Need for Speed: Nascar vs. Formula One
Need for Speed: Nascar vs. Formula One. Nascar (National Association for Stock Car Racing) is a world apart from Formula One. Both are exceedingly popular, yet they lie at diverse ends of the motor sports spectrum. Most people who have an obsession with cars and racing may know about Nascar and Formula One, the two most respected names in motorsports today. At first glance, Nascar and Formula One seem very similar; however, a closer look reveals many differences such as aerodynamics, mechanical caliber, speed and horsepower, race tracks, fan base, and histories.
Auto racing is a popular, fast paced sport. Nascar and Formula One draw large audiences on television, radio and at live events. Spectators are drawn by the danger, speed, competition, and displays of automotive machinery and the drivers behind the steering wheels. However, Nascar and Formula One are separated in numerous ways. The car chassis style is so different that they conduct races in notably different ways and the organizational rules that they must follow, makes for a different driving experience.
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Formula One vehicles depend so much on aerodynamics, passing other cars on the track is not a main part of the Formula One racing strategy. Formula One races aim to be fast, but the cars do not change positions, very often. Nascar, on the other hand, rely on passing other cars on the track, to run and win the races. While Formula One may have too little passing abilities, Nascar may suffer from too much of it. Furthermore, bumping or trading paint, is against the rules in Formula One but is warranted in Nascar.
Consider the differences in mechanical caliber. Formula One vehicles are intensely high tech. They are built on light weight chassis (about 1400lbs) they have high powered engines, and use special electronic devices such as, traction control and employ high tech aerodynamics to improve speeds. Nascar cars, in contrast, need to conform to a closed wheel template that are so different that racing teams cannot claim an ample technological advantage over other teams.
Nascar’s chassis are heavier (about 3300lbs) and are based on a steel tube frame that use manual gearboxes. Consider the differences in horsepower and speed. Formula One cars race at an average speed of about 150 miles per hour and hit top speeds of over 200 miles per hour, but all tracks are different and some are faster than others. Formula One cars range from 850 to 1000 horsepower. Nascar’s speeds vary widely depending on the track, as it also does in Formula One.
The average speed at the fastest Nascar track, Talladega superspeedway is about 180 miles per hour, but the average speed on the slowest track is only 80 miles per hour. Nascar’s cars have, on average, about 850 horsepower. Consider differences in the race tracks. Formula One races are conducted on a meandering Grand Prix track or a temporary road course. Nascar, in contrast, races on paved ovals exclusively for racing and occasionally organizes road races, as well. Nascar’s fan base is almost entirely American, while Formula One appeals to a worldwide audience.
Formula One holds races at locations all over the world such as; Sepang, Imola, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and Magny-Cours, while Nascar races primarily in the United States. Consider the historical differences and their origins. Formula One in its modern form started in 1950, but its early roots are traced back to before world war II, when racers competed on the old roads of Germany, France, Italy, and other European countries. At first, German and Italian cars dominated, but British vehicles came to be competitive as England’s cars improved.
Nascar, in contrast, started in 1949 as an American sport. The 1970’s was the rise of popularity in Nascar and helped launch it to the towering sport that it is today. So which is better, Nascar or Formula One; who can say? They are both great and loved by many gearheads, all over the world. If someone is a true auto racing enthusiast, then he or she will not choose. Instead, they will love and support both Nascar and Formula One, equally despite their differences. Because, it is their differences that make them so unique and one of a kind.