stock car racing
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Stock car racing is a form of
automobile racing Auto racing (also known as car racing, motor racing, or automobile racing) is a motorsport involving the racing of automobiles for competition. Auto racing has existed since the invention of the automobile. Races of various sorts were organi ...
run on oval tracks and
road course Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surface. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on publ ...
s measuring approximately . It originally used production-model cars, hence the name "stock car", but is now run using cars specifically built for racing. It originated in the southern United States; the world's largest governing body is the American
NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock car racing. The privately owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, and ...
. Its NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top-level series of professional stock car racing. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil and the United Kingdom also have forms of stock car racing. Top-level races typically range between in length. Top-level stock cars exceed at speedway tracks and on superspeedway tracks such as
Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR as well as its season opening event. In addition to NASC ...
and
Talladega Superspeedway Talladega Superspeedway, nicknamed “'Dega”, and formerly named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS) from 1969 to 1989, is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base ...
. Contemporary NASCAR-spec top-level cars produce maximum power outputs of 860–900 hp 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 at
Bonneville Speedway Bonneville Speedway (also known as the Bonneville Salt Flats Race Track) is an area of the Bonneville Salt Flats northeast of Wendover, Utah, that is marked out for motor sports. It is particularly noted as the venue for numerous land speed rec ...
. For the
2015 NASCAR Cup Series The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was the 67th season of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 44th modern-era Cup season. The season began at Daytona International Speedway with the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, the ...
, power output of the competing cars ranged from 750 to 800 hp (560 to 600 kW).


History


Early years

In the 1920s, moonshine runners during the
Prohibition era Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacture, storage (whether in barrels or in bottles), transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic be ...
would often have to outrun the authorities. To do so, they had to upgrade their vehicles—while leaving them looking ordinary, so as not to attract attention. Eventually, runners started getting together with fellow runners and making runs together. They would challenge one another and eventually progressed to organized events in the early 1930s. The main problem racing faced was the lack of a unified set of rules among the different tracks. When Bill France Sr. saw this problem, he set up a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in order to form an organization that would unify the rules. When
NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock car racing. The privately owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, and ...
was first formed by France in 1948 to regulate stock car racing in the U.S., there was a requirement that any car entered be made entirely of parts available to the general public through automobile dealers. Additionally, the cars had to be models that had sold more than 500 units to the public. This is referred to as " homologation." In NASCAR's early years, the cars were so "stock" that it was commonplace for the drivers to drive themselves to the competitions in the car that they were going to run in the race. While automobile engine technology had remained fairly stagnant in World War II, advanced aircraft piston engine development had provided a great deal of available data, and NASCAR was formed just as some of the improved technology was about to become available in production cars. Until the advent of the
Trans-Am Series The Trans-Am Series is a sports car racing series held in North America. Founded in 1966, it is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Primarily based in the United States, the series competes on a variety of track types includ ...
in 1967, NASCAR homologation cars were the closest thing that the public could buy that was actually very similar to the cars that were winning national races. The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 with a displacement of is widely recognized as the first postwar modern
overhead valve An overhead valve (OHV) engine, sometimes called a ''pushrod engine'', is a piston engine whose valves are located in the cylinder head above the combustion chamber. This contrasts with earlier flathead engines, where the valves were located b ...
(OHV) engine to become available to the public. The Oldsmobile was an immediate success in 1949 and 1950, and all the automobile manufacturers could not help noticing the higher sales of the Oldsmobile 88 to the buying public. The motto of the day became "win on Sunday, sell on Monday." However, in spite of the fact that several competing engines were more advanced, the aerodynamic and low-slung
Hudson Hornet The Hudson Hornet is a full-sized automobile that was manufactured by Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan from 1951 until 1954, when Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merged to form American Motors Corporation (AMC). Hudson automobiles co ...
managed to win in 1951, 1952, and 1953 with a inline six-cylinder that used an old-style
flathead engine A flathead engine, also known as a sidevalve engine''American Rodder'', 6/94, pp.45 & 93. or valve-in-block engine is an internal combustion engine with its poppet valves contained within the engine block, instead of in the cylinder head, as ...
, proving there was more to winning than just a more powerful engine. At the time, it typically took three years for a new design of car body or engine to end up in production and be available for NASCAR racing. Most cars sold to the public did not have a wide variety of engine choices, and the majority of the buying public at the time was not interested in the large displacement special edition engine options that would soon become popular. However, the end of the
Korean War , date = {{Ubl, 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953 (''de facto'')({{Age in years, months, weeks and days, month1=6, day1=25, year1=1950, month2=7, day2=27, year2=1953), 25 June 1950 – present (''de jure'')({{Age in years, months, weeks a ...
in 1953 started an economic boom, and then car buyers immediately began demanding more powerful engines. Also in 1953, NASCAR recommended that the drivers add roll bars, but did not require them. In 1955, Chrysler produced the C-300 with its
Chrysler FirePower engine The Chrysler Hemi engines, known by the trademark Hemi, are a series of American V8 gasoline engines built by Chrysler with overhead valve hemispherical combustion chambers. Three different types of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler ...
OHV engine, which easily won in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, several notable events happened. The
Automobile Manufacturers Association The Automobile Manufacturers Association was a trade group of automobile manufacturers which operated under various names in the United States from 1911 to 1999. A different group called the Automobile Manufacturers' Association was active in the ...
banned manufacturers from using race wins in their advertising and giving direct support to race teams, as they felt it led to reckless street racing. This forced manufacturers to become creative in producing race parts to help racers win. Race teams were often caught trying to use factory produced racing parts that were not really available to the public, though many parts passed muster by being labeled as heavy-duty "police" parts. Car manufacturers wanted to appear compliant with the ban, but they also wanted to win. The NASCAR tracks at the time were mainly dirt tracks with modest barriers, and during the 1957 season, a Mercury Monterey crashed into the crowd. This killed many spectators, and resulted in a serious overhaul of the safety rules, which in turn prompted the building of larger, more modern tracks. Also in 1957, Chevrolet sold enough of their new
fuel injected Fuel injection is the introduction of fuel in an internal combustion engine, most commonly automotive engines, by the means of an injector. This article focuses on fuel injection in reciprocating piston and Wankel rotary engines. All comp ...
engines to the public in order to make them available for racing (and Ford began selling
superchargers In an internal combustion engine, a supercharger compresses the intake gas, forcing more air into the engine in order to produce more power for a given displacement. The current categorisation is that a supercharger is a form of forced ind ...
as an option), but Bill France immediately banned fuel injection and superchargers from NASCAR before they could race. However, even without official factory support or the use of fuel injection,
Buck Baker Elzie Wylie Baker Sr. (March 4, 1919 – April 14, 2002), better known as Buck Baker, was an American stock car racer. Born in Richburg, South Carolina, Baker began his NASCAR career in 1949 and won his first race three years later at Columbia ...
won in 1957 driving a small-block V-8
Chevrolet Bel Air The Chevrolet Bel Air is a full-size car produced by Chevrolet for the 1950–1975 model years. Initially, only the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range were designated with the Bel Air name from 1950 to 1952. With the 1953 model year, ...
. In 1961, Ford introduced the F1 390 in a low drag Galaxie "Starliner", but 1960 and '61 championships were won by drivers in 409-powered
Chevrolet Impala The Chevrolet Impala () is a full-size car built by Chevrolet for model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 to 2020. The Impala was Chevrolet's popular flagship passenger car and was among the better-selling American-made automobiles in ...
s.
Pontiac Pontiac may refer to: *Pontiac (automobile), a car brand *Pontiac (Ottawa leader) ( – 1769), a Native American war chief Places and jurisdictions Canada *Pontiac, Quebec, a municipality ** Apostolic Vicariate of Pontiac, now the Roman Catholic D ...
introduced their "Super Duty" 421 in Catalinas that made use of many aluminum body parts to save weight, and the Pontiacs easily won in 1962.


Heyday

The desire from fans and manufacturers alike for higher performance cars within the restrictions of homologation meant that carmakers began producing limited production "special edition" cars based on high production base models. It also became apparent that manufacturers were willing to produce increasingly larger engines to remain competitive (Ford had developed a 483 they hoped to race). For the 1963 season NASCAR engines were restricted to using a maximum displacement of 7.0 liters (427 cu.in.) and using only two valves per cylinder. Also, even with heavy duty special editions sold to the public for homologation purposes, the race car rules were further modified, primarily in the interest of safety. This is because race drivers and their cars during this era were subjected to forces unheard of in street use, and require a far higher level of protection than is normally afforded by truly "stock" automobile bodies. In 1963 Ford sold enough of their aerodynamic "sport-roof" edition Galaxies to the public so it would qualify as stock, and with the heavy-duty FE block bored and stroked to the new limit of 427, the top five finishers were all Fords. Chrysler had bored their 413 to create the "Max Wedge" 426, but it still could not compete with the Fords. General Motors' headquarters had genuinely tried to adhere to the 1957 ban, but their Chevrolet division had also constantly tried to work around it, because the other manufacturers had openly circumvented the ban. In 1963 GM gave in and openly abandoned compliance, and Chevrolet was allowed to produce the ZO6 427, but it did not immediately enjoy success. Then, in 1964 the new Chrysler
426 Hemi The Chrysler Hemi engines, known by the trademark Hemi, are a series of American V8 gasoline engines built by Chrysler with overhead valve hemispherical combustion chambers. Three different types of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler f ...
engine so dominated the series in a
Plymouth Belvedere Plymouth Belvedere is a series of American automobile models made by Plymouth from 1954 until 1970. The Belvedere name was first used for a new hardtop body style in the Plymouth Cranbrook line for the 1951 model year. In 1954 the Belvedere re ...
"Sport Fury", the homologation rules were changed so that 1,000 of any engine and car had to be sold to the public to qualify as a stock part, instead of just 500. This made the 426 Hemi unavailable for the 1965 season. In 1965 Ford adapted two single-overhead-cams to their FE 427 V8 to allow it to run at a higher RPM (called the Ford 427 Cammer). Ford started to sell "cammers" to the public to homologate it (mostly to dealer-sponsored privateer drag racers), but NASCAR changed the rules to specify that all NASCAR engines must use a single
cam-in-block A cam-in-block engine is where the camshaft is located in the engine block. Types of cam-in-block engines are: * F-Head Engine * Flathead engine * Overhead valve engine (the only type where the valves are above the combustion chamber) * T-head eng ...
. But even without the cammer, the Ford FE 427 won in 1965. In 1966 Chrysler sold enough of the 426 Hemis to make it available again, and they put it in their new Dodge Charger which had a low-drag rear window that was radically sloped. It was called a "fast-back", and because of this David Pearson was the series champion that year with Richard Petty dominating 1967, winning 27 of 48 races (including 10 in a row) in the boxier Plymouth Belvedere. The 1969 season featured the Torino Cobra or Torino "Talladega" which had enough aerodynamic body improvements that it gave it a higher speed than the 1968 Torino, with no other changes. The Cobra, featuring extended nose and reshaped rockers, was renamed Talladega part way through the 1969 season when the Boss 429 replaced the 427. Starting in 1963 up till this point, Ford had won six straight Manufacturer Championships, and by the end of the 1969 season Ford would make it seven in a row. Richard Petty was tired of winning races but losing the championship, so after a private viewing of Ford's new Talladega and Boss 429 engine, he signed a lucrative deal with Ford. Prior to its first race at the Daytona 500, David Pearson's 427 powered Ford Torino Cobra set a new NASCAR record by being the first to exceed when he qualified at . When the race started Donnie Allison's Torino lead the majority of the race (84 laps). Towards the end of the race the Torino of
LeeRoy Yarbrough Lonnie "LeeRoy" Yarbrough (September 17, 1938 – December 7, 1984) was an American stock car racer. His best season was 1969 when he won seven races, tallied 21 finishes in the top-ten and earned $193,211 ($ when inflation is taken into account ...
chased down the Dodge of
Charlie Glotzbach Charles Lee Glotzbach (June 19, 1938 – April 23, 2021) was an ARCA and NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver. He holds one of the oldest race records in NASCAR. He has the record for fastest pace at Bristol Motor Speedway for a NASCAR race. He was ...
, who had an 11-second lead. It was the first Daytona 500 won on a last lap pass. Things got worse for Dodge when NASCAR, a few months later, finally allowed Ford to run its hemi-headed Boss 429 engine. With Ford winning the majority of the races, Dodge was forced to develop a better car of their own. Using the Charger 500 as a basis, they added a pointed nose. This nose was almost a carbon copy of the nose on the 1962
Ford Mustang I The Ford Mustang I is a small, mid-engined (4-cylinder), open two-seater concept car with aluminium body work that was built by Ford in 1962. Although it shared few design elements with the final production vehicle, it did lend its name to the l ...
prototype. This radical body shape required a wing to remain stable at speeds over . They named it the
Dodge Daytona The Dodge Daytona is an automobile which was produced by the Chrysler Corporation under their Dodge division from 1984 until 1993. It was a front-wheel drive hatchback based on the Chrysler G platform, which was derived from the Chrysler K platfo ...
after the race they hoped to win. Even though it never won a Daytona 500 race, it was still a significant improvement over its predecessor the Dodge Charger 500. NASCAR feared that these increasing speeds significantly surpassed the abilities of the tire technology of the day, and it would undoubtedly increase the number of gruesome wrecks that were occurring. As a result, the 1970 Homologation rules were changed so that one car for every two U.S. dealers had to be built for sale to the public to qualify, hoping to delay the use of aero-bodies until tires could improve. For the 1970 season Dodge raced the 1969 model Daytona, but Plymouth managed to build over 1,920
Plymouth Superbird The Plymouth Superbird is a highly modified, short-lived version of the Plymouth Road Runner with applied graphic images as well as a distinctive horn sound both referencing the popular ''Looney Tunes'' cartoon character the Road Runner. It was ...
s, which were similarly equipped to the Daytona. Petty came back to Plymouth in the plus Superbird, and
Bobby Isaac Robert Vance Isaac (August 1, 1932 – August 14, 1977) was an American stock car racing driver. Isaac made his first NASCAR appearance in 1961, and quickly forged a reputation of one of the toughest competitors of the 1960s and 1970s. He was most ...
won the season championship in a Daytona. NASCAR restricted all "aero-cars" including the Ford Talladega, Mercury Spoiler II, Charger 500, Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird to a maximum engine displacement of for 1971. Almost all teams switched to non-aero bodystyles. NASCAR eventually adopted a
restrictor plate A restrictor plate or air restrictor is a device installed at the intake of an engine to limit its power. This kind of system is occasionally used in road vehicles (e.g., motorcycles) for insurance purposes, but mainly in automobile racing, to li ...
to limit top speeds for the 7.0L engine as teams switched to small-block engines. Fans, drivers, and manufacturers alike demanded a complete revamping of the rules. NASCAR responded in a way that they hoped would make the cars safer and more equal, so the race series would be more a test of the drivers, rather than a test of car technology. The era drew to a conclusion in the 1970s. 1972 brought so many rule changes, it has prompted many to consider this year as the start of the modern era of NASCAR racing. In addition, R.J. Reynolds (the tobacco conglomerate) took over as the major sponsor of NASCAR racing (changing the name to the "Winston Cup") and they made a significantly larger financial contribution than previous sponsors. Richard Petty's personal sponsorship with STP also set new, higher standards for financial rewards to driving teams. The sudden infusion of noticeably larger amounts of money changed the entire nature of the sport. The 1973 oil crisis meant that large displacement special edition homologation cars of all makes were suddenly sitting unsold. Through the balance of the 1970s until 1992, the factory stock sheetmetal over a racing frame meant the cars looked very much like their street version counterparts. It can be said that 1993, with the addition of ground effect wrap-around type spoilers, marked the beginning for non-stock sheetmetal and from that point forward, stock cars were quickly allowed to differ greatly from anything available to the public. Modern racing "stock" cars are stock in name only, using a body template that is vaguely modeled after currently available automobiles. The chassis, running gear, and other equipment have almost nothing to do with anything in ordinary automobiles. NASCAR and the auto manufacturers have become aware of this, and for 2013 each brand ( Chevrolet, Dodge,
Ford Ford commonly refers to: * Ford Motor Company, an automobile manufacturer founded by Henry Ford * Ford (crossing), a shallow crossing on a river Ford may also refer to: Ford Motor Company * Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company * Ford F ...
, and
Toyota is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. It was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda and incorporated on . Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing about 10 ...
) have redesigned their racing sheetmetal to more resemble the street models of their cars.


Types of 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
silhouette A silhouette ( , ) is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the silhou ...
cars: purpose-built racing machines built to a strict set of regulations governing the car design ensuring that the chassis,
suspension Suspension or suspended may refer to: Science and engineering * Suspension (topology), in mathematics * Suspension (dynamical systems), in mathematics * Suspension of a ring, in mathematics * Suspension (chemistry), small solid particles suspende ...
, engine, etc. are architecturally identical to those in stock production vehicles. For example, NASCAR Cup Series race vehicles now require fuel injection. 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 The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (formerly known as Racecar Euro Series and Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series) is an official NASCAR stock-car racing series based in Europe. It is one of NASCAR's three international-sanctioned series, alongside the ...
.


Street stock and pure stock

"True" stock car racing, which consists of only street vehicles that can be bought by the general public, is sometimes now called "street stock", "pure stock", "hobby stock", "showroom stock", or "U-car" racing. In 1972,
SCCA The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is a non-profit American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing, rallying, and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional ...
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 Horsepower (hp) is a unit of measurement of power, or the rate at which work is done, usually in reference to the output of engines or motors. There are many different standards and types of horsepower. Two common definitions used today are t ...
(373–410 kilowatts). Tire width is usually limited to .StockCarRacing.com
"Different Class Stock Cars" Retrieved May 8, 2009
Some entry level classes are called "street stock", and are similar to what is often called "
banger racing Banger racing is a tarmac, dirt, shale and chalk track type of motorsport event popular in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Vehicles are raced against one another, with the winner being the first to the c ...
" in England.


Modifieds

Modified stock cars resemble a hybrid of open wheel cars and stock cars. The rear wheels are covered by fenders but the front wheels and engine are left exposed. First popular in the United States after World War II, this type of racing was early-on characterized by its participants' modification of passenger cars in pursuit of higher speeds, hence the name. In many regions, particularly on the east coast, modified racing is considered the highest class of stock cars in local racing.


Late models

In many areas of the country
Late model A late model car is a car which has been recently designed or manufactured, often the latest model. (An early model car or classic car is a car old enough to be of historical interest; there is no usual intermediate term.) The precise definition ...
s are usually the highest class of stock cars in local racing. 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 streetcar. 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 currently the "Xfinity Series" as its
title sponsor Naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising or memorialization whereby a corporation, person, or other entity purchases the right to name a facility, object, location, program, or event, typically for a defined period of t ...
changed.


United States


NASCAR

NASCAR is currently the largest stock car racing governing body in the world. While NASCAR sanctions multiple series, it has three national championship touring series that are commonly referred to as the "top 3" series. In addition to the top three series, NASCAR also sanctions many regional and local series. NASCAR also sanctions three international series that race in
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by tot ...
,
Mexico Mexico (Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatema ...
, and
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a subcontinent of Eurasia and it is located entirel ...
.


NASCAR Cup Series

The most prominent championship in stock car racing is the NASCAR Cup Series. It is the most popular racing series in the United States, drawing over 6 million spectators in 1997, an average live audience of over 190,000 people for each race. The most famous event in the series is the Daytona 500, an annual race at the
Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR as well as its season opening event. In addition to NASC ...
. The series' second-biggest event is arguably The
Brickyard 400 The Brickyard 400 was an annual NASCAR Cup Series points race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The inaugural race was held in 1994 and was the first race other than the Indianapolis 500 to be held at the Indianapolis Moto ...
, an annual race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the legendary home of the
Indianapolis 500 The Indianapolis 500, formally known as the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, and commonly called the Indy 500, is an annual automobile race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Speedway, Indiana, United States, an enclave suburb of Indi ...
, an open-wheeled race. However, the event was excluded from the 2021 schedule in favor of a race on the track's road course. Together the Cup Series and Xfinity Series drew 8 million spectators in 1997, compared to 4 million for both American open-wheel series ( CART and IRL), which merged in 2008 under the IRL banner. In 2002, 17 of the 20 US top sporting events in terms of attendance were stock car races. Only football drew more television viewers that year.


NASCAR Xfinity Series

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is the second tier series in the United States. It serves as the primary feeder series to the Cup Series, similar to
Formula Two Formula Two (F2 or Formula 2) is a type of open-wheel formula racing category first codified in 1948. It was replaced in 1985 by Formula 3000, but revived by the FIA from 2009– 2012 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship. The name ...
for
Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The World Drivers' Championship, ...
, and
Indy Lights Indy NXT, previously Indy Lights, is an American developmental automobile racing series sanctioned by IndyCar, currently known as Firestone Indy NXT Series for sponsorship reasons. Indy Lights is the highest step on the Road to Indy, a progra ...
for
Indy Car INDYCAR, LLC, is an American-based auto racing sanctioning body for Indy car racing and other disciplines of open wheel car racing. The organization sanctions five racing series: the premier IndyCar Series with its centerpiece the Indianapolis ...
. Races are commonly held as a support race to Cup Series events. Many current Cup Series drivers formerly competed in the Series before moving on to competing full-time in the Cup Series. The Xfinity series typically features multiple Cup Series competitors competing alongside full time Xfinity drivers. There was some controversy as Cup Series drivers tended to be more successful than full-time Xfinity drivers. Cup drivers aren't eligible to score points in the Xfinity series, and are limited to the number of races they are allowed to race in the Series.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Starting in 1995, the NASCAR Truck Series is the third highest ranking stock car series in the United States. The series was the brainchild of then-NASCAR West Coast executive Ken Clapp, who was inspired by off-road truck racing. Unlike the other two national touring NASCAR series, the Truck Series race pickup truck styled bodies, though it is still considered a stock car series because of its similarity. Much like the Xfinity Series, the Truck Series often features Cup Series drivers competing for parts of the season.


ARCA

The
Automobile Racing Club of America The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is an auto racing sanctioning body in the United States, founded in 1953 by John Marcum. The current president of ARCA is Ron Drager, who took over the position in 1996 following the death of Bob Log ...
was founded in 1953 as a Midwest regional series. In addition to the
ARCA Menards Series The ARCA Menards Series is an American stock car series, the premier division of the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). It is considered a minor, semi-professional league of stock car racing, used as a feeder series into the three nation ...
, it also sanctions the
ARCA Midwest Tour The ASA Midwest Tour (until 2022: ARCA Midwest Tour) is a pavement Super Late Model auto racing series based in the Midwestern United States with its headquarters in Oregon, Wisconsin. It was a developmental series of the Automobile Racing Club ...
since 2007, and previously the
ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series The ARCA Truck Series was a pickup truck racing series which ran on numerous Short track motor racing, short tracks throughout the Midwestern United States, American Midwest, running in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Michigan. Sanction ...
from 1999 to 2016. NASCAR purchased ARCA in early 2018. For the 2020 season, the NASCAR K&N Series East and West were rebranded under the ARCA banner as the ARCA Menards Series East and
ARCA Menards Series West The ARCA Menards Series West, formerly the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, NASCAR AutoZone West Series, NASCAR Winston West Series and NASCAR Camping World West Series, is a regional stock car racing series owned and operated by the Automobile Racin ...
.


Other series

Outside of NASCAR, there are a number of other national or regional stock-car sanctioning bodies in the United States. There are a few organizations that cater to these local short tracks. The
American Speed Association The American Speed Association (ASA) is a sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States formed in 1968. The Association was based in Pendleton, Indiana, and later in Daytona Beach, Florida. The ASA sanctioned asphalt and dirt tracks ...
(ASA),
Champion Racing Association Champion Racing Association (CRA) is a stock car racing sanctioning body based in the Midwestern United States. It was founded in 1997 by Glenn Luckett and R. J. Scott, who then sold the company to Bob Sargent's Track Enterprises in 2022. All CRA ...
(CRA),
International Motor Contest Association The International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) was organized in 1915 by J. Alex Sloan, and is currently the oldest active auto racing sanctioning body in the United States. IMCA is currently headquartered in Vinton, Iowa, and features s ...
(IMCA), United Auto Racing Association (UARA),
Championship Auto Racing Series In sport, a championship is a Competition#Sports, competition in which the aim is to decide which individual or team is the champion. Championship systems Various forms of competition can be referred to by the term championship. Title match sy ...
(CARS), and the all sanction their own forms of stock-car racing, on varying types of track, and with various levels of media coverage. The International Race of Champions (IROC) and
Superstar Racing Experience Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), officially known as the Camping World SRX Series, is an American stock car racing series founded by Tony Stewart, Ray Evernham, Sandy Montag and George Pyne. The formation of the series was announced on July 13, ...
(SRX) are usually perceived as being outside of the regular stock car racing scene because of their all-star grids.


New Zealand

Stock car racing began in New Zealand during the 1950s, first race was at Aranui Speedway on November 27, 1954. It was brought to New Zealand after New Zealand Speedway riders witnessed the huge crowds that watched the races in Britain earlier that year. As with the UK, Stock car racing in New Zealand is a very different form of racing than that of the US. Stock car racing is a full-contact sport in New Zealand: as the rule book states, "contact is not only permitted, it is encouraged". Cars are built to an extremely rigid design and feature strong steel guards around almost the entire car. "Stockcars" are divided into three classes: Superstocks, Stock cars, Ministocks (Ministocks predominantly being a non-contact youth class). Superstocks are the top class and are typically powered by V8 engines up to which can produce over . The majority of races are of an individual nature however, unique to New Zealand stock car racing is the team racing format. Typically teams racing consists of two teams of four cars each that work together to win the race. Teams normally protect their "runners" while attempting to eliminate the opposing team, the races can be decided by a points format or first across the finish line. The class most resembling the North American form of stock car racing are known as Saloon cars. Super Saloons are similar to dirt late models with the main differences being the bodies closer resemble production cars, use iron engines up to with no rear offset and run much larger sprint car tyres on the rear.


Australia

Stock car racing in the NASCAR mould (AUSCAR) had a following in Australia during the mid-late 1980s and through the 1990s, but with the advent of the Supercars Championship, which took up the bulk of the competitors, sponsorship dollars on offer as well as major television time, the Australian Superspeedway series shut down after 2001. The majority of the NASCAR and AUSCAR racing in Australia took place at the 1.801 km (1.119 mi), high-banked (24°)
Calder Park Thunderdome Calder Park Raceway is a motor racing circuit in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The complex includes a dragstrip, a road circuit with several possible configurations, and the "Thunderdome", a high-speed banked oval equipped to race either clo ...
in
Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in both Australia and Oceania. Its name generally refers to a met ...
. The Thunderdome, which was opened in 1987 and was built by multi-millionaire tyre retailer
Bob Jane Robert Frederick Jane (18 December 1929 – 28 September 2018) was an Australian race car driver and prominent entrepreneur and business tycoon. A four-time winner of the Armstrong 500, the race that became the prestigious Bathurst 1000 and a ...
at a cost of A$54 million, was modeled on a scaled down version of the famous
Charlotte Motor Speedway Charlotte Motor Speedway (previously known as Lowe's Motor Speedway from 1999 to 2009) is a motorsport complex located in Concord, North Carolina, outside Charlotte. The complex features a quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing includin ...
. Other tracks used included the mile (805 metre) Speedway Super Bowl at the
Adelaide International Raceway The Adelaide International Raceway (also known as Adelaide International or AIR) is a permanent circuit owned by Australian Motorsport Club Limited under the auspices of the Bob Jane Corporation. The circuit is located north of Adelaide in S ...
(also owned by Jane, this was the only paved oval track in Australia other than the Thunderdome, though with only 7° banking in the turns it was more of a traditional flat track), as well as road courses such as the
Surfers Paradise Street Circuit The Surfers Paradise Street Circuit is a temporary street circuit in Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia. The beach-side track has several fast sections and two chicanes, having been shortened from an original length in 2010. It is the ...
(where the cars ran as a support category to the Gold Coast IndyCar Grand Prix), Oran Park in Sydney, and the famous Mount Panorama Circuit.


United Kingdom

Stock, in the sense of cars appearing to be similar to conventional road vehicles, is represented in the UK (and Europe) by
touring cars Touring car racing is a motorsport road racing competition with heavily modified road-going cars. It has both similarities to and significant differences from stock car racing, which is popular in the United States. While the cars do not mo ...
. The term 'stock cars' in the UK refers to a specialized form of racing that bears little resemblance to any road car. Stock car racing was brought to Britain in 1954. Taking place on existing
greyhound The English Greyhound, or simply the Greyhound, is a breed of dog, a sighthound which has been bred for coursing, greyhound racing and hunting. Since the rise in large-scale adoption of retired racing Greyhounds, the breed has seen a resurgenc ...
or speedway tracks, the cars were mostly 'stock' cars from the 1930s with locked rear axle differentials and added armour. After the first couple of years 'specials' began to appear eventually making the 'stock' car name something of a misnomer. Since the early days of stock car racing in Britain the sport has developed into many different classes, from the destructive 'Banger' categories to the very sophisticated National Hot Rods. However, the name 'stock car' is usually reserved for that racing class which traces its roots back to these early days in the 1950s,
BriSCA F1 Stock Cars BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars is a class of single-seater stock-car-racing in the UK with custom-built cars, with races conducted on walled oval tracks of either shale or tarmac of approximately a quarter-mile in length. The cars are of an open w ...
, which were previously known as "The Seniors" or "Senior Stock Cars". Despite the physical demands of this full-contact sport, many competitors have been racing for 20 and even 30 years. For the first 10 years of the sport, stock cars were either adapted from road cars, or bore the recognizable bodywork of road cars. By the 1970s, chassis and bodywork had evolved into very specialized forms. In 2001 the
ASCAR Racing Series ASCAR (Anglo-American Stock Car Racing), was a stock car racing series that raced at circuits around the United Kingdom and Europe from 2001 until 2008. The series went through many guises during its seven year period and was known as the ASCAR M ...
was formed and ran until 2008, the series was a "NASCAR" style racing series that was predominantly ran at Rockingham Motor Speedway as well as briefly on the continent. The first season was won by
John Mickel John Mickel (born 28 January 1971) is a British professional stock car racing driver and commentator. He has raced in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the United States and the Pickup Truck Racing Series in the United Kingdom. He was also ...
. Other notable champions were
Nicolas Minassian Nicolas Minassian (born 28 February 1973) is a French professional racing driver of Armenian descent. After finishing 2nd place in the 1993 Formula Renault Eurocup, Marseille-born Minassian graduated to the French Formula Three Championship whe ...
and Ben Collins who also played as
The Stig The Stig is a character from the British motoring television show '' Top Gear''. Created by former ''Top Gear'' presenter Jeremy Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman, the character is a play on the anonymity of racing drivers' full-face helmets, ...
on
Top Gear Top Gear may refer to: * "Top gear", the highest gear available in a vehicle's manual transmission Television * ''Top Gear'' (1977 TV series), a British motoring magazine programme * ''Top Gear'' (2002 TV series), a relaunched version of the or ...
. The field was usually populated by professional or semi-professional stock car drivers, however notable drivers who were famous from other areas of motorsport either took part in single races or for one complete season, they included
Colin McRae Colin Steele McRae, (5 August 1968 – 15 September 2007) was a Scottish rally driver. He was the 1991 and 1992 British Rally Champion, and in 1995 became the first British driver and the youngest person to win the World Rally Championship ...
,
Jason Plato Timothy Jason Plato (born 14 October 1967) is a British racing driver who last competed in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for BTC Racing. He has twice been BTCC Champion, in 2001 for Vauxhall and 2010 for Silverline Chevrolet. He ...
,
Matt Neal Matthew Neal (born 20 December 1966) is a British motor racing driver. Neal is a triple BTCC Champion having won the British Touring Car Championship in 2005, 2006 and 2011. Neal is also a record 6 time BTCC Independents Champion having won the ...
,
Darren Manning Darren Manning (born 30 April 1975) is a British motor racing driver who has raced in the IRL IndyCar Series for Chip Ganassi Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Career history Early career Manning was born in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, ...
,
Max Papis Massimiliano "Max" Papis (born 3 October 1969) is an Italian professional motorsport driver who has competed in several top-level motorsports events such as Le Mans 24 Hours, Formula One and Champ Car. He has three Champ Car victories. He is the s ...
,
John Cleland John Cleland (c. 1709, baptised – 23 January 1789) was an English novelist best known for his fictional '' Fanny Hill: or, the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure'', whose eroticism led to his arrest. James Boswell called him "a sly, old malcont ...
and former NASCAR drivers
Brandon Whitt Brandon Whitt (born October 15, 1982) is an American former stock car racing driver. A third-generation racer, he has run in all three of NASCAR's top divisions. He is the older cousin of former NASCAR Cup Series driver Cole Whitt. Racing career ...
and
Randy Tolsma Randy Tolsma (born May 4, 1966) is an American former stock car racing driver. Tolsma began his racing career in go-karts at the age of nine, before moving into sprint cars, running as high as USAC, where he won four track championships. He fail ...
. The modern
BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars is a class of single-seater stock-car-racing in the UK with custom-built cars, with races conducted on walled oval tracks of either shale or tarmac of approximately a quarter-mile in length. The cars are of an open w ...
are a highly sophisticated purpose built race car with race-tuned V-8 engines developing , quick change axles and gearboxes and biased and staggered chassis and braking set up for constant left turning. However large bumpers were mandatory with contact very much encouraged to remove opponents. The sport can be seen at venues throughout Britain and Mainland Europe. A downsized version of the
BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars is a class of single-seater stock-car-racing in the UK with custom-built cars, with races conducted on walled oval tracks of either shale or tarmac of approximately a quarter-mile in length. The cars are of an open w ...
, the smaller
BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars is a class of single seater auto racing in the UK. Cars are custom-built and race on oval tracks of either shale or tarmac of up to a quarter-mile in length. The tracks they race on are surrounded by either steel pla ...
, previously known as "The Juniors" or "Junior Stock Cars", are also very popular. these cars are powered by the 2 litre Ford 'Pinto' engine. There are also many other formulas running on the oval tracks throughout a season that starts around March/Easter and continues to October/November. In the 2008 World Final, held at Ipswich, Andy Smith raced to victory becoming the 2008 BriSCA F1 Stock Car World Champion for the second time in his career, taking the crown from brother Stuart Smith Jnr. 2009 also saw Andy Smith win again this time at Kings Lynns Norfolk Arena. 2010 saw Andy Smith win for a 3rd consecutive time at Coventry, the same venue as his 1st win in 2006. The 2011 World Championship took place at Northampton on September 10 with 2 Paul Harrison the winner of the Gold Roof. The 2012 World Championship held at Skegness was won by 217 Lee Fairhurst. The 2013 World Championship will be held at King's Lynn on Saturday 21 September. In 2008, Ian Thompson Jr. became the first driver from Northern Ireland to win the Brisca F2 Stock Car World title since 1972 when he took the honours at Bristol in 2008. However, it was in controversial circumstances after first across the line Gordon Moodie (Thomson Jr's brother-in-law) was disqualified from the race after being found with carburetor irregularities at post race scrutineering. This irregularity has since been proven to be a manufacturing fault with the control of the driver but the governing body have refused to reinstate Gordon Moodie as the winner in the record books. In 2009 the World Championship winner was Micky Brennan and in 2010 the World Championship winner was John Fortune. The 2011 World Championship Final took place at Kings Lynns Norfolk Arena on Saturday 17 September with 871 Mark Simpson winner of the Gold Roof. In 2012, the World Championship was won again by 968 Micky Brennan this time held at Barford. The 2013 World Championship weekend will be held over 2 days of racing on 14/15 September at Smeatharpe near Honiton in Devon. Another open wheeled stock car formula that races in the UK are Spedeworth
Superstox Superstox is a type of single seat formula racing, similar to Sprint car racing developed in the 1960s in the United Kingdom. Racing is 'contact' whereby drivers can use the front bumper to help dislodge any car in front. Like most other form ...
. Licensed by Spedeworth, as opposed to BriSCA,
Superstox Superstox is a type of single seat formula racing, similar to Sprint car racing developed in the 1960s in the United Kingdom. Racing is 'contact' whereby drivers can use the front bumper to help dislodge any car in front. Like most other form ...
are similar to Formula Two Stock Cars with the main visual difference being a smaller wing on the roof. These cars are also powered by the 2 litre Ford 'Pinto' engine. The 2010 World Championship Final held at Ipswich was won by Colin Aylward. The 2011 World Championship Final was held at Londons Wimbledon Stadium on Sunday 23 October and won by 151 Nick Smith. The 2012 World Championship was again held at Ipswich and won by Scot 177 Stuart Gilchrist. The 2013 World Championship will be held at Lochgelly in Fife, Scotland, with the date tbc. Another form of UK stock car racing is Saloon Stock Cars, regulated by the Saloon Stock Car Association. This formula is based on heavily armoured Ford Sierra, Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra cars purposely reconstructed for this full-contact class. The 2011 World Championship was held at Skegness in August with 677 Eddie Darby the winner of the Gold Roof for the next 12 months. The 2012 World Championship Final was held at Smeatharpe Raceway near Honiton in Devon in August 2012 and again won by 677 Eddie Darby. Other similar Stock Car classes are the 2 Litre Stock Cars licensed by Spedeworth and the 1300 Stock Cars licensed by several different promoters each to slightly differing rules although steps are currently being taken to standardise the specifications in order to make it a national class. The 2012 World Championship was won by 79 Barry Radcliffe at Ipswich. The 2013 World Championship will be held at King's Lynn on Saturday 17 August.


Other regions

Internationally, stock car racing has not enjoyed the same success as within the United States. The NASCAR Pinty's Series enjoys generally strong car-counts using the base of the sport in Canada (the short-oval region of Southern
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located in Central C ...
).
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area ...
also has a successful stock car racing series, with starting grids of 30 or more cars, and two brands competing: Chevrolet and
Toyota is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. It was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda and incorporated on . Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing about 10 ...
. Brazilian Stock Car also has two developing series. Despite the name, Brazilian stock car competitions are not held on oval tracks, thus they resemble more
touring car racing Touring car racing is a motorsport road racing competition with heavily modified road-going cars. It has both similarities to and significant differences from stock car racing, which is popular in the United States. While the cars do not mov ...
than stock car racing the same can be said about
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the second-largest country in South America after Brazil, th ...
's popular stock series, called
Turismo Carretera Turismo Carretera ( Road racing, lit., ''Road Touring'') is a popular stock car racing series in Argentina, and the oldest auto racing series still active in the world. The series is organized by Asociación Corredores de Turismo Carretera. Th ...
. Unsuccessful efforts have been made in Australia,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
, and Japan as well.


Career paths

NASCAR drivers take various paths to the highest stock car divisions. Some start racing on
dirt Dirt is an unclean matter, especially when in contact with a person's clothes, skin, or possessions. In such cases, they are said to become dirty. Common types of dirt include: * Debris: scattered pieces of waste or remains * Dust: a gener ...
surfaces but all end up racing on asphalt surfaces as they progress in their career. They frequently start in karting or in cars that are completely stock except for safety modifications. They generally advance through intermediate or advanced local-level divisions. The highest local division, asphalt
late model A late model car is a car which has been recently designed or manufactured, often the latest model. (An early model car or classic car is a car old enough to be of historical interest; there is no usual intermediate term.) The precise definition ...
racing, is generally considered a requirement to advance to the next step, regional and national touring series. Dirt track drivers follow the same general path. Their highest divisions are less well-known national touring late model series such as the
World of Outlaws Late Model Series The World of Outlaws Case Construction Late Model Series is a Dirt Super Late Model touring series currently owned by World Racing Group, and is sanctioned by the World of Outlaws & DIRTcar. The series competes on dirt ovals across the Unite ...
and regional touring series.


Crossover drivers

Some drivers have entered stock car racing after starting on a very different career path. The most famous might well be
Mario Andretti Mario Gabriele Andretti (born February 28, 1940) is an Italian-born American former racing driver. One of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, Andretti is one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, IndyCar, t ...
, who is the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), NASCAR's Daytona 500 (1967), and the
Formula One World Championship Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The World Drivers' Championship, ...
(1978).
Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán (; born September 20, 1975) is a Colombian racing driver. He won the International F3000 championship in 1998, the CART FedEx Championship Series in 1999 in his debut year in the series, and the IMSA WeatherTech ...
is the only other driver with wins in all three series, with two Indy 500 wins (2000 and 2015), seven Formula One wins and two Sprint Cup wins (2007 and 2010).
A. J. Foyt Anthony Joseph Foyt Jr. (born January 16, 1935) is an American retired auto racing driver who has raced in numerous genres of motorsports. His open wheel racing includes United States Automobile Club Champ cars, sprint cars, and midget cars. H ...
, with four Indianapolis 500 wins, seven IndyCar championships, and a victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on his resume, also won the Daytona 500 in 1972.
Johnny Rutherford John Sherman "Johnny" Rutherford III (born March 12, 1938), also known as "Lone Star JR", is an American former automobile racing driver. During an Indy Car career that spanned more than three decades, he scored 27 wins and 23 pole positions in ...
, a three-time winner at Indy, has the rare distinction of winning his first NASCAR start, a qualifying race for the 1963 Daytona 500.
Dan Gurney Daniel Sexton Gurney (April 13, 1931 – January 14, 2018) was an American racing driver, race car constructor, and team owner who reached racing's highest levels starting in 1958. Gurney won races in the Formula One, Indy Car, NASCAR, Can-Am, ...
, a leading 1960s Formula One driver and later one of the most successful constructors of Indy cars (as well as being Foyt's co-driver at Le Mans), excelled in NASCAR's road-course events, winning at Riverside five times between 1963 and 1968. A notable crossover oddity is the one-race NASCAR career of the colorful Formula One and sports car driver
Innes Ireland Lieutenant Robert McGregor Innes Ireland (12 June 1930 – 22 October 1993), was a British military officer, engineer, and motor racing driver, with 1 Championship and 8 non-Championship Formula 1 race victories, and several sports car wins incl ...
: after retiring at the end of the 1966 season, he was invited by NASCAR czar Bill France to compete at Daytona, where he was running in the top ten when his engine blew on the 126th of 200 laps. Montoya initially surprised the auto racing community by leaving F1, but he was quickly followed by other drivers. Open wheel stars like
Sam Hornish Jr. Samuel Jon Hornish Jr. (born July 2, 1979) is an American semi-retired professional auto racing driver. He last competed part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske in 2017. He began his top-tier raci ...
,
Patrick Carpentier Patrick Carpentier (born August 13, 1971) is a retired Canadian professional auto racing driver. In the Champ Car World Series and the IndyCar Series, he achieved five wins and 24 podiums, as well as two third place championship finishes in 2002 ...
, Dario Franchitti,
Jacques Villeneuve Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve ( born 9 April 1971) is a Canadian professional racing driver and amateur musician who won the 1997 Formula One World Championship with Williams. In addition to Formula One (F1) he has competed in various o ...
, A. J. Allmendinger and Danica Patrick all made the move to the Monster Energy Cup series, with varying degrees of success. Two-time Australian Supercars champion
Marcos Ambrose Marcos Ambrose (born 1 September 1976) is an Australian former racing driver and current Garry Rogers Motorsport competition director. He won the Australian V8 Supercar series' championship in 2003 and 2004. In 2006, Ambrose relocated to the Un ...
competed in the Monster Energy Cup Series from 2007 to 2014, winning two races. Other drivers compete often in stock car racing but are well known for their success elsewhere.
Ron Fellows Ronald Charles Fellows CM (born September 28, 1959) is a Canadian auto racing driver. Fellows holds the record for most wins by a foreign-born driver in NASCAR's top three series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and trucks) with six – four in Nationw ...
and
Boris Said Boris Said III (born September 18, 1962) is an American semi-retired professional racing driver. He last competed part-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 66 Ford Mustang for MBM Motorsports and in the Trans-Am Series, driving the No. 2 ...
are champion road racers and are often brought in by teams solely to compete in NASCAR's
road course Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surface. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on publ ...
events, a title known as
road course ringer In NASCAR, a road course ringer, also known as road course specialist, road course expert, or a road runner, is a non-NASCAR driver who is hired by a NASCAR Cup Series or NASCAR Xfinity Series team to race specifically on road courses. , current ...
s.
Robby Gordon Robert Wesley Gordon (born January 2, 1969) is an American auto racing driver. He has raced in NASCAR, CART, the IndyCar Series, the Trans-Am Series, IMSA, IROC and the Dakar Rally. He is active in top-tier off road motorsports such as BITD, N ...
was one of NASCAR's few remaining owner-drivers, but he is most famous for his numerous off-road championships and his three Baja 1000 wins.


Tracks

Stock car races take place predominantly on
oval track Oval track racing is a form of closed-circuit motorsport that is contested on an oval-shaped race track. An oval track differs from a road course in that the layout resembles an oval with turns in only one direction, and the direction of traff ...
s of 3 or 4 turns, with all turns to the left. Oval tracks are classified as '' short track'' (less than 1 mile), ''intermediate'' or ''speedway'' (1 to 2 miles) or ''superspeedway'' (over 2 miles). ''
Road courses Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surface. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on ...
'' are any tracks having both left and right turns. Depending on the track, typical race speeds can vary from at Martinsville to over at Talladega. In 1987 Bill Elliott's qualifying time at Talladega brought about a change at superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega). Such high speeds and
Bobby Allison Robert Arthur Allison (born December 3, 1937) is a former American professional stock car racing driver and owner. Allison was the founder of the Alabama Gang, a group of drivers based in Hueytown, Alabama, where there were abundant short tracks ...
's car going airborne into the catch-fence and injuring fans forced NASCAR to implement power-reducing measures, one of which was the mandated implement of below carburetor restrictor plates. This later became known as
restrictor plate A restrictor plate or air restrictor is a device installed at the intake of an engine to limit its power. This kind of system is occasionally used in road vehicles (e.g., motorcycles) for insurance purposes, but mainly in automobile racing, to li ...
racing. Oval circuits differ from the rough terrain and sharp turns of
Rally Rally or rallye may refer to: Gatherings * Demonstration (political), a political rally, a political demonstration of support or protest, march, or parade * Pep rally, an event held at a United States school or college sporting event Sport ...
, and the complicated twists and turns of
Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The World Drivers' Championship, ...
tracks that put up to 5 or 6 '' g'' of horizontal stress on the driver's body. Stock cars are much heavier than
Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The World Drivers' Championship, ...
cars, and as a result they are generally slower. Additionally, they cannot produce the g-forces of an open wheel car. A stock car's weak handling with high power output places more emphasis on car control.


Tactics

In contrast with most forms of racing, minor car-to-car contact is generally accepted in stock car racing. This may happen in the form of forcing another vehicle out of the way, or pushing a competing vehicle forward for mutual benefit. Stock cars are generally built to be tolerant of superficial damage to bodywork, whereas open wheel designs can experience severe reductions in performance with even slight spoiler damage. On intermediate tracks and superspeedways, drafting is used to reduce the overall effect of drag. A driver accomplishes this by positioning the vehicle close to the one ahead of so as to benefit from the other's slipstream. Drafting was "discovered" by
Junior Johnson Robert Glenn Johnson Jr. (June 28, 1931 – December 20, 2019), better known as Junior Johnson, was an American NASCAR driver of the 1950s and 1960s. He won 50 NASCAR races in his career before retiring in 1966. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became ...
during his winning performance at the
1960 Daytona 500 The 1960 Daytona 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series stock car race that was held on February 14, 1960, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. It was the 5th race of the 1960 season, and was won by Junio ...
.


See also

*
British Stock Car Association BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars is a class of single-seater stock-car-racing in the UK with custom-built cars, with races conducted on walled oval tracks of either shale or tarmac of approximately a quarter-mile in length. The cars are of an open w ...
*
British Stock car racing Stock car racing in the United Kingdom covers a number of different oval racing formulas. Contact is allowed in UK stock car racing, that is, if you are unable to pass an opponent using speed alone, you are allowed to push or hit your opponent in o ...
*
CASCAR Super Series The CASCAR Super Series was Canada's premier stock car touring division. It was sanctioned by CASCAR. The series ended after the 2006 season after NASCAR purchased CASCAR, and NASCAR used it as the basis for the NASCAR Pinty's Series. General Ti ...
1981–2006 * Desafio Corona 2004–07; now
NASCAR Mexico Series The NASCAR Mexico Series (formerly NASCAR Corona Series and other names) is a NASCAR series in Mexico. It is the most prestigious stock car racing series in the country. Origins (Desafío Corona) The Desafío Corona was established in 2004 by ...
* Hot rod *
Hot Rods (oval racing) Hot Rods refers to a number of British oval racing formula (not to be confused with hot rods, which are generally road-going modified vintage cars). Hot Rod racing was introduced at Hednesford Hills Raceway in the early 1960s as a British counterp ...
*
OSCAAR The Ontario Stock Car Association of Asphalt Racers, usually shortened to the acronym OSCAAR, is a Canadian stock car racing series featuring three divisions, Open Wheeled Modifieds, Hot Rods and Pro Sprint. It has been running since 1990, wit ...
*
Production car racing Production car racing, Showroom Stock racing, Street Stock, Pure Stock, Touring and U-car racing are all categories of auto racing where unmodified (or very lightly modified) production cars race each other, outright and also in classes. Cars u ...
* Speedcar Series


References


External links


NASCAR
{{Authority control Sports originating in the United States Symbols of North Carolina