NASCAR race cars have a number of features that are always required to be the same. This keeps the playing field as level as possible for the racers themselves – however, each team also wants to show off the best of their engineering and production. Because of these facts, the anatomy of a NASCAR race car is remarkably consistent, even as it has little variations within the field.
The Stock Parts
NASCAR stands for “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.” The ‘Stock’ part is very important: Every race car is required to have three stock parts from the manufacturer – the roof, the hood, and the trunk lid. The remaining parts and manufacture can be from anywhere the team wishes, but these are required to be straight from the manufacturer.
The manufacturers that the races require will change depending on the race, but usually Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota are the ones used.
There are certain specifications that depend on the race in question, but for the Nextel Cup – the most popular – there are a few set limits and requirements:
- Engine – No more than 358 cubic inches and 8 cylinders.
- Fuel – No more than 22 gallons and 110 octane
- Wheels – 110 Inches
- Weight – 3,400 lbs.
Despite all of these specifications, there are many components that will be adjusted and designed for the individual characteristics of the track and racer. Brakes will be adjusted for more or less weight, depending on the style of braking that will be required. Suspension systems will be tweaked for the specific jostling of the track. The Body components themselves will be adjusted for aerodynamics and style – as well as the signature advertisements.
These individual requirements are specific for good reasons – they don’t just keep the races fair and equal, they also keep things safe as possible for the racers and audience members alike. While it would be incredible to see the best of the best possible creations by these manufacturers, a race is not the safest or most reasonable place to show off without fear.