Stock car racing

Stock car racing
NASCAR practice.jpg
NASCAR vehicles practicing at Daytona International Speedway in 2004
Highest governing body NASCAR
Characteristics
Contact Yes
Team members Yes
Mixed gender Yes
Type Outdoor
Tony Stewart at Infineon Raceway in 2005

Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly and most prominently in the United States and Canada, with Australia, New Zealand and Brazil [1] also having forms of stock car auto racing. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately 0.25 to 2.66 miles (0.4 to 4.3 kilometers). The world's largest governing body for stock car racing is the American NASCAR, and its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top level series of professional stock car racing. Top level races typically range between 200 to 600 miles (322 to 966 km) in length.

Top level stock cars reach speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h) [2] [3] [4] at speedway tracks and on superspeedway tracks such as Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. [5] [6] [6] Contemporary NASCAR-spec top level cars produce maximum power outputs of 860-900 hp [7] [8] from their naturally aspirated V8 engines. In October 2007 American race car driver Russ Wicks set a speed record for stock cars in a 2007-season Dodge Charger built to NASCAR specifications by achieving a maximum speed of 244.9 mph (394.1 km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats. [9] [10] For the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, power output of the competing cars ranged from 750 to 800 hp (560 to 600 kW). [11] [12]

Stock cars

A stock car, in the original sense of the term, is an automobile that has not been modified from its original factory configuration. Later the term stock car came to mean any production-based automobile used in racing. This term is used to differentiate such a car from a " race car", a special, custom-built car designed only for racing purposes.

The degree to which the cars conform to standard model specs has changed over the years and varies from country to country. Today most American stock cars may superficially resemble standard American family sedans, but are in fact purpose-built racing machines built to a strict set of regulations governing the car design ensuring that the chassis, suspension, engine, etc. are architecturally identical on all vehicles. For example, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race vehicles now require fuel injection. The closest European equivalent to stock car racing is probably touring car racing. In the UK and New Zealand there is a racing formula called stock cars but the cars are markedly different from any road car. In Australia there was a formula that was quite similar to NASCAR called AUSCAR.

The Racecar-Euro Series began in 2009 and was sanctioned by NASCAR as a touring series in 2012, currently operating as the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

Classes

ASA Late Model Series car on an asphalt track

There are several classes of stock car racing, each with slightly different rules, but the key intention of cars that look like production cars, but with near-identical specifications underneath, remains true.

Street stock and pure stock

"True" stock car racing, which consists of only street vehicles that can be bought by general public, is sometimes now called "street stock", "pure stock", "hobby stock", "showroom stock", or "U-car" racing. In 1972, SCCA started its first showroom stock racing series, with a price ceiling on the cars of $3,000. Some modern showroom stock racing allows safety modifications done on showroom stock cars.

Super stock

Super stock classes are similar to street stock, but allow for more modifications to the engine. Power output is usually in the range of 500–550 horsepower (373–410 kilowatts). Tire width is usually limited to 8 in (200 mm). [13]

Some entry level classes are called "street stock", and are similar to what is often called "banger racing" in England.

Late model

A late model car on a dirt track

Late models are usually the highest class of stock cars in local racing. [13] Rules for construction of a late model car vary from region to region and even race track to race track. The most common variations (on paved tracks) include super late models (SLMs), late model stock cars (LMSCs), and limited late models (LLMs). A late model may be a custom built machine, or a heavily modified street car. Individual sanctioning bodies (like NASCAR, ACT, PASS, UARA, CRA, etc.) maintain their own late model rule books, and even individual racetracks can maintain their own rule books, meaning a late model that is legal in one series or at one track may not be legal at another without modifications. The national touring series, the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division, originated from local late model races in the east coast of the U.S. This division was later called the "Busch Series", the "Nationwide Series" and the "Xfinity Series" as its title sponsor changed. [14]

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