Anatomy of NASCAR Race Cars
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was established in 1947. This organisation is responsible for regularising stock-car racing across the globe. Also, NASCAR provides vehicle-related guidelines that regulate and monitor the modification of cars.
NASCAR started modifying race cars when conventional cars failed to compete on unpaved race tracks. Soon these modifications became a trend in NASCAR races. Now, it is a norm to modify NASCAR race cars to make them suitable for stock racing.
Here we have listed the anatomy of NASCAR that elaborates on the necessary modifications and alterations in NASCAR race cars.
Features of Vehicles Used in NASCAR Races
Here is the ideal anatomy of different types of race cars used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The exterior of the race car consists of different body panels that are bolted together on a steel frame. These pieces of body panels are manufactured from carbon fibre and plastic coated with fibreglass.
The usage of these materials increases the durability and shock-absorbing capability of the car, which is a mandatory requirement by NASCAR for cars participating in so and so races.
For an aerodynamic car shape, the front splitters are angled in a way that creates downforce at higher speed. The front bumper is raised from the centre and lowered from the sides. This design allows limited air to pass under the car, and the rest is pushed sideways to avoid drag.
At the rear end, a diffuser with veins is installed to provide exhaust for the air pressure generated at the front end. A customised spoiler and shark fins are also included to cater to the high air pressure generated. NASCAR provides guidelines for the type of car spoiler to be used in a car with an aerodynamic shape on the race track. For instance: a 7-inch spoiler is used for the long oval race tracks.
Steel Tube Frame
The basic frame of the race car consists of steel tubes. The frame is divided into three pieces: a front clip, a centre section and a rear clip. The front and rear clips can be bolted with the centre clip. The detachable steel frame is preferred because of the convenient repair process.
Independent front and rear coilover suspension systems are present in NASCAR race cars. The independent suspension system enables each wheel to move individually and increases the shock-absorbing capacity.
To limit shocks created during the race, upper and lower control arms are directly attached to the body which provides additional strength. Whereas, to avoid body rolls, anti-roll bars are also present.
A hydraulic steering system is installed in race cars for better handling. This steering system is similar to the one used in conventional vehicles. The steering wheel is directly connected with the pinion that controls the movement of racks with the help of gears.
The system is paired with a toe link adjuster and shims. These are used to adjust the tyre angle with the centre line of the vehicle resulting in improved handling especially while turning vehicles.
Similar to steering, the hydraulic system is also used in brakes. The hydraulic disc braking system contains a bias screw that can be controlled with the help of a knob mounted on the dashboard. This screw applies different pressure on the rear and front tyres and thus, prevents vehicle roll-off.
Engine and Associated System
Generally, a V8 engine is used in NASCAR race cars, but it can vary from vehicle to vehicle. The engines are naturally cooled with the help of air, and no turbo or superchargers are present. The air to cool down the engine is directed from the air duct present on the hood. Apart from this, the car also has its own cooling system.
The cooling system directs air into the car with the help of the front splitters. The air from the duct passes through the radiator and oil cooler; whereas, the excessive air is directed outwards through the vents on the hood.
The puncture-proof steel fuel tank is adjusted in the centre of the rear clip. On average, these fuel tanks have a capacity of 76 litres. To increase safety, the fuel tanks are lined with foam baffling and are painted red for easy identification.
The interior of NASCAR cars is different from a conventional car. It only has a single seat with multiple controls and resembles the cockpit of an F1 racing car. The seat is customised and designed as per the driver’s body. This seat is secured by a 7-point harness seat belt and HANS (head and neck support) harness.
Inside the helmet, a drink tube is present to keep drivers hydrated during the race. The core difference between an F1 racing helmet and a NASCAR helmet is that it’s connected to an air conditioning system. This system regulates the temperature while driving.
The car and track related information is shown on a digital dash positioned behind the steering wheel. Whereas, other major controls and ignition are accessible from the centre console.
This was all about the anatomy of a NASCAR race car. To prepare an ideal NASCAR race car, conventional cars are modified to the extreme. The aforementioned modifications are the basic ones, and it can be elevated as per the requirement. However, these modifications can challenge the street legal status of the cars. Therefore, if you are interested in driving a sports car, it is better to browse through these used cars for sale in the UAE and purchase a street-legal sports car.
Stay tuned to UAE’s top auto blog for more information on NASCAR car types.