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What Type Of Cars Are NASCAR Cars?

By Owen Jones_

Stock car racing was really born out of the desire of owners of modified stock (meaning: ‘off the sales lot’) cars to show off their vehicles, handimanship and driving expertise. The desire to ‘soup up’ these stock cars came from the wish to escape the law enforcement agencies pursuing them when they were running moonshine or said another way, bootlegging.

For the period of Prohibition, a lot of moonshine whiskey was being produced in isolated regions of the Appalachians and in particular the Allegheny Mountains, from where it was transported by private carriers in their own stock cars often to the southern states. Many of these drivers tuned up their cars in order to have more chance of escape.

When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, this bootlegging continued in order to circumvent paying duty, but it slowly died out. However, the fire had already been lit and the drivers of these cars liked to race them in their spare time for pride and reward, particularly in the southern states and particularly in North Carolina, where most of the stock car teams are still to be found.

NASCAR was founded by Bill French in 1947 when he created the first set of standardized rules and a championship points system so that an overall winner of all the season’s races could be determined.

However, the conditions in the early days were pretty crude. The cars were often second-hand and worn and the track was just dirt and dust. Under these circumstances the cars rapidly fell apart, so NASCAR permitted competing cars to be customized or strengthened. Safety aspects for the drivers were also brought in. These days, the NASCAR instruction manual clearly defines all the modifications that are allowed on competing cars.

These days it is a mistake to call NASCAR cars ‘stock cars’; they are anything but stock cars. NASCAR cars are hand made. The frames are different from stock cars in that they are manufactured from tubes for strength; the tin is sheet steel and the engine blocks begin as simply that – a bare block. What the mechanics do with it after that is a closely guarded secret.

The safety of the driver is also taken very seriously. The driver is shielded from harm by a heavy roll cage. Strong round and square tubes make up the car’s framework, while thinner tubing is employed at the front and back ends to soak up the impact of crashes by crushing gradually. These are called clips and the front clip will also allow the engine to fall away under the car, rather than be forced straight back into the driver.

The bodies of NASCAR cars are not easy to make, often taking ten days to finish. However, NASCAR rules encompass the general body shape and they provide thirty templates to make making a NASCAR car a bit easier.

But it does not stop there. There are different rules and templates for different sorts of races on different tracks, because the cars that race on superspeedways are not the same as those used for short tracks or endurance races.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on many topics, but is at present concerned with thinking about the Poconos Raceway in Pennsylvania. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Poconos Vacations.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "What Type Of Cars Are NASCAR Cars?." What Type Of Cars Are NASCAR Cars?. 21 Jun. 2010. 27 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jones_, O (2010, June 21). What Type Of Cars Are NASCAR Cars?. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "What Type Of Cars Are NASCAR Cars?"

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