Carey and Coffey’s NASCAR 101 NASCAR is a sport that can be difficult to fully grasp unless you’ve been a fan for many many years. Carey and Coffey want newer fans and Yupnecks to understand what the veterans are talking about. Below is our NASCAR 101 section chock-full of information to help you better understand the sport. NASCAR 101 Sections NASCAR Glossary of Terms The Chase for the Nextel Cup The History of the ‘Stock Car’ Different “divisions” of NASCAR NASCAR Glossary of Terms A Aero Push When following another vehicle closely, the airflow off the lead vehicle does not travel across the following one(s) in a normal manner. Therefore, downforce on the front of the trailing vehicle(s) is decreased and it does not turn in the corners as well, resulting in an "aero push." This condition is more apparent on the exit of the turns. Aerodynamic Drag A number that is a coefficient of several factors that indicates how well a race vehicle will travel through the air and how much resistance it offers. Crewmen work to get the best "drag horsepower" rating they can, determining how much horsepower it will take to move a vehicle through the air at a certain mile-per-hour rate. At faster speedways teams strive to get the lowest drag number possible for higher straightaway speeds. Air Dam A strip that hangs under the front grill, very close to the ground. It helps provide downforce at the front of the car. Air Pressure With the advent of radial tires with stiffer sidewalls, changing air pressure in the tires is used as another setup tool that is akin to adjusting spring rates in the vehicle's suspension. An increase in air pressure raises the "spring rate" in the tire itself and changes the vehicle's handling characteristics. If his race vehicle was "tight" coming off a corner, a driver might request a slight air pressure increase in the right rear tire to "loosen it up." B Back Marker A car running off the pace near the rear of the field. Balance When a car doesn't tend to oversteer or understeer, but goes around the racetrack as if its on rails, it's said to be in balance. Banking The sloping of a racetrack, particularly at a curve or a corner, from the apron to the outside wall. Degree of banking refers to the height of a racetrack's slope at the outside edge. C Camber Camber addresses the angle at which a tire makes contact with the track surface. "Positive camber" indicates the angle of the tire is tilted away from the vehicle's centerline while "negative camber" indicates the tire is tilted toward the centerline. A typical oval track setup would have positive camber in the left front and negative camber in the right front to help the vehicle make left-hand turns. Camshaft A rotating shaft within the engine that opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves in the engine. Chassis The combination of a car's floorboard, interior and roll cage. Chassis Roll The up-and-down movement caused when a car travels around corners at high speeds. The side of the car facing the turn becomes lighter while the extra weight goes toward the outside of the turn. Contact Patch The part of the tire that's actually touching the road. D Dirty Air The air used and discarded by the lead car. Downforce The air pressure traveling over the surfaces of a race vehicle creates "downforce" or weight on that area. In order to increase corner speeds teams strive to create downforce that increases tire grip. The tradeoff for increased corner speeds derived from greater downforce is increased drag that slows straightaway speeds. Draft The aerodynamic effect that allows two or more cars traveling nose-to-tail to run faster than a single car. When one car follows closely, the one in front cuts through the air, providing less resistance for the car in back. Drafting The practice of two or more cars, while racing, to run nose- to-tail, almost touching. The lead car, by displacing the air in front of it, creates a vacuum between its rear end and the nose of the following car, actually pulling the second car along with it. Drag The resistance a car experiences when passing through air at high speeds. A resisting force exerted on a car parallel to its air stream and opposite in direction to its motion. E Engine Block An iron casting from the manufacturer that envelopes the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons. F Fabricator A person who specializes in creating the sheet metal body of a stock car. Most teams employ two or more. Firewall A solid metal plate that separates the engine compartment from the driver's compartment of a race car. Front Clip The front-most part of the race car, starting with the firewall. Fuel Cell A holding tank for a race car's supply of gasoline. Consists of a metal box that contains a flexible, tear-resistant bladder and foam baffling. A product of aerospace technology, it's designed to eliminate or minimize fuel spillage. G Groove Slang term for the best route around a racetrack; the most efficient or quickest way around the track for a particular driver. The "high groove" takes a car closer to the outside wall for most of a lap, while the "Low groove" takes a car closer to the apron than the outside wall. Road racers use the term "line." Drivers search for a fast groove, and that has been known to change depending on track and weather conditions. H Happy Hour Slang term for the last official practice session held before an event. Usually takes place the day before the race and after all qualifying and support races have been staged. Handling Generally, a race car's performance while racing, qualifying or practicing. How a car "Handles" is determined by its tires, suspension geometry, aerodynamics and other factors. I Interval The time-distance between two cars. Referred to roughly in car lengths, or precisely in seconds. L Lapped Traffic Cars that have completed at least one full lap less than the race leader. Loose (Also referred to as "free" or "oversteer.") A condition created when the back end of the vehicle wants to overtake the front end when it is either entering or exiting a turn. In qualifying mode teams walk a fine line creating a setup that "frees the vehicle up" as much as possible without causing the driver to lose control. M Marbles (Also referred to as "loose stuff.") Bits of rubber that have been shaved off tires and dirt and gravel blown to the outside of a corner by the wind created by passing vehicles comprise the "marbles" that are often blamed by drivers for causing them to lose control. N Neutral A term drivers use when referring to how their car is handling. When a car is neither loose nor pushing (tight). O Oversteer See Loose Pit Road The area where pit crews service the cars. Generally located along the front straightaway, but because of space limitations, some racetracks sport pit roads on the front and back straightaways. Pit Stall The area along pit road that is designated for a particular team's use during pit stops. Each car stops in the team's stall before being serviced. Pole Position Slang term for the foremost position on the starting grid, awarded to the fastest qualifier. Push (Also referred to as "tight" or "understeer.") "Push" is a condition that occurs when the front tires of a vehicle will not turn crisply in a corner. When this condition occurs, the driver must get out of the throttle until the front tires grip the race track again. Q Quarter Panel The sheet metal on both sides of the car from the C-post to the rear bumper below the deck lid and above the wheel well. R Rear Clip The section of a race car that begins at the base of the rear windshield and extends to the rear bumper. Contains the car's fuel cell and rear suspension components. Restrictor Plate An aluminum plate that is placed between the base of the carburetor and the engine's intake manifold with four holes drilled in it. The plate is designed to reduce the flow of air and fuel into the engine's combustion chamber, thereby decreasing horsepower and speed. Roof Flaps These flaps are sections at the rear of a race vehicle's roof that are designed to activate, or flip up, if the air pressure flowing across them decreases. In the case of a vehicle turning backwards, the tendency for an uninterrupted flow of air is to create lift. The roof flaps are designed to disrupt that airflow in attempt to keep the vehicle on the ground. Round Slang term for a way of making chassis adjustments utilizing the race car's springs. A wrench is inserted in a jack bolt attached to the springs, and is used to tighten or loosen the amount of play in the spring. This in turn can loosen or tighten the handling of a race car. S Setup Slang term for the tuning and adjustments made to a race car's suspension before and during a race. Short Track Racetracks that are less than one mile in length. Silly Season Slang for the period that begins during the latter part of the current season, wherein some teams announce driver, crew and/or sponsor changes. Spoiler (Also referred to as a "blade.") The spoiler is a strip of aluminum that stretches across the width of a race vehicle's rear decklid. It is designed to create downforce on the rear of the vehicle, thereby increasing traction. However, the tradeoff, again, is that more downforce equals more aerodynamic drag, so teams attempt, particularly on qualifying runs, to lay the spoiler at as low an angle as possible to "free up" their vehicles for more straightaway speed. Stagger Stagger is a concept that has largely been eliminated with the use of radial tires. It refers to the difference in tire circumference between the left- and right-side tires on the vehicle. Typically, the left-side tires would be a smaller circumference than the right-side tires to "help" the vehicle make left-hand turns. Stick Slang term used for tire traction. Stickers Slang term for new tires. The name is derived from the manufacturer's stickers that are affixed to each new tire's contact surface. Stop 'N' Go (Black Flagged) A penalty, usually assessed for speeding on pit road at the appropriate speed and stopped for one full second in the team's pit stall before returning to the track. SuperSpeedway A racetrack of one mile or more in distance. Road courses are included. Racers refer to three types of oval tracks. Short tracks are under one mile, intermediate tracks are at least a mile but under two miles and superspeedways are two miles and longer. Sway Bar Sometimes called an "antiroll bar." Bar used to resist or counteract the rolling force of the car body through the turns. T Template A device used to check the body shape and size to ensure compliance with the rules. The template closely resembles the shape of the factory version of the car. Tight Also known as "understeer." A car is said to be tight if the front wheels lose traction before the rear wheels do. A tight race car doesn't seem able to steer sharply enough through the turns. Instead, the front end continues through the wall. Toe Looking at the car from the front, the amount the tires are turned in or out. If you imagine your feet to be the two front tires of a race car, standing with your toes together would represent toe-in. Standing with your heels together would represent toe-out. Track Bar (Also referred to as a "Panhard bar.") This bar locates the vehicle's rear end housing from left-to-right under it. In calibrating the vehicle's "suspension geometry," raising or lowering the track bar changes the rear roll center and determines how well it will travel through the corners. During races, this adjustment is done through the rear window using an extended ratchet. Typically, lowering the track bar will "tighten" the vehicle and raising the track bar will "loosen" it. Trailer Arm A rear suspension piece holding the rear axle firmly fore and aft yet allowing it to travel up and down. Tri-Oval A racetrack that has a "hump" or "fifth turn" in addition to the standard four corners. Not to be confused with a triangle-shaped speedway, which only has three distinct corners. Turbulance Air that trails behind a race car and disrupts the flow of air to the cars behind it. U Understeer See Tight V Valance (Also referred to as "front air dam.") This is the panel that extends below the vehicle's front bumper. The relation of the bottom of the valance, or its ground clearance, affects the amount of front downforce the vehicle creates. Lowering the valance creates more front downforce. Victory Lane Sometimes called the "winner's circle." The spot on each racetrack's infield where the race winner parks for the celebration. W Wedge Refers to the relationship from corner-to-corner of the weight of the race vehicle. Increasing the weight on any corner of the vehicle affects the weight of the other three corners in direct proportion. Weight adjustments are made by turning "weight jacking screws" mounted on each corner with a ratchet. A typical adjustment for a "loose" car would be to increase the weight of the left rear corner of the vehicle, which decreases the weight of the left front and right rear corners and increases the weight of the right front. A typical adjustment for a "tight" vehicle would be to increase the weight of the right rear corner, which decreases the weight of the right front and left rear and increases the weight of the left front. Weight Jacking The practice of shifting a car's weight to favor certain wheels. Wind Tunnel A structure used by race teams to determine the aerodynamic efficiency of their vehicles, consisting of a platform on which the vehicle is fixed and a giant fan to create wind currents. Telemetry devices determine the airflow over the vehicle and its coefficient of drag and downforce. The Chase for the Nextel Cup The Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, The Chase, is the playoff system used in NASCAR's top division, the NEXTEL Cup Series. The current version of the Chase was announced by NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France on January 22, 2007. After 26 races, the top 12 drivers advance to contend for the points championship and points are reset to 5000. Each driver within the top 12 gets an additional 10 points for each win during the "regular season," or first 26 races, thus creating a seeding based on wins. The Chase consists of 10 races and the driver with the most points at the conclusion of the 10 races is the NEXTEL Cup Series Champion. Drivers who win a race, regular season or during the Chase, recieves 185 points for a win, 5 bonus points for leading the most laps, and 5 bonus points for leading a single lap. Brian France explained why NASCAR made the changes to the chase: "The adjustments taken [Monday] put a greater emphasis on winning races. Winning is what this sport is all about. Nobody likes to see drivers content to finish in the top 10. We want our sport -- especially during the Chase -- to be more about winning." Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Tracks List of current Chase for the Nextel Cup tracks (In order in which they appear) New Lowe's Dover Kansas Hampshire Talladega Motor International Speedway International Superspeedway Speedway Speedway Kansas Speedway Talladega, AL Concord, Dover, DE City, KS Loudon, NH NC Texas Atlanta Homestead- Martinsville Motor Phoenix Motor Miami Speedway Speedway International Speedway Speedway Martinsville, Fort Raceway Hampton, Homestead, VA Worth, Avondale, AZ GA FL TX History of the ‘Stock Car’ Part 1 Throughout the 53-year history of NASCAR, its race cars have been transformed from road-going, lumbering true "stock" cars into the sleek, technologically advanced machines that we see today on ultra-modern speedways. In tracing the evolution of the cars that we know today as the Winston Cup Series, it's necessary to go back to the beginnings of NASCAR and its "Strictly Stock Division." When NASCAR was formed in 1948, there was a definite shortage of new cars in the post-war era. The feeling was that race fans wouldn't stand for new cars being beat up on a race track while they were driving a rattletrap pre-war automobile, so "Modified" cars were the early staple of NASCAR racing. However, in 1949, NASCAR president Bill France Sr. re-visited the idea of racing the cars that people actually drove on the street -- late model family sedans. Since no other racing organization had seized the idea, France figured it might take root and create added interest. The success of the modern Winston Cup Series proves he was correct. From the racers' perspective, putting a race car together was not a high-dollar deal. If a brand-new Buick sold for about $4,000, due to the lack of modification that could be done to it, the car could be raced for very little more of an investment. In some instances, rental cars were actually used as race cars by point- chasing drivers who had no locked-in "ride" for an event. Cars were typically either driven to the track or "flat-towed" behind pick-ups and family sedans. Other than tweaking and tuning of the engine, nothing could be done to these early Strictly Stock cars. The window glass front, back and sides was intact. Ropes and aircraft harnesses were used as seat belts. Roll bars -- which were mandated in 1952 -- were neither required nor often installed. One thing the strictly stock designation encouraged was a great diversity of manufacturers on the track. The first official Strictly Stock Division race had nine makes come to the line, including Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, Hudson, Kaiser, Lincoln, Mercury and Oldsmobile. Some of the biggest problems were tire; wheel and suspension failures brought on by stresses that were atypical of normal road use. These concerns brought about novel solutions such as one detailed by two-time Grand National (forerunner of Winston Cup) champion Tim Flock, who described a trap door in the floorboard of his race car that he could open with a chain to check right front tire wear. "When the white cord was showing, we had about one or two laps left before the tire would blow," said Flock of the 'early-warning system.' Due to the rough-surfaced dirt tracks that were predominant in the early days of the sport, the only modification that was allowed was a reinforcing steel plate on the right front wheel to prevent lug nuts from pulling through the rims on conventional wheels. Otherwise, racing stock cars in the early days of the sport was very much a seat of the pants endeavor. But it was one that spawned innumerable legends of drivers who created them, literally, with their own hands, feet and indomitable wills and courage. Part 2 It all started with races on the famed Daytona beach/road course in the late 1940's. Throughout the 53-year history of NASCAR, its race cars have been transformed from road-going, lumbering true "stock" cars into the sleek, technologically advanced machines that we see today on ultra-modern speedways. In tracing the evolution of the cars that we know today as the Winston Cup Series, it's necessary to go back to the beginnings of NASCAR and its "Strictly Stock Division." For a certain number of years, that concept certainly worked and, through the support of fans, competitors and manufacturers, it continued to thrive. But the variety of race tracks in use and the intensity of the competition level necessitated various modifications. While many of these were instituted "in the interest of safety," manufacturers found that there were ways to integrate "high performance" parts and pieces into their mainstream production line, thereby making these "hot" parts eligible for use in Grand National racing, the forerunner of the Winston Cup Series. One of the first items produced specifically for stock car racing was a racing tire manufactured and distributed by the Pure Oil Company in 1952. Prior to that time, street tires were all that were available for racing applications. Not everything that was developed through this period was an integral part of the cars themselves. Two-way radios were first used in a NASCAR race at the 1952 Modified-Sportsman race on the beach/road course at Daytona Beach, Fla. Their use developed until they became an indispensable piece of equipment on a Grand National race car. In the early 1950s roll cages also made more of a widespread appearance. Tim Flock won the 1952 Modified-Sportsman race in Daytona Beach, but was disqualified due to his roll cage being made of wood. Although some novel uses of bed frames and other iron devices were created for roll bars, their use stiffened race car chassis and improved cars' performance. One of the first major changes in race car development came in 1953, when the Oldsmobile, Lincoln and Hudson car companies introduced "severe usage" kits, primarily composed of suspension parts, in response to an alarming spate of failures to spindles, hubs, axles and other suspension pieces. The manufacturers were also discovering that they could introduce high performance options in their street cars that would make them eligible for the race track. Hudson's "Twin H" carburetor setup was one such tweak that Hudson drivers used to win 22 of 37 races in 1953. In 1955, Chevrolet and Ford, mirroring their intense spirit of competition that's displayed in 2001, also had factory-backed programs. But it was Chevrolet's introduction of the 355-cubic inch "small block" V8 engine that was one of the most significant developments in the history of stock car racing. That engine, with very minor changes, is still in use by General Motors race teams across the country in most racing series. Through this period, Marshall Teague of Daytona Beach, one of racing's true innovators who was largely credited with bringing the Hudson Motor Car Company and Pure Oil into racing, pioneered the use of Chevrolet truck spindles and suspension parts when he was competing in AAA stock car racing. The giveaway that a car was running the heavier axles and beefier suspension components was a six-lugged wheel, not the typical five-lugged version. Buick unveiled a major coup in 1957 when it had finned aluminum brake drums on its Buick Roadmaster. The car, made famous by Fireball Roberts, used a braking system that dissipated heat more efficiently due to the use of aluminum and the finned design. As the decade of the 1950s began to come to close and the superspeedway era was about to dawn; GM made a major change to the frame design of its cars in 1958. It debuted an "x-frame" design with a coil spring rear suspension, departing from the "box frame" with leaf spring rear suspension that was more popular and better understood by the racers. Consequently, very few 1958 Chevrolets were used; particularly early in the season, as the racers chose to go with what they were familiar with. However, innovative mechanic Henry "Smokey" Yunick had the system figured out and driver Paul Goldsmith won the final beach/road course race, using a 1958 Pontiac with the new design. The newer setup would prove to be the "hot tip" on the big tracks that would begin to open with the advent of Daytona International Speedway in 1959. It was the next step in the ongoing evolution of the Winston Cup stock car. Part 3 While a "superspeedway boom" occurred from 1959 to the early 1960s, with no less than four major speedways being built in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Hanford, Calif.; Concord, N.C.; and Hampton, Ga.; the automobile manufacturers -- who had signed an agreement that "got them out" of racing in 1957, gradually realized that to sell new cars, it certainly helped to win races. Despite accruing the knowledge of what it took to win Grand National races, the period was interesting in that both engine and body configurations went through several "generations" and radical changes as race cars, by and large, matched what was pushed in the showrooms by the manufacturers. One of the most interesting occurrences in 1959 came when the Ford Motor Company abandoned its "top of the line" Galaxy model to use its Thunderbird as the race car of choice. The Galaxy was a fairly bulky car that year, so Holman & Moody, Ford's acknowledged racing arm, built a "fleet" of T-Birds to compete in Grand National racing, the forerunner of the Winston Cup Series. The T-Bird was lower and sleeker than the Galaxy but it still fell within the dimensional parameters set in the NASCAR rules...even though the car had been created as a "sports car" that was designed to compete with Chevrolet's Corvette. Although the T-Bird continued to compete, Ford returned to its "premier" Galaxy Starliner model in 1960. Conventional, full frame cars were still the norm as purpose-built tube frame race cars were still out on the Grand National horizon. Stories of race teams -- as Ray Fox's did in 1960 to win the Daytona 500 -- picking up cars from showrooms only days before races and converting them to race cars were commonplace. In the General Motors' camp, teams had figured out the coil spring rear suspension setup that was introduced in 1958 and virtually everyone was running the 1959 Chevrolet on the big tracks, where it was particularly effective. This "light bulb" effect certainly led some to believe that the racers must have gotten some suspension geometry help from Detroit, but the manufacturers were still laying pretty low due to the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) agreement that had disassociated them from the sport. Through this period, of course, innovation often was the answer to necessity, and with many NASCAR races still conducted on dirt tracks and with pavement tracks sometimes coming apart, screens, grillwork and other protective devices were often de rigeur. The early days found race teams not necessarily locked-into a particular manufacturer's model or even make. They were able to do some amazing things with cars that looked particularly unwieldy to the naked eye: Witness the monstrous Oldsmobile with which Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500, which was a somewhat tank-like ride. Petty jumped back and forth between Chrysler and Oldsmobile in that time, depending on which car was more suited to the task at hand. As the "superspeedway boom" era continued, manufacturers began to pay more attention to aerodynamics. The 1963 Ford Fastback Galaxy was used in the manufacturer's literature and was advertised as a race car. The 1960- 61 Starliner had what was actually an effectively aerodynamic roofline. In fact, with the 1962 car a pretty boxy proposition, Fred Lorenzen ran a 1962 Galaxy with a 1961 Ford roof in a one-shot deal for the Atlanta 500 -- and won the race in the car's only appearance. General Motors had a grip on the Grand National championship in the early 1960s, with Rex White and Ned Jarrett winning titles in 1960-1961 in Chevrolets and Joe Weatherly copping the titles in 1962-1963 -- primarily in Pontiacs. In the 1961-1962 season Pontiac won more races than any manufacturer in the history of the Grand National Division in consecutive years: 52. Mercury added a twist to the manufacturers' battle when it entered racing in a bigger way in 1963 with its Marauder model. Bill Stroppe, the West Coast's answer to Holman & Moody, handled the Mercury competition program with a similar assembly line approach. Unknown newcomer Billy Wade swept four straight races in 1964 driving a Mercury. Mercury prompted the switch of legendary NASCAR car owner Bud Moore to the Ford Motor Co. camp when Moore -- in the absence of significant support from General Motors -- switched from Pontiac to Mercury. Weatherly took the 1963 championship but had to pick-up rides for most of the year. Ford scored another coup when it grabbed Fireball Roberts, who won his first race for Ford in 1963 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The swapping of personnel is one part of stock car evolution that has been around since the beginning. Shock development, which today is acknowledged as critical to race car performance, also experienced more emphasis in the early 1960s. The popular "Air Lift" shocks were being phased out and Monroe and Gabriel became heavily involved in shock development for racing applications. Tire development also continued. Firestone was the dominant tire company, but Goodyear was involved to a limited degree. Increasing speeds made these developments important. The end of this period also brought an end to one unique item. Through the early 1960s, Lorenzen still used a trap door in the driver's compartment to check tire wear. By 1965, however, nobody used the device that was once a favorite of dirt track competitors. Another significant advance during this period occurred as roll cage structures began to become a more integral part of the car and as such, were used to stiffen the chassis and improve a car's handling as well as serving as vital protection. A variety of triangulated bars, from front to back, across the mid-section of the car and also in the doors were as much to stiffen and strengthen the cars as they were to serve as protection. There was a tremendous amount of flex inherent in the "x-frame" cars used in the 1958-60 period. Smokey Yunick was one of the first car builders to use the roll cage as an integral part of the car's chassis. Ford had unleashed the flow of relatively open factory support when it repudiated the AMA agreement in 1962. While General Motors remained mostly silent, within a few weeks Chrysler announced it would develop "high performance" parts for stock car racing. Another big issue of this period was in the engine compartment. Noted mechanic Fox was the mastermind behind Chevrolet's so-called "mystery engine," a 427-cubic inch "high lift" high performance piece that would replace the 409-cubic inch engine that was often referred to as a "boat anchor" because of its weight. Yunick, the other half of the legendary mechanical pair that lived in Daytona Beach, was also involved in the development of that engine. While much of the mystique of this engine was as much hype as it was fact, at the time Ford claimed it spent $1 million chasing the development curve on Chevy's powerplant. Junior Johnson, driving Fox's 1963 Chevrolet, sat on a lot of front rows with the combination, but as had often been the case with other potent mixes, in most cases the car was either a top-5 finisher or it broke. Among the team's accomplishments in 1963 was sweeping the front row for the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway, with Johnson and G.C. Spencer doing the honors. The "engine wars" reached a peak when in 1964 Richard Petty brought a Plymouth hemispherical combustion chamber engine, or "hemi," and cleaned house at Daytona, including winning the first of seven Daytona 500s. The Plymouth and Dodge body styles had been streamlined somewhat first. The hemis: Plymouth's "Super-Commando" and Dodge's "Hemi- Charger" now had an appropriate platform in which to sit. The engine had first been produced in the early 1950s, but had been shelved with the AMA ban in 1956. Chrysler engineers also came up with a double rocker arm system used in conjunction with the hemi heads. This combination, which created a free-breathing combustion chamber, produced a good bit of top end horsepower, particularly on high-speed facilities. Ford came back with its "tunnel port" 427-cubic inch engine. And Ford had a very well handling race car. Following the Daytona 500, the fourth point race of the season, Ford won 11 out of the next 15 races -- 13 of which were on short tracks. Plymouth and Dodge won two races apiece in that stretch. As was the case in many other aspects of racing, NASCAR kept a close eye on these developments and took action, as it became necessary. The repercussions from that highlighted the next period in the evolution of a stock car. The Different Divisions of NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the NEXTEL Cup, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. It also oversees NASCAR Regional Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour, and the Whelen All-American Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 38 states, Canada, and Mexico. From 1996 to 1998, NASCAR held exhibition races in Japan, and an exhibition race in Australia in 1988.
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