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12 Dec 2018

6 Toughest Tracks in NASCAR History

 

When you compete in NASCAR, then the advice which comes from crew chiefs, team owners, and veterans is the same: you must always race the racetrack.

There are tracks in NASCAR which are old, while there are some that are new. Some races are tougher on the equipment than others. There are places where your tires will get eaten up faster.

Then there are the NASCAR tracks which are robust in every way. These are the ones that make history because of the challenges they present. 

#1 Infineon Raceway

Street driving is always tough on NASCAR teams. Your equipment is designed to go straight, and then turn left. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of bumping and grinding on the small track where drivers are flat-out wrecking one another. If you’re in the starting field at this track, then you have a chance to win the race.

#2. Darlington

This historic venue never seems to get any easier. Drivers prefer the racing groove that is right around the top of the track. If you want to create a successful pass, then you must bomb down underneath and hope for the best. Most drivers end up seeing the right side of their vehicles trashed because of all the wall impacts that occur.

#3. Richmond

This race track is interesting for NASCAR because it’s ½ a short track and the other half an aerodynamic track. There is a balance of temper and downward force which must combine to create a successful driving experience. If your vehicle isn’t handling well, then there’s a good chance you won’t be finishing this race.

#4. Daytona

The granddaddy of them all is still a tough place to win a race. When you add in the two-car drafting habits that have developed in recent years, it gets even worse. You’re not going to win if you don’t have a partner to help you out here. Trying to figure out who will work with you, or who wants to take advantage of you, becomes a challenge that no game of chess could ever prepare you to manage.

#5. Pocono

This track only offers three turns, so it earns the nickname of the “Tricky Triangle.” Each corner is different, but that doesn’t mean you slow down. Cars are traveling 200mph, which leaves little room for error. It is rare that a driver has a vehicle which works well in each turn. Whoever wins this race tends to be the one that can manage the one turn their car doesn’t like in the best possible way.

#6. Indianapolis

Your car chews up its tires when racing here. Part of the reason is due to the age of the track. There’s also the issue of the right tire needing more strength than the others because of the wear patterns that happen to the vehicle. If you push too hard on it, then you’re going to smash into the wall at some point during the race.

What are your favorite races to watch during the NASCAR circuit each year? 

02 Nov 2018

5 Tragic NASCAR Fatalities in History

 

When you’re racing cars at up to 200 mph, then accidents are going to happen. Although engineers try to make NASCAR as safe as possible, there is always the chance that a serious injury – even a fatality – could occur.

The premier NASCAR series has seen a total of 28 driver fatalities occur over its history. Dale Earnhardt was the last driver to be killed on the track when his vehicle wrecked in the 2001 edition of the Daytona 500.

Losing a life is always a tragedy. Some accidents put the lives of fans in danger too. These are the worst incidents that happened in NASCAR history.

#1. Pocono 2012

One of the most tragic fatalities in NASCAR history doesn’t involve vehicles at all. Several fans huddled underneath the tent to stay dry during the thunderstorm, but a bolt of lightning struck the structure. Nine spectators were injured in the aftermath, with one fatality occurring because of this natural disaster.

#2. New Hampshire 2000

Kenny Irwin, Jr. was rounding turn 3 during a practice run when his vehicle slammed hard head-on into the wall. The car flipped onto its side, sliding for a while before it landed on its roof. Irwin was killed instantly because of a basilar skull fracture.

#3. Daytona 1994

The practice runs during this race claimed two lives: Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr. The first was a legendary driver, while the latter was making his Cup debut. Each occurred during separate practice incidents three days apart from each other. Rusty Wallace lectured the field, calling out drivers for being too aggressive on the track. Sterling Marlin would win the race, the first of his career.

#4. Watkins Glen 1991

J.D. McDuffie died of severe head injuries during the fifth lap of the Budweiser at The Glen. He collided with Jimmy Means at 170mph after suffering a mechanical issue with his vehicle. There was no way for him to steer, nor was there a gravel trap in the corner. He went across the grass, hitting the outside retaining wall so hard that the vehicle shot upward, then landed on its roof. The official cause of death was a basilar skull fracture. McDuffie collected 106 Top 10 finishes over an almost 30-year racing career, but he never got a win at the top level.

#5. Atlanta 1989

It was the season finale at the track. Grant Adcox crashed heavily into the wall on Lap 198 in a single-car accident. The impact had such strength that the racing seat tore away from its mount entirely, which caused massive chest and head injuries. An investigation afterward determined that the seat was improperly mounted. The incident led to new safety regulations for the 1990 season for the way seats were installed.

There have been several tragedies over the years which have claimed the life of drivers at all levels of racing. NASCAR has been lucky to avoid issues since Dale Earnhardt’s accident almost two decades ago. With a continued emphasis on safety, hopefully another tragedy does not occur. 

22 Oct 2018

7 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time

 

NASCAR offers numerous drivers who reached legendary status throughout their career. Their portfolio of work stands the test of time, even as different driving eras change the way races are won.

Do you agree with who we think are the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time?

#1. Richard Petty

There’s a reason why he is known as “The King.” Over the course of his career, he won seven Cup championships, 200 races, 123 pole positions, and even earned 27 wins in a single season. In 1967, Petty won 10 consecutive times. He’s also a 7-time winner of the Daytona 500.

#2. David Pearson

Casual fans of NASCAR might disagree, but Pearson’s 105 wins and 3 cup titles are impressive because he never ran on a full-time schedule during his career. He won his trio of championships in 1966, 1968, and 1969. Pearson would also earn 113 pole positions and finished in second place a total of 30 times in just two years.

#3. Dale Earnhardt

Although he was taken from NASCAR far too early, the “Intimidator” what is the dominant force on the circuit. He probably would have won his eighth championship in 2001. With 76 total wins and another 21 Nationwide (Busch) series wins in just 136 starts, his talent was the kind you see only once in a generation.

#4. Jimmie Johnson

No one knew who Johnson was when Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick took a flyer on him in 2001. Before the end of the decade, NASCAR would have its first five-time consecutive champion. In those first nine years, Johnson even finished in the top five in the point standings when he didn’t win the championship. He has won 7 Cups as of 2018, a total of 83 races, and he’s won at 20 different tracks.

#5. Jeff Gordon

He used to be known as the “Kid.” He’s a three-time winner of the Daytona 500, holds 81 pole positions (third all-time), and has one at least one pole position in 23 consecutive seasons. Hard to believe he’s 47 years old. His 93 wins on the circuit are impressive, as are the 477 top 10s that he earned.

#6. Cale Yarborough

Yarborough was the original NASCAR dynasty. Cale won three consecutive championships from 1976 to 1978. He also won 83 races throughout his career, with 28 of them coming during his championship years. He earned a total of 68 poles and finished runner-up in the series three times: in 1973, 1974, and 1980.

#7. Bobby Allison

Allison might still be racing in NASCAR if he hadn’t needed to retire in 1988 because of his injuries. He earned 84 career victories over the course of his career, 58 poles, and was the 1983 champion. Allison also has three Daytona 500 wins, all of which helped him become enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Numerous drivers have created moments for themselves in NASCAR history. These are the legends who will be remembered throughout the history of the sport.