Sports

Everything You Wanted To Know About NASCAR

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Photo by Jeremy Wilkins

Photo by Jeremy Wilkins

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I thought long and hard about what to write about while at Bristol this past weekend. Maybe I should tell the fans about how the cars are running. Maybe I should let you know what the standings are for the current race and how the teams are already planning every move, so they can make it to the championship. But then it hit me. You might not have any idea what goes on at a track other than thinking the cars go around in a circle for hours. Oh yeah, you might also wonder why they don’t make any right turns. I should tell you that out of all the races NASCAR does make right turns at a couple of the tracks. So readers here you go.

NASCAR 101

NASCAR stands for “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing” and was founded in the 1920s and 1930s in Daytona Beach, Fla It was used as a platform to set land speed records, and 15 were set between the years 1927 and 1935. Stock car racing in America was also made popular because of prohibition. Drivers would run bootleg whiskey in modified cars. They often would add additional storage capacity and modify their cars, so they would be faster than the police. On Feb. 21, 1948, NASCAR was officially formed.

Jump ahead 60 some years to today and now we have today’s NASCAR. There are three main levels in NASCAR: The Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Series. The Sprint Cup is the highest level with Nationwide and Camping World Series to follow.

The cars were originally souped-up versions of everyday vehicles, but that has also really changed. Today’s Sprint Cup cars have 750 horsepower and weigh 3,400 pounds. That is an amazing amount of power which would have the normal person hanging on for dear life. I drove a car in Dover one time, and it might be one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. I have also visited some of the biggest shops and can tell you that some teams build their own cars from scratch. I am going to leave that for another story.

It is one thing to watch the sport on TV, but it is another to visit the track and experience it in person. There’s the noise of the engines (bring ear plugs), the rumbling of the seats, and meeting some of the friendliest people you could want to know. I want to point out that you could go just to watch the people. Every time I think I have seen it all I am surprised again.

I took more than a thousand pictures while I was in Bristol and will share some of them with you in the days to come. My passion for photography is what led me to doing this blog. I hope you enjoyed this very short lesson. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to ask.

Jeremy Wilkins

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