Archive for October 1st, 2013

A look at NASCAR from Emily’s view

October 1st, 2013 by Emily Phung | 1 Comment | Filed in General, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly


I had the pleasure of going to the second biggest televised sports in the US after football, which was a NASCAR race this past month. To give you a bit of background, it is a globally televised event with over 75 million fans that involves stock car and truck racing. NASCAR started back in 1947 by William France, Sr in Daytona, Florida. Daytona Beach is home to NASCAR headquarters, because in the past, it was an area where speed records were held since the highways there are long and straight, which allowed for optimal racing conditions. Many elite and well recognized companies sponsor the races such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Target to name just a few. NASCAR holds three series of races, which are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the most recognizable of all the 3 series of races. It consists of 36 races over 10 months and the Chase for the Cup is when the top 12 drivers compete to be eligible for the championship. A winner of each race wins 43 points and the hierarchy of points falls afterwards. The winner gets a sizable monetary award as well as other fringe benefits. The Nationwide Series has fewer races than the Sprint Series and also has less award money and has less prestige. The Camping World Truck Series uses pickup trucks that are modified from their regular use into speed machines.

My experience at the race

I arrived in Dover, Delaware for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and could see for miles that people were camping out and tailgating right next to the stadium. It was fun to walk through the tailgating sections to see how fans decorated or how elaborate their food selection was. Before walking into the main event, there were trailers decorated with the race car drivers where you can buy their promotional and marketing gear. A lot of the sponsors also bring in their own cars to show them off or give out samples of their products to try. Before the race, they have a few trucks riding around with jet dryers (the ones from commercial airplanes) to clean off the track to ensure a clean race. Afterwards is when the fun starts.

The drivers are introduced and then they head into their racecars to begin the race. They do a few laps following a safety car (a car that leads the racecars in the beginning of a race or when there is a cautionary flag) and then once the safety car drives into the pit area, the racing begins or resumes. At this particular race, it was called the Monster Miles, which is stated to be the World’s Fastest one mile oval. The  drivers had to do 400 laps to finish the race. It was quite a loud race since they are going more than 175-200 mph so wearing headphones or earplugs is highly recommended. I especially loved watching the speed of the pit crew changing tires when the drivers needed some maintenance on their racecars. Overall, it was a warm sunny day and perfect driving conditions for the drivers. It took about a little over 3 hours, and in the end, Jimmie Johnson,who won 5 titles previously for the NASCAR Sprint Series, won the race.

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