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Stock Car Racing

Car racing is one of the most popular, and perhaps the most commercialized of spectator sports. Racing in cars began with the first successfully constructed petrol-filled automobiles. The first contest was organized by Paris magazine Le Petit Journal in 1894, and was a reliability test to determine best performance of the vehicles.

Stock Car Racing

Stock Car Racing is popular in several countries, but is most associated with the United States because of the popularity of NASCAR (National Stock Car Auto Racing), the governing body of the sport. Stock car racing was common in southern United States, but has gained prominence nationwide. In the early days of stock car racing, particularly before World War II, the cars were quite similar to conventional cars. Stock cars of today are purpose-built for racing and can reach speeds of up to 200mph. Beaches and dirt tracks were the earliest venues of slot car races. Stock car racing is held on paved ovals and superspeedways. Stock car racing has a wide fan base because stock car drivers are more accessible to fans than other racing drivers. The stock racing cars and drivers receive a better media coverage than other racing events. Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Tony Stewart are some successful stock car drivers.

NASCAR Racing

The most important championship in stock car racing is the NASCAR championship. It is the most popular racing series in the United States and the Daytona 500 is the most famous event in NASCAR racing. William HG France founded the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) in 1948. It was officially incorporated on February 21, and its purpose was to organize and promote stock car racing on sanctioned high-speed oval circuits and a few road courses.

Racing officials communicated with drivers during the races with the use of colored signal flags. Almost every racing series in the United States uses the same combination of flag colors. The flagman waves the flags from a platform at the start-finish line, so that the drivers know what’s happening during the race. The flags communicate racing conditions and information. Green, yellow, red, white and checkered flags communicate the racing conditions and black, black with white cross, blue with yellow stripe and yellow with vertical stripes are used to communicate information.

The winner of a NASCAR race earns 175 points. From this, points are decremented by 5 for places two through six, by 4 points from places seven through eleven, and by 3 points from place twelve or lower. The driver who finishes in the 43rd-place gets 34 points. Drivers who lead a lap earn five bonus points. The driver who leads the most laps in a single event earns 10 bonus points.

Formula 1 Racing

The term Grand Prix is commonly associated with Formula 1 Racing. It refers to the principal Formula 1 race in a nation. An annual Grand Prix calendar was developed after the end of World War 1, consisting of national races, such as the French Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix. An annual award called the World Championship of Drivers began in 1950, and the winner was determined from F1 results each year.

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is the governing and sanctioning body for the FIA World Driver’s Championship. The FIA’ s competition committee sets the Formula 1 regulations, interprets them and judges any appeals or disputes. The Formula One Constructor’s Association (FOCA) is an organization of the chassis builders (constructors) who design and build the cars that race in the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

At Imola in 1994, Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian racing icon, did not take the bend at Tamburello, and crashed at full speed into the concrete wall, 11 meters from the track. The wheels came off, but one wheel and its steering arm hit and penetrated Senna’ s helmet and he suffered massive injuries. He was airlifted to Bologna hospital and placed on life-support, but was pronounced dead later that day. The race was stopped, and restarted, and eventually won by Michael Schumacher.

For additional pertinent information on Auto Racing click on the adjacent link.

Slot Car Racing

Slot car racing is racing miniature, motorized cars on a slotted track using a hand held speed control. Slot car racing surfaces can be set up with as few as two or more “lanes” with the typical commercial track having up to eight lanes per track layout. The cars must be controlled so that they do not come off the track.

Slot cars are powered by small electric motors that are run by direct current (DC) power supplies and/or storage batteries. The car “follows” a groove (or slot) that is cut into the track or table surface with a router. On either side of the “slot” are “positive” and “negative” pick-up contacts. These are made from either copper tape or stranded “braid”. The stranded braid is made from the copper shielding used in many electrical cables and glued in place.

The slot car has a guide flag attached to the front of the chassis. The guide flag swivels and follows the slot in the track, as this is where the power is coming from. Most tracks have 8 braided slots, color-coded to match a color at the drivers’ station where the hand controller hooks up to the main power. By pulling the trigger of the controller, power passes from the track power source to the braid on the track, to the braid on the cars’ guide flag moving the slot car along. One must learn to control the trigger on the controller to make the car speed up and slow down.

Letting off the trigger completely causes braking, allowing it to go to the “off” position. The electric DC motors have “north” and “south” pole magnets in which the armature spins. Letting off the controller completely makes the motor act like a generator. This electrical action causes the car to stop very quickly. Drive too fast into a corner and the car will come out of the groove. Drive too slowly and everyone else on the track will be passing you. Slot car racing is a sport that requires a lot of practice.

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