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How can NASCAR cars go so fast

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 - Qualifying
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 - Qualifying
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Modified 12 Jan 2021, 20:07 IST
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NASCAR cars can clock speeds above 200 miles per hour (mph) and an astonishing 0 to 60 mph in 3 to 3.5 seconds. While these are mindblowing numbers, there are laws of physics coupled with serious horsepower that make them a possibility.

During the acceleration process, NASCAR cars exert an average of 2600 lb of horizontal force across the tracks.

Despite the mechanics of the NASCAR car, the drivers have to be equally adept in pulling off and maintaining such high speeds. They have to drive these cars at just the correct speed to be able to make successful turns at curves.

NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

However, anything more on the speedometer than what is required, there is a chance of a possible crash.

A typical NASCAR race lasts for around 3.5 hours. Imagine going at speeds of around 200 mph all through while the curves along the way don't make the job any easier!

However, it can be summed up by saying that it is the need for speed and adrenaline that makes NASCAR what it is.

Read More- When does NASCAR start in 2021?


How do NASCAR cars derive such power?

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NASCAR Cup Series Test
NASCAR Cup Series Test

NASCAR cars run on gasoline. The power is generated when the gas burns during the rotation of the car engine.

Since NASCAR cars are heavy-duty, their engines are 3.5 times faster than regulation cars. The efficiency and consistency of performance is something NASCAR teams heavily invest in.

The power used by stock cars during NASCAR races is a mind-boggling 500 times the power usage of a regular household.

Predominantly customised for racing, stock cars have a horsepower of around 750 hp. An average car's does not exceed 300 hp.

Bill Elliott, a record 16-times winner of the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award, clocked an insane 212.809 mph in his 1987 Thunderbird. This qualifying lap at Talladega still stands as the top official speed in NASCAR history.

However, considering the insanely high speeds of NASCAR cars, collisions and crashes are always a possibility.

During crashes, NASCAR cars and their drivers can get subjected to forces upto 80 G, which is 80 times the acceleration of gravity that holds us on the surface of the earth.

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Considering the safety of drivers and fans, NASCAR cars feature a bevy of safety features.

You may also like: How to become a NASCAR driver?

Published 12 Jan 2021, 20:07 IST
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