Carey and Coffeys NASCAR 101.doc by handongqp


									                    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

                         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


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."

Back Marker

A car running off the pace near the rear of the field.


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


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.


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.


A rotating shaft within the engine that opens and closes the
intake and exhaust valves in the engine.


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.


Dirty Air

The air used and discarded by the lead car.


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.


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.


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.

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.

Engine Block

An iron casting from the manufacturer that envelopes the
crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons.


A person who specializes in creating the sheet metal body of
a stock car. Most teams employ two or more.


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

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.

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

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.


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.


The time-distance between two cars. Referred to roughly in
car lengths, or precisely in seconds.

Lapped Traffic

Cars that have completed at least one full lap less than the
race leader.

(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.


(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.


A term drivers use when referring to how their car is
handling. When a car is neither loose nor pushing (tight).


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.


(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.

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

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.


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.


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.


(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


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.


Slang term used for tire traction.

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.


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


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.


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.

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.


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


Air that trails behind a race car and disrupts the flow of air
to the cars behind it.


See Tight


(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


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

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
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
                  Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Tracks
 List of current Chase for the Nextel Cup tracks (In order in which they
     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
                  Atlanta                                Homestead-
 Martinsville                  Motor         Phoenix
                  Motor                                     Miami
  Speedway                   Speedway International
                 Speedway                                 Speedway
Martinsville,                   Fort        Raceway
                 Hampton,                                Homestead,
     VA                        Worth, Avondale, AZ
                    GA                                        FL
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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