick the police with daring driving maneuvers.
Early NASCAR legends
Probably the most legendary bootlegger Junior Johnson once stated: “The bootleggers have put more time, energy, thoughts and love into their cars than any racing driver can ever do. If you lose on the racetrack, then you go home. But if you lose a load of whiskey, you go to jail. "
Incidentally, Junior Johnson became famous with his “bootleg turn” - a 180-degree or U-turn full throttle turn on a narrow branch line. It was against this background that the American preference for spectacular car chases arose.
After Prohibition, the bootleggers met in their spare time and soon there was a trial of strength. A mechanic named William "Bill" France finally came up with the idea of running organized races. In the summer of 1938, the first official race took place on the cordoned-off beach at Daytona Beach, Florida. The winner received a bottle of rum, a box of cigars and a can of motor oil. Of course, Bill France took part himself and came in 5th.
The second world war then interrupted the races for a few years. In December 1947, however, Bill France reappeared and founded an organization whose rules and specifications were tailored to car races with normal production vehicles (stock cars). That was the hour of birth of what is now the world's largest motorsport organization, the “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing” - NASCAR for short. Bill France ran NASCAR until 1972 and died in 1992 at the age of 82.
In the early days it was wild, not least because of the smuggler clientele involved, and shootings were not uncommon. Today, however, sharp shooting is only done on the track - a bit of the Wild West that Americans still love today. That is probably the underlying reason why the big races are still folk festivals and the successful drivers are celebrated as folk heroes.
350 km / h are easy
When NASCAR was founded in 1947, only modified series vehicles (stock cars) were permitted. Today the cars have little in common with the production models. Strictly regulated racing cars with tubular space frames and touring car silhouettes are used, which are only outwardly similar to production models. Much is standardized, which means that close racing and many maneuvers on the mostly oval-shaped courses are possible.
The 5.7-liter V8 engines with a displacement of almost six liters, a central camshaft and rear-wheel drive officially produce 750 hp, in some races they are throttled to 550 hp. So no high-tech, but ancient technology that reflects the technical status of the early 1970s. Nevertheless, speeds of more than 320 km / h are possible in the slipstream when throttled, and up to 350 km / h can be achieved without throttling.
The NASCAR racing series
Most of the NASCAR races are held on oval tracks, which differ greatly from one another in terms of driving due to the different heights of the bends and radii. Many people believe that NASCAR races are boring because the pilots only drive in the oval. But once you know the most important rules, it quickly becomes clear that NASCAR is a real racing sport.
NASCAR operates three nationwide racing series: The highest motorsport league is the "Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series", in which the top drivers are represented. The second highest racing series is the "Xfinity Series", in which a large part of the field consists of aspiring drivers. From time to time, top Cup Series drivers also take part in Xfinity races. Stock cars are used in both leagues.
The third series in the group is the "Gander Outdoors Truck Series", which is held with converted pick-up trucks. There are also regional racing series and NASCAR divisions in Canada and Mexico.
Highlight: NASCAR Cup Series - All Star Race on July 15, 2020
Since 1985, NASCAR has held the All-Star Race once a year as part of the Cup Series. Although there are no points for the championship in this race, there are substantial prize money. In the past few years, the winner was able to earn a million US dollars or more. Due to the corona, the All-Star-Race will not take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway this year, but will take place on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
To the delight of all fans, a larger audience is allowed for the first time again, as the Governor of Tennessee has given permission for 30,000 on-site viewers. The All-Star-Race will be the biggest event with spectators since the pandemic started. At full capacity, however, the stands of the half-mile oval would hold more than 150,000 spectators.
An interesting detail on the side: The introduction of the new Nex-Gen car was actually planned for this season, but it had to be postponed to the NASCAR Cup season in 2022. Nevertheless, they want to use the 2020 All-Star-Race as an experiment to move the start numbers on the cars from the “doors” to the rear fenders. The space gained on the (non-existent) doors should then be used as a sponsor area.
You can find more information and the broadcast dates of the next NASCAR races in the TV program of Sport 1+ HD.
We wish you a lot of fun and an exciting LIVE Race in Bristol!
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