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These days, humans rely more and more on their automobiles to drive to work, the grocery store, and a variety of other places. While most individuals see driving as only a form of transportation, some view it as an athletic competition. In fact, stock cars racing—in which ordinary cars that have been altered or modified in some way race against others on a large, oblong racetrack—is increasing in popularity. Though stock car racing originated in the United States, it has spread in popularity to a variety of other countries in recent years, including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, and New Zealand. Individuals who are interested in learning more about stock cars should research the types of vehicles available, local races and events, and the popularity of the sport.
Types of Stock Cars
While there are a variety of types of stock cars currently in existence, the most popular include street, super, and late-model stock cars. As suggested by the name, street model stock cars are those which can be purchased by members of the general public for use in racing. In most cases, individuals who purchase vehicles for street model racing cannot spend more than $3,000 on one car. Depending on the state and/or region in which the street model stock car race is to be held, other specifications may exist.
Super model stock cars are slightly more advanced than those used in street model racing. In fact, regulations allow super model stock car racers to make a number of modifications to the engine of their vehicle, increasing its engine output to a maximum of 500 to 550 horsepower. In addition, super model stock car tires can be slightly modified, to a width of eight inches, maximum. This type of racing is especially popular in Great Britain, where it is referred to as “Banger Racing.”
Finally, late-model stock car races are usually the most advanced—at least within local races. Unfortunately, rules for this event vary quite dramatically within the United States and abroad. In most cases, individuals who wish to participate in late-model stock car racing must possess a street that has undergone dramatic modification, though some individuals prefer to create custom vehicles. The NASCAR Late Model Sportsman’s’ Division is the national touring series of the late-model stock car division.
Events and Races
There are a number of different races and events currently in existence for individuals interested in stock car racing. As mentioned above, NASCAR—the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing—is the premier leading in the world of stock car racing. NASCAR hosts a number of stock car racing events each year, including races at the Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Other popular NASCAR races include the Coca-Cola 600, which traditionally is held on Memorial Day weekend, and is believed to be the longest NASCAR event currently in existence, and the Brickyard 400, which is consistently the most highly-attended NASCAR event of the season. A variety of smaller, locally-held racing events are also held each year at state and county fairs, and may even occur on a weekly or monthly basis. Individuals who wish to participate in these events must often submit specific licenses, permits, and releases of liability before the start of a race.
Stock Car Popularity
While stock car racing was once believed to be a sport only enjoyed by mechanics, car sales persons, and classic-car aficionados, it is now supported by a variety of individuals around the world. In addition, female NASCAR fans are growing by leaps and bounds both in the United States and abroad each year. Many researchers believe that this increase in popularity is due somewhat to the enhanced marketing and commercialization of the sport of stock car racing. While NASCAR stars were once seen only on television on the day of their races, more and more individuals are becoming commercial, television, radio, and even Internet stars. Unsurprisingly, as these athletes become more recognizable, the sport of NASCAR only continues to increase in popularity.