Why You Should Watch… NASCAR

Why You Should Watch

Daytona, NASCAR, 2013The 2013 NASCAR championship starts this weekend with one of America’s best-known races: the Daytona 500.

The race has already grabbed headlines as Danica Patrick has become the first woman to take pole position for the 500-mile race.

And there are plenty more reasons to turn in for this year’s series as Dominik Wilde explains.

The basics

NASCAR is sometimes derided by fans of European-style motor racing for its frequent crashes and oval-heavy schedule. There’s no denying a lot of the action takes place on ovals – all bar two of the 36 races on this year’s Sprint Cup are.

But the two road course events are always among best races of the year. They take place on two fantastic tracks, Sonoma and former F1 venue Watkins Glen. But with only two tracks with right turns in the whole championship, why should you watch oval racing?

With 43 cars on track, all racing together closely at speeds reaching 200mph, the competition is undoubtedly tough. It demands accurate driving: too high and you go too slow and hit the wall, too low and you again go too slow, and are likely to spin. Oval racing isn?t as simple as it seems.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013Just ask Juan Pablo Montoya: Since deserting F1 for NASCAR in 2006, the seven-time Grand Prix winner is yet to score his first oval victory. Both his Sprint Cup wins came on road courses.

Likewise 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has also given NASCAR a go, running 19 races in the past five years across all three main series without winning.

If talented F1 racers like Montoya or Villeneuve can’t dominate, surely you don?t need superhuman talent to compete? Not quite. F1 and NASCAR are completely different. Put a top NASCAR driver in an F1 car and it’s likely they’ll be quick, though not the fastest.

Part of that is down to the specific skill required to race ovals, but even IndyCar stars like Dario Franchitti, AJ Allmendinger and Sam Hornish Jnr failed to convert their success from single-seaters to stock cars. Racing in NASCAR demands a different and very specific kind of talent.

Races tend to last around three hours. That might sound boring, but you?re likely to see more overtaking in one lap than during an entire F1 race. And for some there is the added appeal of fairly frequent crashes which can involve dozens of cars or more.

In F1, drivers rarely win if they don?t start from the top five on the grid. In NASCAR though, due to the competitive nature of the sport and the length of the races, it is possible to win a race after starting 43rd.

The cars

Kyle Busch, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013An F1 car is a 600kg fine-tuned laboratory on wheels. In comparison a NASCAR stock car is incredibly simple. It weighs about 2 tonnes, is made of sheet metal and has a simple small-block V8 up front.

F1 cars cost millions, NASCAR machines cost about ??150,000 with several cars being built throughout the season for different kinds of tracks to suit the different sizes of oval tracks. Engines are 5.9 litre iron block V8s and produce 700 to 900bhp depending on the circuit.

Formula One steering wheels are littered with buttons and teams rely on an array of computers and sensors to monitor the car. All of that is alien to NASCAR.

The cars don?t even have fuel sensors: instead teams must calculate tyre wear and fuel use to make sure they last the race and the driver has to perfectly describe every single sensation they feel so the team can understand what is going on with the car.

There’s no power steering either. And with 42 other cars generating huge turbulence, wrestling a two-tonne beast and keeping it going in a straight line is no mean feat.

In 2007 NASCAR introduced the Car of Tomorrow. It was developed following the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500. Although it proved much safer than previous NASCAR chassisit was introduced to widespread criticism.

Kyle Busch claimed “this car sucks” after winning the first ever CoT and fans disliked how each manufacturer’s car (looked virtually the same.

Just as F1 has tweaked the appearance of its cars this year, the new ‘Gen 6′ NASCAR is aesthetically an improvement over its predecessor. Each car is easily distinguishable from another which is not only good for fans, but also manufacturers who of course want to advertise their product.

Drivers have also praised how the car performs on track. NASCAR strives to make sure all the cars are as equal as possible, without making the series a spec series, to ensure that it stays interesting and competitive.

Boys have at it

There?s no stewards enquiries, no expensive courtroom battles; drivers in NASCAR settle their own differences. In NASCAR, if a driver hits you unnecessarily, you hit them back. So long as things don?t get massively out of hand, drivers get away with retaliation too.

However, things often turn sour. Take Phoenix last year for example ?ǣ an on-track spat between drivers Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer resulted in an ugly brawl in the pits. Gordon was fined, which many considered too light a punishment.

Fights are not uncommon in NASCAR, but drivers tend to receive more severe punishments for their language. Kurt Busch was banned for one weekend in 2013 after using foul language to a reporter having been put on probation for a similar incident at the end of 2011

The chase

In most respects Formula One is more complicated than NASCAR. But NASCAR’s convoluted points system is an exception.

At each race the winner scores 43 points, second place gets 42 and so on down to to last place. On top of that the winner receives an extra three points and a further point is awarded to each driver who leads a lap and whoever leads the most laps, raising the maximum available for a driver at each round to 48.

In an effort to ensure the championship remains alive until late in the season, NASCAR introduced the Chase for the Cup in 2004.

Heading into the final ten races the top ten drivers in the championship standings plus two other drivers who have scored the most wins have their points tallies reset to 2,000. Got all that?

But wait, there’s more: The drivers who were in the top ten receive an additional three points per win, plus one point for leading a lap. The driver in the top ten who has led the most laps also gets another point. From that point on these 12 drivers are the only contenders for the championship.

While this has drawn criticism for being complicated, arbitrary and not necessarily rewarding the best driver, it has placed more emphasis on winning and contributed to the championship being decided at the final race of the season for the last three years.

Should you watch it then?

Danica Partrick, Daytona, NASCAR, 2013Yes! OK, the points system is a mess, the cars are as technologically advanced as an IKEA bookcase but the racing is fantastic. I?m a fan of both F1 and NASCAR: I started off an F1 fan and grew to love NASCAR.

Despite its simple-looking tracks, every lap keeps you on the edge of your seat. And the drivers are a world away from F1’s PR-trained corporate clones.

Over to you

Do you watch NASCAR? What do you like or dislike about it?

Have your say in the comments.

What motorsport would you recommend other F1 fans to follow? If you want to put the case for your favourite non-F1 category write a guest article and send it in. More information here: Write a guest article for F1 Fanatic

For more from Dominik see his website Dominik Wilde Motorsport

Why you should watch…

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185 comments on Why You Should Watch… NASCAR

  1. William Brierty said on 23rd February 2013, 19:47

    Can I just clarify something? You’re asking F1 fans to watch NASCAR? That’s a bit like asking your rather wealthy, Rolex wearing, Rolls-Royce driving, cucumber sandwich eating, Daily Mail reading neighbour to go and vote Labour. It ain’t gonna happen.

    • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 23rd February 2013, 19:58

      I for one, feel offended at the mere sighted of this article.

      i’m no Brit and I don’t understand your political system , but I understand the gist of you said.

      Rolex wearing and rolls Royce driving! How well put! (Although my personal pick would be a Bentley Mulsanne!)

    • There are plenty of “Why you should watch…” articles. It’s interesting reading about other motorsports from a fans point of view, even if you are not a fan of the sport itself.

      • William Brierty said on 23rd February 2013, 20:26

        I agree completely. I am an F1 fan and love watching DTM, WEC, WRC, GP2, GP3, FR3.5, BTCC and WTCC, but NASCAR? I have always maintained that there are two types of petrolhead. Petrolhead A is an avid F1 fan, and loves all the series I love. Petrolhead A dreams of a Ferrari 458 or a vintage Jag but probably has a rather sensible, German car, or if he’s lucky a Porsche 911. Petrolhead B couldn’t care less about the immersive intricacies of F1, which is why he loves NASCAR. He is also a fan of flared wheel arches, muscle cars, nitrous, V8s, body-kits, fake air intakes, fake exhausts and probably drives a “pimped” Vauxhall Monaro, although he dreams of the Bose 302 ” ‘Stang”. If you wanted to be academic you could assign different petrolheads to sides of the political spectrum; which makes me a right wing petrolhead!

    • If you keep sneering like that, your face will stick that way.

    • Though I agree with the analogy, in no way is anybody being asked to watch NASCAR: it is merely an article highlighting the positive aspects of the sport which may otherwise be largely ignored by us rather wealthy, Rolex wearing, Rolls-Royce driving, cucumber sandwich eating, Daily Mail reading folks. ;)

      I see no problem with the article and it is quite an interesting read, but that said it hasn’t changed my perspective on NASCAR and I think it is too much about quantity over quality and is a rather primative and crude sport, but there are people out there who may be interested in watching it!

      • William Brierty said on 23rd February 2013, 20:41

        You make a good point but if you were anywhere near as old, miserable and right-wing as me, the very presence of an article pertaining to NASCAR would be enough to send you flying into a rage. And just to clarify something, I was not illustrating what I perceive an F1 fan to be, merely a widely recreated stereotype for your delectation.

        • William Briety Oh I know, I was just quoting you because it was a rather amusing comment! ;) I’m still young and fresh and haven’t decided my political stance yet, but the European veins run deep and I’m just as aghast at the thought of watching NASCAR as you are, I just acknowledge that others may not be so!

          • William Brierty said on 24th February 2013, 10:01

            Really, you’re young? I always thought I was always talking to a fellow Midsomer Murders enthusiast. No offense, but your comments have all the wit guile of someone whose been round the track a few times, and your avatar communicates the slightest wiff of nostalgia. Although saying that, my son is a huge Ayrton Senna fan, despite the fact that he died before he was born. Saying that though, your tolerance is a bit of a give away. Sorry about my cantankerousness, but when I see other people watching, and enjoying, NASCAR I feel I need to shake them, because there are NO upsides to watching NASCAR. End of.

          • Why thank you, I am actually another one who was born after the death of Senna – I just like the history of the sport! I can understand why people may like watching NASCAR, but I have some confusion at how one can like it and F1 – the two just seem poles apart. Unless of course you are but a casual F1 fan, then I could understand. I do feel it would be a bit like supporting Alonso & Vettel though!

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 24th February 2013, 23:24

        (@vettel1)

        quantity over quality and is a rather primative and crude.

        Wonderfully summarised, though to me the last 5 seconds of this clip summarises it best of all – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AXepRg6j-Q

    • Why can’t F1 fans like NASCAR? Someone give me a VALID reason!

      • @cstonehouse – there is no reasoning behind it, you either do or you don’t. I don’t, but there are others, such as the writer of this article, that do.

      • Everything you see on tv has been choreographed for ratings and sponsopship value, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS, its an entretainment sport, not a competition, team orders are the norm, not the exception. They have had montoya trying to show to the public that you can be good at f1 and not stand a chance at their “sport”, but again he does not win because it would be an UNPOPULAR result, it will never happen (dark reasons here). Have you watched their tiny oval racing? is boring and pointless. They can not race in the rain, no matter how light it is. They only turn to one side for the whole race on all races but 2, if set up is important, where are the good and bad teams? everyone is bunched up in 100 meters! unable to pass each other, there are more reasons, but its enough, I do not know about you, but no thanks, I pass.

      • William Brierty said on 24th February 2013, 9:47

        Well I think that’s something to do do with the fact that the only things that F1 and NASCAR have in common are wheels, engines and Juan Pablo Montoya. Aside from that they really are polarized approaches at motorsport.

  2. Davew8 said on 23rd February 2013, 19:51

    I love both F1 and NASCAR. That being said, the comments about all the tracks being “the same” are somewhat warranted. I live about 2 hours away from Watkins Glen, and I can wholeheartedly say that’s one of the best tracks NASCAR races at. I’d love to see them at more road courses as I feel two aren’t enough. I’ve also been to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Martinsville, and Dover, which are all very different types of ovals, but the action just isn’t the same. The comments deriding restrictor plate racing – the type of thing you see at Daytona and Talladega – are pretty much spot on. It’s really just a matter of survival until the last 20 laps. That shouldn’t be how a race works, in my opinion. As far as driver talent, just like F1 there are great drivers and not so great drivers, so it’s silly to allege the talent level is low. My only major gripe with NASCAR though would be how the races are meddled with so much. There most definitely are caution flags thrown for phantom “debris”, and this is done to try to generate more excitement. NASCAR wants every race to be a major event, with fireworks and flyovers from military aircraft, and it doesn’t need to be that way. Let the drivers race.

  3. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 23rd February 2013, 19:54

    As with most sports American, NASCAR is quite uninteresting for me. This is probably the same for anyone living outside of the USA, or anyone who has lived outside of the USA for a while.

    I will fail to understand what is so captivating about NASCAR to viewers.

    Turning left in a Chevy for hours can be enthralling right? Please!

    NASCAR is not only a tragedy, it is also a liability to the world of Motorsport. Many of my non-Motorsport enthusiast friends who took a dim view of racing cars as a sport after seeing NASCAR now think differently after having seen F1.

    How can anyone ever like NASCAR anyway, after having seen F1 ? F1 is a true world sport which is followed by many worldly and educated (non-academic sense) viewers. F1 is more like a celebration of culture and diversity. Gearheads from all over the world unite at race events or people who wake up 3 in the morning to watch races in other continents.

    The average NASCAR follower probably could not answer where which body of water the Valencia circuit faces . Assuming he knew where Valencia was in the first place.

    I will always fail to understand how the nation that sent a man to the moon is captivated by NASCAR.

    • Liability to Motorsport? Nascar has had an equally rich history as F1.

    • Have you heard the phrase ‘Each to his own’? That’s why people like NASCAR. I’m a fan of NASCAR and am working towards a BSc in BioMedical Science, so intelligence shouldn’t come into it. HRT: Crap car, no chance of winning. That wouldn’t happen in NASCAR; it’s almost pure driver skill.

      • Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 24th February 2013, 1:00

        Instead of HRTs they have cars that enter and start the race with no intention of finishing it. At least HRT attempted to finish the races, not deliberately pull off after a handful of laps.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:30

          @blockwall2 yet again your “facts” are skewed, they do attempt to finish and due to lack of money like HRT for F1, things go wrong in the endurance run and they must leave. HRT is the same with part failures, so yet again the handful of laps they pull out after is due to not having big team money. Something that plagues other motorsports F1, Le Mans, and Rolex for example, yet you string it up as though Nascar is not in the same right.

          However, take the tin foil hat off, Nascar body wouldn’t allow a driver on the track that they knew would pull out during or break down during a race. That is a liability to other drivers, and if you read the rules you might know this.

    • @ideepak – and I assume this is coming from an American even, comsidering your use of the term gearhead as appose to the European/British petrolhead! As for this:

      I will always fail to understand how the nation that sent a man to the moon is captivated by NASCAR.

      Sadly that doesn’t reflect upon the population as a whole: only very few highly intelligent and well-funded people achieved that feat (although one could say the astronauts weren’t as intelligent as they are made out to be, considering Armstrong’s famous grammatical mistake – “that’s one small step for a man”!). This is not to say there aren’t intelligent NASCAR fans, just that I don’t think it is an intelligent sport.

      • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 24th February 2013, 0:02

        @vettel1

        Well yes I am an American – hence my extremely unbiased review!

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:36

        @vettel1 so based on a grammatical mistake that anyone could make he isn’t intelligent or as intelligent as the populus might like to think??
        Yeah, because that strawman theory you have seems vastly intelligent in its own right…

        Also being an aerospace engineer (master’s degree) and using that for space travel as well as working a space craft to the moon, but yeah we’ll go with what you say. You were probably joking.

        • davidnotcoulthard said on 24th February 2013, 10:34

          @vettel1 said “although one could say” , which probably means that it might not really reflect his opinion.

        • @magillagorilla

          You were probably joking

          I was!

          The last sentence of my statement was the only truly serious bit; of course there are intelligent fans (intelligence generally doesn’t relate to enjoyment of things) but I don’t think it is an intelligent sport. I actually like the sophistication in F1, which NASCAR sorely lacks apart from in the points system!

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 17:41

            @vettel1 You are trying to compare the sophistication of F1 to closed cockpit, full size sedan racing. By your reasoning there is only one other sport that has or ever had the sophistication of F1 and that is LMS. And many other sedan series lack sophistication as well, I think your issue and others is the lack of bends and hairpins in Nascar. At the end of the day that really seems to be the main issue, far too many ovals and I agree if you’d just come out and say it.

          • @magillagorilla – no, I meant exactly as I said. I don’t like the crudeness of NASCAR which is why I only ever watch F1, LMS (occasionally) or the F1 feeder series purely out of interest in seeing the next generation of F1 stars. I do also have an issue with the lack of bends (which I believe I have made apparent in other comments) but it is definitely a combination of factors. I am just as interested in the sophisticated engineering that goes into building an F1 car as I am the racing itself.

  4. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 23rd February 2013, 19:59

    Just a couple of corrections.

    — 36 races in the Cup Series not 33

    — Main body is sheet metal, but the hood & trunk lid are Carbon Fibre (Cup series starting this year) and the bumper-covers are a Kevlar composite.

    — They do have a fuel sensor, it’s just fuel pressure & not fuel level (though that is likely to change with the digital dash rumored to be introduced in the Cup series in 2014)

    — They do have power steering

    — There are stewards/officials and they do make calls for penalties during the race as well as pre/post-race technical infractions.

    — While it’s not “court” per-say if a team/driver does get a points/monetary penalty and/or suspension (not talking about during the race drive-thru/stop-go penalties) they can appeal that decision by taking it to the “National Stock Car Racing Appeals Board” which is a non-NASCAR owned group of people that NASCAR has agreed to follow the rules of (I think it may actually be ran by ACCUS which is the USA FIA branch). The Appeals board is made up of a group of roughly 40 people who are track owners/promoters, former drivers, former team owners, former/current sponsor/manufacture reps, etc I believe 4 of which are chosen by the Appeals Board Commissioner to hear the appeal in a setting that is very much like a court case. The Appeals Board then votes to leave the penalty alone, decrease or in rare cases increase it.

    — 48 is the maximum amount of points you can get per win. 43pt for 1st place, 1pt for leading a lap, 1pt for leading the most laps & 3pts bonus for winning the race. As the person that finishes 1st wins the race & leads a lap the minimum the winner can get is 47pts while the maximum is 48pts.

    — The Chase bonus points you are kind of confused on, the 12 drivers reset to 2,000pts & the top 10 in “regular season points” get 3pts bonus per win in the regular season added onto that 2,000pts. So if a driver has two wins & finished the “regular season” in the top 10 they would start the Chase with 2,006pts. The actual point payouts during the Chase races are the same as the regular season races.

    • William Brierty said on 23rd February 2013, 20:34

      If you were raining down so much truth in regards to F1 I would hold you up as a hero, but instead…(yawn)…

    • @fisha695 – that actually seems like rather a lot of corrections, but good job on the article @dominikwilde – it is very informative but sadly doesn’t change my traditional, European perspective on NASCAR! The points system appears ridiculous to me: why wouldn’t you just award 47 points to the winner and that would avoid confusion?

      I personally don’t like the crudeness of the cars and drivers (although the non-PR zombies is a good thing) and I do feel it is a quantity over quality sport (having more overtakes in one lap than a whole F1 race is not a good thing in my opinion) but I’m sure you will inspire other, less stubborn Europeans and non-Americans to watch the sport with what is a well-written and humble article!

      • …I should say also from the look of the points system the confusion is entirely justified!

        • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:37

          There is no confusion. The article on here says ‘raising the maximum available for a driver at each round to 45′ but When I submitted the article I typed 47, a mere typing error when the article was posted by the admin on the site. As for the rest of the correction, as far as I can see, it is exactly what I typed so there’s no confusion whatsoever.

    • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:28

      I think you’ll find there are only 33 points scoring races. Yes, no sensor saying how much fuel is left. I never mentioned the exact material of what the cars are made of and I checked the points thing before writing, what I submitted is correct. The appeals thing I didn’t go into detail with because an appeals commision is not something that would necessarily persuade you to watch the series, therefore there was no need for it to be mentioned.

      As for the power steering, that’s a simple mistake.

      So not that many corrections and if anything is incorrect, it’s better to email the site rather than mention it in a comment.

      • @dominikwilde – keep your socks on, it was only observational and I’m sure intended constructively so the readers on the site who are not as well informed on NASCAR as you or @fisha695 are getting the correct information (I am one of these people and so am very thankful for what I have said was a very informative and well-written article). No need for such an aggressive response.

        • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:17

          It wasn’t an aggressive, not intended to be anyway. Apologies

        • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:27

          Thank you :)

          I’m new to the game and have never had constuctive criticism or anything like it so I guess I should be pleased if anything. Never gonna move forward if I don’t learn :)

          • @dominikwilde – yea, usually criticism is well-natured: it’s a good little community! Everybody’s bound to make typos from time to time anyway, I’ve made several million at last count! ;)

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 9:31

            I would say that putting out an article generating 168 (including mine) and counting, comments, should be something to be proud of @dominikwilde, it certainly touched a snare there!

            I guess the confusion about the maximum points between even avid followers (and the amount of points paying races) just highlights some of the more confusing aspects you already mentioned!

            Isn’t the amount of races you disagree over due to some double headers?

      • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 23rd February 2013, 23:55

        Dude, I live & breathe NASCAR, I grew up around & working on Stockcars and I live like 10mi from Pocono Raceway. There are 36 Points paying Cup Series races in 2013 and there has been 36 points races in that series since the year 2001. The last time there was only 33 points races in the season was back in 1998 which was 15 years ago.

        The points you listed in the article as far as maximum points are not correct, the max per race is 48. 43 for finishing 1st, 3 for winning, 1 for leading a lap & 1 for leading the most laps; 43+3+1+1=48 not 45

  5. Suave (@suave) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:07

    I have always viewed NASCAR as more of a form of entertainment than racing. The multiple passing argument doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like scoring a point in basketball, if you can do it hundreds of times in an event, why should I get excited about every single one that is made.

    • Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:36

      Americans always prefer quantity over quality. Take their food for example.

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 24th February 2013, 10:49

        Well….they are delicious! :-) . Personally, NASCAR just doesn’t appeal too much to me, though the engines sound pretty nice.

        Indycar, though, is just something that I wish was a bit more international, perhaps by including European rounds – perhaps those tracks “F1 should use – but doesn’t” .(Brands Hatch? Imola? Even the Nordschlife? Perhaps the old Hockenheim, if only the there are still Ashpalt on it? Monza + the Oval? The Dutch track used by Moto GP (You know, the one with “TT” in it’s name)? Le Mans? Paul Richards?). Now, if Indycar is to include all those rounds, Ask Mark Webber about what he thinks about Spa alternating with Paul Richards, but maybe one or 2 of the tracks I listed might just be a good Idea.

  6. NASCAR has always been too crude for my tastes: I like the complexity and top-class engineering in F1. That said, F1 could learn some things from the drivers on how to “be a man” – not crashing into each other obviously but the reigns that sponsorship imposes on the drivers should be released; many people thoroughly enjoyed Kimi Räikkönen’s radio antics and more of that would be welcome!

    • Brace (@brace) said on 24th February 2013, 2:08

      @vettel1
      Well, aren’t you a marketeer’s dream come true? Do you also believe that F1 is all into green energy if they run through pits on electric power?

      Truth it that NASCAR drivers are more PR robots then F1 drivers, but the difference is that they have different sponsors who have different target audience. Namely rednecks who like seeing their heroes acting like cowboys in a bar brawl.

      F1 sponsors mostly target high-end markets and drivers are expected to behave accordingly, while giving a bit of a wild-card or playboy attitude that the rich snobs just don’t have the guts to live themselves.

      • @brace – absolutely the target audiences are different, but you can’t disagree that the NASCAR driver’s shackles are much more loose. I for one like to see the driver’s personalities which is a rare showing these days in F1; a shame because Hamilton & Vettel for example are actually quite funny guys.

        And for this:

        Well, aren’t you a marketeer’s dream come true? Do you also believe that F1 is all into green energy if they run through pits on electric power?

        For a start, they don’t and aren’t for a while yet. For seconds, even if they did I am not stupid: they still are belching out carbon emissions from the engines (although significantly less now in 2014): Le Mans already has that as a regulation, but they still have (on the Audi R18 Ultra) 3.7 litre engines – bigger than the current F1 V8’s (although probably more efficient). That all said though, F1’s carbon impact is minuscule in the general scheme of things: the sport isn’t single handedly slaughtering polar bears. And McLaren are now at the point where they do less environmental damage than a lot of other businesses.

        So to answer your (I assume rhetorical) question, no, I don’t. I think that is primarily to prove, as in the case of Le Mans, that the electric power is capable of powering the car solely for some time. But the technology could filter down to road cars, and there it absolutely would have an environmental effect.

  7. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:11

    i really dont believe that a nascar driver could jump into an f1 car and be quick, with the exception of montoya

    • @scuderia29 – I too don’t quite believe that: F1 is a huge step up from NASCAR, with much higher g-loads and a much wider variety in the skill-set needed to be competitive. The cars are much more complex and hence sensitive, so you definitely need an element of finesse to drive one which is required in NASCAR but not to the same extent.

      So yes, I think F1 drivers could jump into a stock car and be reasonably competitive, but I don’t think necessarily the opposite is true.

      • Kanil (@kanil) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:25

        Then why haven’t they? Montoya hasn’t been particularly impressive, and Villeneuve wasn’t spectacular either…

        (Nor was Scott Speed, but he doesn’t really count, does he?)

        • @kanii – because most drivers tend to try and stay in the European racing spectrum! Most defunct F1 drivers, if they go to any series at all, go to DTM or Endurance racing, in which the cars are also very different but have enjoyed much success in cases (Alan McNish to take one example). Montoya agreed hasn’t lived up to expectations but Villeneuve was never highly regarded as world champions go: a bit like Damon Hill. I’m sure a driver such as Hamilton though would enjoy success (I have used him as an example because it appears he is more adaptable than say Vettel in terms of what classes of cars he is competitive in).

        • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 24th February 2013, 11:09

          but..look at montoya, he might not be winning championships (then again neither did he in f1) but he is competitive, he’s certainly not cruising around at the back, whereas i think if you took an nascar driver this year and put him in that vacant force india seat he’d be lapped 20 times by the end of the race..and thats if he wasnt in a wall. like @Max Jacobson said, f1 is a huge step up from nascar, sure nascar needs a huge amount of skill too…but the drivers dont need some of the skills that f1 drivers, its a very different set of skills and i believe a young formula renault driver would have more success than a champion nascar driver if they just got thrown into an f1 car.

  8. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:16

    where can I even watch this in UK on Freeview?

  9. Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:17

    Yawn. Watch world superbikes and supersport instead. The racing is simply too awesome for words.

    • Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:18

      Not to mention the races only last 40~45 minutes. And you get 2 races for superbikes and 1 race for supersport every race weekend. First round is tonight at Phillip Island.

      DON’T MISS IT !!!

  10. angelflorida (@angelflorida) said on 23rd February 2013, 20:42

    I actually live an hour away from the Daytona International Speedway but I’ve never been to a race. I might go next year.

  11. hays33d (@hays33d) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:45

    I’m an American and love F1 and just about any form of road racing. I am not a fan of NASCAR. But the comments here are surprisingly venomous. If something doesn’t interest you, don’t you just ignore it? The opposite of love is not hate. It’s apathy. I think the haters are protesting too much and have some other latent issues going on.Was your father killed by Chevy Malibu?

    Plus the article isn’t saying you should love it. Just consider it. Sheesh.

    • @hays33d I agree — I think people are being kind of hard on @DominikWilde for reasons I can’t understand. The gratuitous comments about “all Americans” are a bit grating, as well. You might be on to something, though — maybe there is some sort of Chevy-related trauma involved…

      • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 24th February 2013, 0:55

        Just trying to share something I’m passionate about. If people don’t like it, that’s fine but there are better ways of going about it.

        • @dominikwilde Well, for what it’s worth, you’ve definitely made me interested in paying more attention to NASCAR. Do you mind my asking which NASCAR driver(s) you support? (I’m just curious.)

          • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 24th February 2013, 18:47

            I’ve been a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan my whole life, it was his Dad’s famous black #3 that got me interested in NASCAR when I was 4 or 5 years old. I’m also a fan of Trevor Bayne and was impressed with Clint Bowyer last year.

            Travis Pastrana has just started NASCAR competition in the Nationwide series and I’m a fan of all he does too.

            Team-wise, my favourite team is Hendrick Motorsports. Plus, they build cars and engines for other teams so I always keep an eye on what these guys do.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th February 2013, 4:45

      @hays33d Finally someone said it, it is irritating especially some people almost borderline xenophobic or anti-america in their comments. I love F1Fanatic, but the people that make these comments don’t do a board like this any good. Also for those non-americans that feel the need to bash, it is ironic, your conservative attitude and negative response is quite like the American Political system. You have more in common with that of what you bash, than you probably think @ all anti posters.

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 24th February 2013, 9:50

      Exactly my thoughts too, if the comments were reversed and about F1 instead of NASCAR all those people would be flipping their lids & near getting banned for how outraged they’d be that somebody could not like their precious over-grown go-karts. l0l

      • @fisha695 – yes, but this website is called F1Fanatic after all! I doubt there are very many people on this site that don’t like F1! ;)

        I agree wholly with you @hays33d – although personally I don’t like NASCAR and am a Brit I respect that others may intend to watch it but perhaps just needed that extra incentive to did so that @dominikwilde has provided with this article. Also, the American stereotype of course doesn’t apply to everyone, which is why I am very careful if talking about “American” sports to mention that in general the population has different interests than your average European sports viewer.

  12. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 23rd February 2013, 21:59

    The sound of an F1 grid is amazing ! We all agree. But the feel , sound and spectical of 43 old school v8 cars wide open is earth shaking. It takes your breath away you can feel your internal organs vibrate. second only to the feeling of a shuttle launch! For Indy to v8 super cars, from porches to F1 nothing compares to the moment when that grid goes past.

  13. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:21

    In my opinion, tin top racing will always have its place, but single seaters is what gets my adrenaline pumping.

    In terms of NASCAR, I use to watch it in the mid 90’s religiously and it was entertaining to a point. But after watching 5 seasons back to back, I got the feeling that the series was very 1 dimensional. If you had the fastest car, it mattered naught because if you were in the top 10 with 10 laps to go, you had a shot at the win, and that was mostly down to drafting. The 0.5 mile ovals were just crash fests and the fans really seem to love those.

  14. socksolid (@socksolid) said on 23rd February 2013, 22:33

    One of the reasons that I can’t watch nascar live is the huge amount of adverts during the show. You basically get 5 minute advert breaks every 10 minutes. For someone who has gotten used to watching f1 without any adverts during the race the amount of adverts during a nascar broadcast is just insane. It really is insane, believe me.

    Plus the nascar races are mostly just driving around. Only the last 20 laps matter out of the 200. Some drivers even complain if you drive “too hard” too early in the race. In f1 you see hard battles all the time throughout the race and position always mattes. In nascar you are simply expected to give away position if someone faster is behind you. Only the last 20 laps are different. That is because there are yellow flags which basically means the race is halted and after couple of laps the race restarts. So track position is not even closely as important as in f1.

    Not to mention the “boys have at it” attitude means there is tons of unprofessional wrecking going on in every race causing the yellow flags to come up quite often. Someone gets spun around and then few minutes later he drives into that other car on purpose to wreck him and take him out. At times it feels like these drivers are 12 year old. At times it is like watching some wwe wrestling…

    All that being said the cars are sexy, big engines, great sound and when the drivers keep their childish attitudes in check and there doesn’t happen to be advert break at that moment it can be quite fun to watch. Part of what makes watching those nascar races worthwhile is the technical car setup adjusting that goes on during the race. The cars are hard to drive and the race commentators do great job in covering what is being to done to the cars in pitstops. They show the real part of the real car that is being adjusted and explain what and why is that change being made. I’d wish f1 had that too.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 9:41

      Plus the nascar races are mostly just driving around. Only the last 20 laps matter out of the 200. Some drivers even complain if you drive “too hard” too early in the race. In f1 you see hard battles all the time throughout the race and position always mattes. In nascar you are simply expected to give away position if someone faster is behind you. Only the last 20 laps are different.

      Funny @socksolid, much of that would accurately describe F1 in the years before race refuelling was banned again. Cars driving around waiting until after the last pitstop to try and improve a position. Often highlighted even more because their only chance to get past someone would be by stopping one early or keeping out for longer too!

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