If you’re interested in cars in general, you’ve probably dreamed of driving a race car. Many of us dream of becoming a professional racecar driver, but even if you haven’t made it that far yet, you’ll probably be glad you tried. And if someone offered you America’s most popular race car for free as a daily driver, you’d probably jump at the chance with both hands. You’ll be amazed when you find out what it’s like to drive a NASCAR race car.
Can you buy a NASCAR race car?
In fact, you can, but you probably don’t want to. First, they may look like a normal car, but they are far from it. Second, they seem to be very difficult to control.
Unlike traditional vehicles, which are regulated by the state and the EPA, NASCAR vehicles are regulated only by NASCAR. They don’t have to have the things you and I usually expect from our cars, like headlights, taillights, turn signals, and of course, doors. You had to crawl through the windows to get in and out. These things aren’t machines at all. I mean they have four wheels, an engine, a steering wheel, a gearbox and a seat, but other than that they are nothing like what we are used to driving.
What is the power of NASCAR?
They make about 750 horsepower. There are a number of rules and regulations about what race teams may do to maintain this performance. For example, NASCAR engines need to get their power output without turbos or superchargers. Everything is recorded, of course.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Josh Riom | Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
APPROPRIATE: The illegal origins of NASCAR
These massive V8 engines are somewhat similar to what is found in legal vehicles, except that they are much less efficient and user-friendly. According to How the Matter Works, they still use carburetors instead of fuel injectors to better manage the massive amounts of fuel and air. Speaking of which, your commute to work would be much more expensive if you took NASCAR to work.
How much fuel does NASCAR use in a race?
For most of us, fuel economy is an important factor when choosing a car. You can complain if you buy it, if it goes 20 mph, if the car is cool enough. According to How the Thing Works, most NASCAR drivers get 5 miles per gallon. FIVE! To give a little more context, the Daytona 500 is so named because the race is 500 miles long (500 laps of 1 mile).
Not only is the consumption terrible for a car, but 40 of these monsters are race cars. So if you calculate those numbers, about 6000 gallons are used during a race weekend. It’s also a racing fuel, so rougher than what we use at the pump, and it costs a lot more. Each gallon of fuel contains about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. According to How the Thing Works, if you add it up, that would amount to about 120,000 pounds of CO2 for the weekend. Part of the problem is that these cars, for the same reason that they don’t have headlights, are also not equipped with anti-pollution devices like catalytic converters that clean the exhaust to reduce pollution.
It may be the most uncomfortable car ever built.
These things are the definition of Spartans. There’s nothing in there to keep the car running or the driver alive. The housing is made of a plastic/carbon fiber shell placed on a strong frame. Since the cars have to be as light and simple as possible, there is no air conditioning, no stereo and no amenities of any kind. Like, no. It’s a steel cage with pedals, sensors and a steering wheel. It is reported that the temperature inside the cabin can reach 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is literally nothing appealing about these cars unless you want to go 200mph in a big oven. People like to criticize NASCAR drivers for not being real racers, but the truth is that these races are extremely long and grueling. The stamina needed to finish the race, let alone make the podium, is just incredible. All I know is that daily driving in the city (even though it’s pretty illegal) is not only difficult, but miserable in the city.
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