Resource Guide On Race Cars!

Written by: Nicholas Brit
Racing cars has long been a favorite pastime for many. Since long before racing became a recognized sport, there have been individuals working to build the fastest car possible. Many of the first racecars were stock cars modified to run on moonshine or bootleg whiskey! Drag racing competitions take place between two cars or vehicles who are burning rubber on a quarter mile straight stretch, Indy formula cars with longer complicated racecourses or stock car and NASCAR races are all examples of the variety of entertainment car racing provides. NASCAR has set the standard many think of when race cars are mentioned. NASCAR began as a true stock car race using standard factory manufactured cars with few alterations. Stock car racing began in Florida using standard vehicles that were only slightly ‘modified’ for racing. Changing overall engine design or capabilities was limited. Seat belts were often a piece of rope, if they were used at all. Roll bars were not mandatory and the original windows remained in place. In over fifty years of NASCAR racing, technology and science have combined to design racecars and racecar engines built for speed and safety. Those first racecars have come a long ways since NASCAR president, Bill France Sr. organized the first stock car races in 1949. NASCAR racing started on the beaches of Florida in the 1940s and quickly gained a following. For many years drivers raced on dirt tracks throughout the southeast and there were no set standards, or special equipment. As track conditions became a challenge and competition heated up among stock car drivers, it was clear there was a need for specialized parts and some way to regulate racing competitions. Modifications or changes began to be introduced to the standard racecars as a way of making safer and faster cars. The Pure Oil Company manufactured the first racecar tires in 1952. Shortly after that, automobile manufacturers began designing high performance parts for their standard vehicles and these parts became available for use in racing. During the mid-1950s, major car companies began to offer improved parts to withstand the stress racing placed on the suspension system of racecars. The Hudson car company designed a Twin H carburetor that was a big factor in their cars winning the majority of races when it was first put into use. Small block V-8 engines were the next major change to racecars. Throughout the 1950s, manufacturers continued to improve on the performance and design of racecars. During the changes being made to the racecars and track designs for NASCAR races, racing legends like Dale Earnhardt, SR., Richard Petty, Jimmy Johnson and others were setting race records and making history of their own. Women have also held places in racing with women like Sarah Christian who competed in the very first Stock Car Race at Charlotte Speedway in 1949 and Janet Guthrie who was the first woman to race on a superspeedway during the World 600 race in 1976. Today, female driver, Danica Patrick holds the record for being the first woman driver to win an Indy Car Series, place third in the Indianapolis 500, and competes in both the NASCAR Sprint Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. As technology continues to offer improvements to racecar designs and engines, the future of car racing will continue to evolve. From Formula-one racing to the NASCAR circuits, the interest in watching men, women and machines being challenged to race faster continues. The challenge technology faces is in staying safe while improving the speed and efficiency of newer engines and cars. While NASCAR has roots in the southeast portion of the United States, fans continue to come from across the nation and even worldwide. Columbia race driver, Juan Pablo Montoya is a driver who has crossed over from Formula-one races to currently race in NASCAR competitions. NASCAR officials are exploring the possibilities of building racetracks in places such as Denver, Seattle, and possibly, New York.