Introduction to NASCAR:
- Predominantly an oval shape, but few are not a set shape.
Types of race tracks:
- Short tracks: Laps that range from a half mile (0.5) to one (1) mile long.
- Intermediate: Laps that range from a mile (1) in length or longer.
- Superspeedways: Laps that range from two miles (2) in length or longer.
- Road courses: Road courses are usually the longest laps.
- The number of laps depends on the length of the race and the length of the track.
- Races range from 300-600 miles.
- Qualifying races are held to determine the starting positions.
- Determined by three (3) metrics:
- Finishing position (50%)
- Points position (35%)
- Fastest race lap (15%)
- If a race is started and rained out, it will pick up where it left off on a future determined date.
Each race has three stages to it.
- Stage 1: Laps 1-60
- Stage 2: Laps 61-120
- Stage 3: Laps 121-End of Race
Points Scoring for Drivers:
- Points are accumulated over each of the 36 races. There is a reset for the 16 drivers in the playoffs after the regular-season finale at Daytona.
- Green – Go – clean racing
- Green & White Checkered – End of stage – This flag is waved after a stage has been completed. After the first 10 drivers of the stage cross the finish line, the caution flag is waved.
- Yellow – Caution for an accident or debris – Drivers will slow down behind the pace car and drive cautiously around the track.
- Red – Stop – Drivers will stop on a designated area of the track.
- Black – Safety Infraction – When the black flag is waved at a driver it means he must pit because he did something wrong or his car is not approved to be on the track.
- Black / White cross – No longer scored – This flag lets a driver know he did not answer the black flag and the driver is no longer being scored.
- Blue – Course area caution – This flag is not used on oval courses. The blue flag is used to let drivers know of stopped cars.
- Blue / Diagonal yellow stripe – Passing – When the blue flag is waved, it means a faster car is about to lap them and they need to yield to that car, or a partially blocked track. A driver can be black flagged for not following this.
- White – Last lap – The white flag means the race leader is on his last lap.
- Checkered – Finish – When the checkered flag is waved, it means a driver has crossed the finish line and won the race.
- Like all other sports, there are certain actions that get you in trouble and are not allowed. See some of the penalties below.
- Stop and Go – Go back to pit and stop and go
- Pass-through Penalty – Go back and drive through pit road at speed
- One Lap Penalty – Go to pit and wait a lap before you go
- Start at the rear – A number of different infractions pre race can cause this
- Fines – $$
- Loss of pit crew member
- 16 drivers make the playoffs. Based on points and wins during the regular season.
- Elimination races then begin, where playoff drivers either move on or are eliminated. 16 to 8 to 4, each elimination round consists of three races, then the final race where only the 4 drivers left can win the championship.