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The Thrill and Technicalities Behind Famous Car Races

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Car races are exhilarating whether you’re an audience or a racer. The adrenaline rush of which car finishes first, the turns, the screeching–these are all part of the fun. Even if people are watching from a TV screen at home, they can’t help but scream and cheer on their favorite drivers.

There’s so much hype in these games. Many people love the thrill, but there are still people who don’t understand the hype. To some, these are just a bunch of sticker-wrapped cars and go-karts. Well, there’s so much more to it that the biggest names in the world are invested in these races. To understand how these races work, you may need an explainer of drag racing, Formula 1, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Drag Racing

The legalities of drag racing have been controversial when it started. Fortunately, today, drag strips have been created to reduce the dangers of drag racing.

In drag racing, two cars compete with each other to the finish line. This is called a heads-up race. The events are held on a drag strip or racetrack where the cars have to race in a straight line.

Sometimes, the race is not always about who reaches the finish line first. Another type of drag racing is called handicap racing. Here, vehicles of varying speeds can compete with each other.

In this match, racers set a time based on how long they think they will reach the finish line. The racer should have an actual time that is the closest to their predicted time. The caveat is that the racer has a speed limit.

An important part of drag racing is their lights–or what they call the “Christmas Tree.” The lights determine the start of the race, and the tree signals the timers for each car.

Formula 1

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The mechanics of a Formula 1 race is pretty straightforward. The car that reaches the finish line first is the winner. Even then, there’s a lot of beauty and genius infused in the race.

The cars follow meticulous guidelines to regulate modifications. As a result, developers need to compromise the modifications they can apply to the car. There may also be times when developers find loopholes in the regulations and take advantage of them.

The race is so planned out, and they give such attention to detail that even the tires have their own regulations. This is completely reasonable, given that tires determine a lot of the team’s strategy.

These rules exist to protect the drivers as well. Choosing the wrong tires in a wet race can compromise the safety of the race. Additionally, a thin tire may not last an entire race. Hence, each team is guaranteed a pitstop.

A pitstop is like a maintenance team during the race. The pit crew has to be quick as lightning in changing the tires. While a whole pitstop can last from 25-30 seconds, Red Bull’s pit crew holds the world record for the fastest pitstop, doing their job in 1.82 seconds. They did it without car tire changer machines, as pit crews usually have 16 people doing the job themselves.

To be a driver, a person needs a “superlicense,” which sounds incredibly cool. Earning this kind of license means accumulating enough points from championships. A driver should also be physically fit to control the steering wheel and go against strong gravitational forces.

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup Series

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a sanctioning company that operates some of the most famous races in the United States. They have national series, regional series, and one local series. Among their most popular races in the national series are the Sprint Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series.

Oftentimes, the term “NASCAR” is associated with its Sprint Cup Series. The series consists of 36 races on oval tracks, D-shaped tracks, and road courses.

The Sprint Cup Series features four-door American cars that have been solely built for the race. So, they look like regular cars–but not really. This appearance is due to the “stock car” rule of the company, as reflected by its name.

The build of these cars makes side contact with other cars possible while avoiding accidents. Because of this, developers place fenders on cars.

The Takeaway

The “need for speed” of people is grounded in the fact that these races have so many technicalities involved in them. What looks like child’s play hides a bunch of rules, regulations, and history underneath it.

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