How much do you know about Nascar car racing? If you have not had a Nascar racing experience, do not be too quick to judge. Nascar car racing is actually the second most popular spectator sport in the United States, second only to football. If you do not know anything about it, perhaps it is time that you learn a little, and see just what all of the hype is about.
1. By the Numbers
A full Nascar car racing season consists of a few different numbers that any regular viewer should know. There are 43 drivers who compete in 36 point races. They have 23 different tracks, and the competition whittles down to 12 finalists, which leads to just 1 champion. And the races are broadcast to over 150 different countries each year.
2. The Flags
Each race has a series of flags that symbolize something to both the drivers of the Nascar race cars, and the viewers who are watching. If you are pro at races, you know what the flags mean before the announcer describes what is going on.
Green, Yellow and Red are standards. No need for explanation. A flag with alternating, vertical, Red and Yellow Stripes means there may be slippery conditions or debris on the track. A Black flag signifies a penalty, and a Black flag with a Silver X running from corner to corner means that the car has been disqualified until it obeys the penalty. A Sky Blue flag with a Yellow Line running from upper left to lower right corners means that there is a car approaching from behind. A White flag symbolizes one lap left, and then everyone knows the Checkered flag.
3. The Nascar Cars
Each car runs at an average of 850 horsepower. Per race weekend, the average number of tires used is about 55. And each car has a pit crew of seven people to tend to it, and run out and fix things in the middle of the race.
There you have it. Nascar by the numbers. Now you have a general idea of the details going on behind the scenes in a Nascar race. There is much more to it than constant left-hand turns. There is skill, guts, math and a lot of know-how that goes into a single race. Next time a race is on, watch it through those eyes.