The How NASCAR Race Cars work.

HOW NASCAR RACE CARS WORK
PART I

THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST

How do NASCAR race cars work?



NASCAR is a huge sport across America and the rest of the world but it came from something that is very different from the NASCAR that we think of today. When the sport of stock car racing began, people would buy brand new cars to drive with and would take them out racing. It wasn’t until 1947 when stock car racing became a little more popular and due to that, a little more dangerous, that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was established. NASCAR then created a list of specific rules for stock car racing and created formal competitions so that drivers could compete within their own area and then meet up with winners from other areas to compete nationally.

Just as the types of cars that were used were very different, the driving conditions also were nothing like the paved tracks that we see today. They were dirt roads that were very dusty and not smooth in any area. The cars that were being used were not capable of driving on these roads at such fast speeds without suffering incredible amounts of damage and so, NASCAR also created a list of different repairs and improvements that could be made to the cars. Sometimes these improvements were to add to the safety of the drivers and some were to improve the performance of the car however, everything was closely monitored and regulated by NASCAR, as it still is today. Every car entered into any NASCAR competition is always checked to make sure that it meets the regulations. No, buying a car from a dealer for the purposes of NASCAR racing simply would not do by today’s standards and in big part that’s due to the fact that the cars that are used in today’s races have been custom-made and usually built by hand piece-by-piece. The finished product is a car that is designed to withstand extreme speeds, extreme damage, and still come out smelling like roses! So how, exactly, do these fantastic machines work?

The making of every NASCAR car begins with the frame and the frame usually begins as a prefabricated structure that consists of different tubing and other sections. The tubing is there to protect the car and the driver from the damage that it will incur during a race and for this reason, the majority of the tubing and the structure surround the driver’s area. This area of the tubing is known as the roll cage and it is here that you will find the thickest kind of tubing in the entire frame. This tubing will protect the driver from anything he encounters during a crash, such as walls, other drivers, or the car rolling. The front end of the car is called the front clip and the rear area is called the rear clip. These sections are made from tubing that is quite thin so that should it be hit during a crash, it will easily collapse and not cause any further damage. The front clip is also designed so that should the engine suffer great impact during a crash, the front clip will push the engine to the rear clip in the back and not into the driver’s seat, which it normally would.

These frames come assembled like this to the shops where NASCAR cars are constructed. Once the frames have arrived, the shop will then install the firewall, which is a metal panel that separates the driver’s area from the engine area. At the same time that these sections are welded in, different mounting brackets are also installed that will hold things such as the engine, suspension, seat, fuel cell, and body. Once the frame has been completed, the body can then begin to be worked on. Making the body of the car and fitting it onto the frame is the hardest part of designing a NASCAR race car and takes about ten full working days for only one car.

The making of the body of the car is even more closely regulated by NASCAR than the making of the frame. For each car, NASCAR will provide a set of 30 templates. These templates are designed to fit over every section of the car. For example, the largest template fits down the center of the car and extends towards the back. Other templates fit around it until the shape of the car is made. Not only must the shop be extremely detail-oriented and meticulous about which pieces fit where on the car, but there are also regulations for how large or small the gaps between the different templates can be. Each template is marked on its edge with either a blue color or a red color. If the colored edge is red, than the gap between the templates must be no larger than 0.07 inches (0.18 centimeters) and if the colored edge is blue the gap between the templates must be no larger than 0.25 inches (0.64 centimeters.) There are also edges that are colored green and these gaps must be no larger than 0.5 inches (1.27 centimeters.) As strict as these regulations are, there is a little wiggle room in making a NASCAR racing car. The 30 templates provided by NASCAR aren’t enough to cover every single inch of a car and so, not every space can be regulated by the association.

The hood, the roof, and the deck lid are supplied by Dodge but other than those pieces, every inch of a NASCAR racing car is trimmed and then hand-rolled between the wheels of an English wheel, which will manipulate, bend, and twist the metal until it matches the shape that is on the NASCAR-provided template. Once these pieces are shaped, they are placed onto the car to make sure that they will fit properly. After it’s been confirmed that they are the proper shape, the pieces are welded onto the car one at a time. After they’ve been welded, all the pieces are sanded to a smooth finish. Once every piece has been welded onto the frame, the car is one seamless piece of machinery that is perfectly fitted altogether and will not move. The doors on a NASCAR racing car don’t even open! Once the car has become this single piece of machine and has been sanded down, the car is primed and painted. After this process, several decals are installed to make the car look more like a regular car. These decals include headlights as NASCAR racing cars don’t actually have any!

Even though the making of a NASCAR race car is so highly regulated and monitored, still not every NASCAR car is designed with the same specifications. Some cars are built to be short-track cars while others are made to be super-speedway cars. Although spectators and fans may not be able to instantly tell a difference between the two, there are some major differences between the two and it mostly depends on the type of track that they ride on. Short-track cars are designed with making as much dowforce as possible. Downforce is an aerodynamic force that keeps the car closer to the ground and this makes the tires grip the track even tighter. The body of short-track cars sits about 5 inches further back on the frame than super-speedway cars in an effort to create more downforce and the cars are also tested in a wind tunnel to make sure that there is enough downforce. These types of cars race on tracks that are designed for cars with lower speeds but tighter turns. This design allows the cars to take the turns more quickly but it does also create more of a drag. However, because these cars are designed for shorter tracks, the increase in drag is irrelevant as the engine has the power to still make it through the drag and to the finish line. Another problem with these types of cars is that due to their reduced speed, they tend to have problems cooling the engine as quickly as super-speedway cars can. To compensate for this problem, short-track race cars are designed with larger vents in the front grills and extra air vents are installed to blow directly onto the brakes to cool them.

PART 2

NASCAR Race Cars.

 The How NASCAR Race Cars work of NASCAR Race Cars.

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