NASCAR race cars, some of the fastest cars in the world, differ from ordinary cars in many ways. The price tag alone – over $5 million to assemble and operate for one season – could purchase hundreds of regular streetcars. And it takes weeks to prepare a NASCAR vehicle for the track, with a team of experts making adjustments on everything from tires to the interior of the car. Capable of over 200 mph speeds, these cars have been equipped for not only speed but also for safety.
The reinforced steel frame helps protect the car and the driver from crashes but at over 175 mph speeds, you can bet there will still be some damage to the car, but hopefully not the driver, during any mishap. The front and rear clips, parts of the car’s frame, are built using steel tubing. The purpose behind these clips is to offer extra protection to the driver in case of an accident. The front clip will collapse and push the engine through the underside of the car instead of into the compartment, preventing it from crushing the driver during a serious mishap. These clips also help absorb energy and slow down the driver and the car, during an accident.
The seats of a NASCAR car have also been redesigned to accommodate the driver’s safety. Most of these seats are modeled to where they come around the sides of the driver, for additional protection to the driver’s ribs during a crash. And newer cars have the wrap-around design to protect the shoulders, too.
Another feature of the seats is the seat belts, which are much stronger than seatbelts found in an ordinary car and also have a five-point restraint system – one strap over each shoulder, two straps across the mid-section of the body, and another strap which is brought up between the driver’s legs. These straps are padded and very sturdy. In 2001, NASCAR also added head and neck restraints to their list of safety equipment for NASCAR racers.
Another safety device is the window netting, which is made to keep debris from flying in the car, but also to keep the driver’s arms inside the car during a wreck. The windshield of a NASCAR race car is also special. It is made from the same type of material that is used to make bulletproof glass, preventing it from shattering at impact. Since debris and other materials that hit the windshield will scratch or dent the windshield, the glass would have to be replaced after each race, but instead, a clear adhesive film is attached to the windshield, then peeled away and replaced with a new one, after a race.
Even the gas tanks have been altered on a NASCAR race car to prevent them from erupting or exploding upon impact. These fuel cells are usually placed in the trunk, hold 22 gallons of fuel, and are braced so they won’t fly loose under any circumstance. Also, these fuel cells are lined with foam to absorb any explosion which might occur.
One little-known fact about NASCAR races is that only American-made passenger sedans are allowed to participate. Common makers of typical NASCAR cars are Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Pontiac. Although the races are referred to as â€śstock car racing, only limited portions of the car are stock and the other parts are custom-built. Some stock items are the hood, the grill, and the trunk lid. Much of the customizing is done according to NASCAR specifications, such as a detachable steering wheel and extra-wide tires.
Although a driver might have a strategy in mind when beginning the race, the real strategy must be determined as the race is unfolding, since only then will the driver know what the other drivers are doing, what to do to counteract the others, and when to do it. Before the race begins, however, the car must pass rigid inspections of the body, tires, engine, fuel cell and roll bars.
After the initial inspections are passed, the cars line up and the race begins. Since the first races were held on unpaved tracks, stock cars needed to be upgraded to prevent extensive damage to the cars with each race. NASCAR began allowing modifications to make the cars sturdier during racing.
Today, NASCAR racers begin at the starting line and speed around the track, so long as they get the green flag, meaning go. If they happen to get a black flag, this means that the car must be pulled into the pit area for repairs or as a penalty if the race car driver was unnecessarily risking other drivers. If the car is given a red flag with a yellow X on it, this means the pit area is closed due to an accident or another reason. When the drivers are given a black and white checkered flag, this means the next car that passes the finish line is the winner of the race.NASCAR racers