Stock car racing is one of the most popular forms of racing in America today, as is evidenced by the popularity of the Nascar Nextel Cup. The term "stock car" is derived from the fact that all of the cars used must be original production cars. These cars may be modified for performance, but they cannot be specially designed for racing.
An example of a popular modification is the rear spoiler that is added to every stock automobile used in racing. This spoiler forces the air moving over the automobile to provide enough downward pressure to stabilize the vehicle and provide some degree of protection from overturning during a stock car race.
In car racing sports, a stock car race is normally played out on a track that is oval in design and can be made from dirt or asphalt. There is also the stock car race that is run on roadways, but they are very rare.
The tracks vary in length from the short track, which is approximately one quarter of a mile in length, to the super speedways which can be up to 2.66 miles in length. Maximum speeds on the short tracks can range up to 220 mph; however, the speeds at the super speedways are now restricted to a maximum of 187 mph.
Stock car racing originated with the moonshine runners of the prohibition era. There was such a need to outrun the law when running moonshine that the runners soon began modifying their cars to make them run faster and more efficiently. This soon became a competition between the runners and the early 1930s saw the sport of car auto racing start to become organized. Because the rules for racing were so varied, many wanted more uniformity. In 1948, NASCAR became a reality.
There are many stock car racing circuits other than Nascar. Some examples of these include the IMCA, or International Motor Contest Association, the ARCA, or Automobile Racing Club of America, and the CRA, or Championship Racing Association. These are the "minor leagues" of stock automobile races.
As well as these and the Nascar circuit, you will find other clubs, such as the Craftsman Truck Series and the Busch Series. As in baseball, drivers do not start out in Nascar. They must enter the sport at the bottom and work their way to the top. They must go out and prove themselves and then wait to be invited to drive for a professional car racing team.
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