- https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1976099-can-formula-1-and-nascar-coexist-in-the-united-states

    An American Formula 1 Fan's View Of NASCAR

    This American is slightly confused, to say the least.

    1w ago


    All Americans know what NASCAR is. It's like knowing who the first President of the United States was. Do all Americans know how NASCAR works, though? No. I'd never watched a NASCAR race in my entire life (though I did watch all 3 of the Cars movies, so that has to account for something.. right?)

    I'm a female motorsports content creator, specifically for content related to Formula 1. You can find me as ChevyTalksF1 on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also take a look at my new website here. I understood to some extent how Formula racing worked in the European world, yet had absolutely no idea as to how NASCAR worked. I finally watched the GEICO 500 (Talladega Superspeedway), and ended up with a few thoughts worth discussing. Read on to know my take (upsides and downsides). Let's dive right in.

    5. Sports Commentators Can Talk Directly To Drivers

    You're probably confused- and trust me, I was too. NASCAR drivers not only talk to their Crew Chiefs, but also sports commentators from time to time! Reporters can speak to drivers in their cars in real time via radio. I couldn't imagine that ever playing out in Formula 1. In fact, I tweeted my concerns about it.

    4. The Questionable Sponsors

    I don't know about you, but I most certainly wouldn't drive my car into town with the words "DENT WIZARD" plastered on the side. I am also not joking- that really is a sponsor on one of the cars. Kim Kardashian was a sponsor for NASCAR in the past for a fragrance as well. That might honestly be the weirdest crossover of all time.

    3. How Hard It Is Keeping Track Of Drivers

    NASCAR cars can sometimes look like what would happen if 43 schoolchildren were given a sticker-book and a silhouette of a car. It definitely isn't easy on the eyes (and that says a lot, considering how many people feel about the BWT Racing Points). There are two issues with this. One, it's really hard to distinguish which driver is where unless you have a good grasp of what their car looks like. Since NASCAR consists of very close wheel-to-wheel racing, the constant overtakes can make it hard to keep up with the position changes. The second issue is the livery itself- there is no standard livery for a team. In Formula 1, it's easy to distinguish which driver is where without taking a glance at the name. There are only 10 teams, each with two drivers, and each with a certain livery. A pink car in front of an orange car can only mean a few things- either Stroll/Perez is leading Sainz/Norris. This brings me to my next point, which is how NASCAR teams work.

    (AP Photo/Will Lester) https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/motor-sports/nascar/nascar-indycar-to-race-without-fans-this-weekend-1978483/ (The Associated Press).

    (AP Photo/Will Lester) https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/motor-sports/nascar/nascar-indycar-to-race-without-fans-this-weekend-1978483/ (The Associated Press).

    2. NASCAR "Teams"

    There are 43 drivers participating in one given race. There are 17 teams, and each team can have a maximum of 4 drivers. Only 3 teams have 4 drivers (one of them being the Stewart-HAAS team- yes, the same HAAS as F1). This makes things confusing for beginners- there's no way of telling who is driving for what team because all the cars have different liveries and have different numbers of drivers. Some NASCAR teams only run one driver. This also affects how NASCAR keeps track of points (which I do not want to get into). Compare this to Formula 1- it's obvious why Formula 1 caters to people of all levels.

    1. Race Lengths

    I thought Formula 1 Races were long- 2 hours can be a little demanding for some people. NASCAR is an entirely different story. The race I watched was closer to 4 hours. It's even tougher to watch NASCAR (in my opinion) because NASCAR consists of driving in actual circles for hours. Formula 1 has a bit of versatility given the different tracks in different countries. The scenery is also a nice addition, whereas NASCAR has little to no scenery. It took me a few days just to watch the GEICO 500 race in its entirety.


    I will, however, note that I found a few things interesting about NASCAR. These were some of the reasons why I didn't just close the window and move on to another form of motorsport.

    1. NASCAR Cars Themselves

    The way NASCAR cars are built is extremely cool. Check out this article by Karim Nice. All the frames are engineered from sheet metal, and the inside is made from steel tubing. It looks pretty cool from the inside as well. Keep in mind that there are also no headlights, just stickers. In the 2006 Cars movie, protagonist Lightning McQueen famously remarks "Well, you know, race cars don't need headlights, because the track is always lit."



    2. THAT V8!

    NASCAR cars use the V8's that every Formula 1 fan yearns to hear again. The sound is absolutely beautiful. When all 43 cars are on the track, there's this powerful sound that just can't be replicated; the Formula 1 V6 engines don't do the same level of justice.

    3. Bump Drafting

    Bump Drafting is this cute technique used by NASCAR drivers to increase speed- essentially, the cars get really close to each other to reduce the pocket of air between them. I'm not an aerodynamicist, but there are numerous resources that explain this phenomenon in detail. Compare this to Formula 1- cars typically like to avoid trailing right behind another car to escape "dirty air." "Clean air" is what is preferred by all F1 drivers. It might have to do with the fact that NASCAR cars are closed, while Formula 1 cars are open.



    4. Overtakes

    I'll come out and say it- NASCAR races are definitely packed with more overtakes in the first few minutes than an entire Formula 1 race (especially modern-day races). Bump drafting makes it extremely easy for a driver to take the lead of a lap within seconds. It also makes it easy for someone to lose the lead of a lap quickly. The best part about NASCAR, is that drivers from the back of the pack can make it to the front in a few laps with the right moves. I will admit that this is probably because most NASCAR cars are similar (there are only about 3 manufacturers that cars use). This is near impossible in Formula 1. That's like Nicholas Latifi climbing to P4 within the first few laps.

    5. Intensity Of Crashes

    This isn't really a "cool" fact, but still worth mentioning. Crashes in F1 have come a long way since 1994, and drivers typically make it out safely. The downside to close racing in NASCAR makes it extremely easy for someone to make a mistake and wipe out 12 other cars within a matter of seconds. In F1, cars typically split up after a few laps. If there are any multi-car crashes, it's at the start of a race (or restart, in the case of Mugello). In NASCAR, multi-car crashes can happen at any time- they can be extremely fatal as well.

    https://www.sbnation.com/2019/2/17/18209688/daytona-500-crash (article by Eric Stephen)

    https://www.sbnation.com/2019/2/17/18209688/daytona-500-crash (article by Eric Stephen)

    6. The Track

    I know I mentioned how it can get a little dull watching cars race around in literal circles for hours, but I will say that the tracks themselves are engineered in a unique way. Though they are circles, the corners are tilted. Cars drive at a tilted angle on these corners, making onboard views extremely awesome. Take a look at this. Tell me that isn't cool. The closest we got to awesome elevation changes in F1 recently was at Portimao (which, unfortunately, isn't on the 2021 calendar).

    https://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/About-Us/Track-Facts.aspx (Credit: Duce Smith)

    https://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/About-Us/Track-Facts.aspx (Credit: Duce Smith)

    Final Thoughts: Will I Watch NASCAR Again?

    Maybe. I don’t want to knock it out of the park entirely, but I also wasn’t as captivated by it as I was for F1. Maybe it has to do with the fact that NASCAR is a little too American for my liking, and having a bit of an escape feels nice. Or it might have to do with the reasons I mentioned earlier in this article. I might try again in the future with actual NASCAR fans who can walk me through it, but for now, this gal is probably sticking to Formula 1 (and 2, 3, etc). If you'd like more content, you can look up my channel on YouTube where I make YouTube videos. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter @ChevyTalksF1. Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

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    Comments (40)

    • Good article! Certainly the current Formula One cars are the fastest race cars on the planet ( compare the Circuit of the Americas lap records ) and NASCAR drivers can average 200mph at Daytona, but you are right to watch other categories, good racing is not just about speed, close racing makes motorsport more enjoyable for everyone. I watch F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Touring cars, MotoGP, Superbikes, NW200 and Isle of Man road racing, etc, and many times a Formula 3 or a Moto2 race has been the best race at the event.

      It's only my opinion, but I believe the guys who race at the North West 200 and IoM TT are the bravest.

        11 days ago
    • My love of NASCAR is purely of the sound over the years

      And the history (the bootleggers story is always fun to listen!)

        12 days ago
      • I'm going to have to look that one up- and the sound is phenomenal!

          11 days ago
      • The first stock car races were unofficial ones with bootleggers Racing their cars against other bootleggers to see who’s car was the fastest and who was the best driver. Junior Johnson was a bootlegger and one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers....

        Read more
          10 days ago
    • The irony here is something I've feared for several years; F1 has become NASCAR. What attracted me to F1 and kept me away from NASCAR for decades was the pure engineering ingenuity. It was the diversity between the cars and creative minds of the engineers to overcome the rule makers that made F1 the supreme global motorsport. Moreover, the visual differences between cars made it much more interesting and the sound of a naturally aspirated V12, V10 or even V8 screeming at 12K RPM's gave you goosebumps. That is all gone now because of the governing bodies and their misguided attempts to manufacture competiveness and project an appearance of social responsibility. I fully realize there's more complexity here and this may sound a bit harsh, but the fact remains; F1 has become a spec racing series just like NASCAR.

        11 days ago
    • I've never watched an entire NASCAR race, just some short clips on YouTube. And all three Cars movies, obviously 😄 and a Top Gear piece by Hammond on NASCAR, where he made it look quite exciting. Honestly, I am not sure I will ever watch it, as I've even quit watching F1 over the last 2 or so years, there is no intrigue at all about the title. It had just become a bit boring for me to watch cars racing all around the world with more or less the same outcome for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the championship

      Fascinated by that thing that cmmentators can talk to the drivers in the race! 😃😃 I recall a radio exchange between Lewis and his engineer that went something like "Mate I told you, don't talk to me through the corners"😅 Imagine Crofty or Martin going: "And we are now live with Lewis Hamilton, hey Lewis, how is that race working out for you so far? Oh, and Tom is in the paddock right now, he can see some action on your side of the garage, are you planning a pit stop right now? Are you trying to undercut Valteri with this move? "🤣🤣

        12 days ago
    • Great article! As an American who grew up watching NASCAR this is a unique perspective and I appreciated learning about your experiences.

        11 days ago


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