Cover image for NASCAR for dummies
NASCAR for dummies
Martin, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Foster City, CA : IDG Books Worldwide, [2000]

Physical Description:
xviii, 316 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of color plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1029.9.S74 M327 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV1029.9.S74 M37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, and it's the governing body for one of the most popular sports in the United States. The speed and power of NASCAR stock cars - and the people who drive those cars - have enticed millions of fans to the sport in recent years, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States.

If you're a NASCAR novice, NASCAR For Dummies can help you with the basics of the sport - the differences between the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division - so you can build upon your NASCAR knowledge from there. If you're more advanced, you'll discover the subtleties of the sport so you can sound like an old pro.

No matter what level of NASCAR knowledge you have, you can find something new in the pages of this book:

Get to know the race team and what they do Peek at the rules and see how teams get around them Check out a stock car's body and components Find out how to attend a NASCAR race and get the most out of the experience Understand why tires are such a big deal during a race Figure out what happens during a pit stop Know why a regular Chevrolet Monte Carlo at a local dealership looks nothing like the one on a racetrack Discover the meanings behind all those colored flags Know why corporate sponsorship plays such a large role Examine the different NASCAR tracks

NASCAR racing is a total body experience. When you sit in the grandstands, you can hear the cars roar by. You can feel the tremendous power of the engines when the stands shake and your guts rumble. Then you can smell the distinct odor of burned rubber. With NASCAR For Dummies, you'll gain an insider's view of the sport, and enrich your experience.

Author Mark Martin, known as one of the most focused and successful drivers in NASCAR racing, started racing cars when he was 15 years old.

Author Notes

Mark Martin has finished in the top ten of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings every year since 1989.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
Foolish Assumptionsp. 2
How This Book Is Organizedp. 3
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
Where to Go from Herep. 5
Part I NASCAR 101p. 7
Chapter 1 NASCAR Racing--The Best Sport Aroundp. 9
From Back Roads to the Big Timep. 10
What NASCAR Isn'tp. 12
Why NASCAR Racing Is So Popularp. 14
The need for speedp. 14
The thrill of competitionp. 15
Accessibility to driversp. 17
People can relate to racingp. 18
The sponsorsp. 18
Television timep. 20
It's a family affairp. 20
Chapter 2 The Big Business of NASCARp. 25
Sponsors Pay the Billsp. 25
The primary sponsors are loadedp. 26
Associate sponsors--the price is rightp. 28
Contingency programs: Stick with these guys to make some moneyp. 28
Crazy fans equal crazy sponsorsp. 29
From cars to T-shirts to motor oil--NASCAR fans have the goods on their driversp. 29
Licenses Aren't Just for Driving Anymorep. 30
Smile, You're on NASCAR Camera!p. 32
Chapter 3 Understanding Every NASCAR Seriesp. 35
NASCAR Winston Cup Series: Where the Superstars Arep. 35
NASCAR Busch Series--One Route to the NASCAR Winston Cup Seriesp. 38
Pickup Trucks with Racing Stripesp. 41
NASCAR Touring Division: Where Stars Get Their Startp. 43
So, You Want to Drive a Race Car?p. 45
Pre-stock car (not prehistoric) vehiclesp. 46
You've got a car--now what?p. 47
Memorize the rules, and then get a crewp. 47
Moving up and outp. 47
The better the series, the harder it is to get therep. 48
Working on a Crewp. 48
Part II What Makes It Stock Car Racing?p. 51
Chapter 4 What Makes Them Stock Cars?p. 53
What Cars Will I See Racing?p. 53
What Is "Stock" about a Stock Car?p. 54
The bodyp. 56
Aerodynamic featuresp. 56
The enginep. 58
Carburetorsp. 59
Built for strength and speedp. 60
Suspensionp. 62
Other differencesp. 65
What's Inside?p. 67
Take a Seatp. 68
Tiresp. 69
Technologyp. 70
Chapter 5 The Rules of the Roadp. 73
To Live and Die by the Rule Bookp. 73
Teams Expect to Be Inspectedp. 76
Surviving the initial inspectionp. 77
Heading to the inspection linep. 78
When drivers are fast, officials say "not so fast"p. 80
Special tests for special tracksp. 81
Even when a car wins, it's not overp. 82
Being Creative with the Rulesp. 84
Watching the Flagmanp. 86
Chapter 6 The Race Teamp. 89
The Owner Is the Bossp. 89
The sponsor doesn't give commandsp. 92
Multicar teams--the more the merrierp. 93
Team Managers Organize the Operationp. 94
The Crew Chief--a Race Team's Head Honchop. 95
If You Need Something Done, Go to the Car Chiefp. 97
Believe It or Not, the Driver Does More than Drive the Carp. 97
And the Rest of the Teamp. 98
The People Behind the Scenesp. 100
Chapter 7 Who's in the Driver's Seat?p. 103
The Role of the Driver on the Racing Teamp. 103
During practice, a driver doesn't shut upp. 104
When the race starts, there's no zoning outp. 105
No time for timeoutsp. 106
Why Drivers Are Athletesp. 106
They have to react quicklyp. 107
No clumsiness allowedp. 107
Endurance is keyp. 107
Getting into peak conditionp. 108
Drivers Are Hot Stuffp. 109
Racing All Over the Nationp. 111
(Motor) home away from homep. 114
Motor Racing Outreachp. 115
Part III What Happens On (And Off) the Trackp. 117
Chapter 8 First, They Gotta Qualifyp. 119
Knowing the Trackp. 120
How Many Drivers Make It?p. 121
Qualifying Orderp. 122
Starting up front is groovyp. 123
Smaller isn't always betterp. 123
Winning the polep. 124
Getting Ready for the Runp. 124
Practicing for the real thingp. 125
Qualifying enginesp. 125
First-round qualifyingp. 126
A scary lapp. 127
Second-round qualifyingp. 127
Provisional Entriesp. 129
Rain, Rain Go Awayp. 130
Chapter 9 Race-Day Strategiesp. 133
The Art of Passingp. 134
Doing the bumpp. 135
How other cars can slow you downp. 136
Staying on the lead lapp. 139
Listening to the Spotterp. 140
How's My Drivin'?p. 141
Saving your enginep. 141
Taking care of your tiresp. 141
Give me a brakep. 142
Pit-Stop Gamblesp. 143
Tire gamblesp. 143
Fuel and fuel mileage gamblesp. 144
There's Draft in Herep. 145
Accidents Happenp. 149
Chapter 10 Making Pit Stopsp. 151
Where Is Pit Road?p. 151
What Is a Pit Stop?p. 152
Going behind the wallp. 152
Ballet without the tutusp. 154
Making adjustmentsp. 156
Pit Crews for Hirep. 156
The Rules of Pit Roadp. 157
Speedingp. 157
Other no-nosp. 158
When to Pit; When Not to Pitp. 159
Chapter 11 Keeping Racing Safep. 161
The Basicsp. 161
Superior Seat Beltsp. 162
Extra Help with Window Netsp. 164
Helmets and Head Protectorsp. 165
Staying Groundedp. 165
A Protective Cagep. 165
Not Your Ordinary Sunday Outfitp. 166
Chapter 12 Winning It Allp. 169
Going To Victory Lanep. 169
Who's in there?p. 170
Live network TV (and radio) coveragep. 170
Photos and the hectic hat dancep. 171
Local TV, newspaper, and magazine reportersp. 172
Stopping by the suitesp. 172
Growing Moneyp. 172
Contingency awardsp. 173
A breakdown of winningsp. 174
Bonus programp. 175
The Points Systemp. 176
Bonus pointsp. 178
Earning pointsp. 179
Winning the Championshipp. 179
New York, New Yorkp. 181
Rookie of the Year Awardp. 181
Part IV Keeping Up with NASCAR Eventsp. 183
Chapter 13 Understanding NASCAR Tracksp. 185
Superspeedways Are Super-Fastp. 186
Restrictor-plate racingp. 187
Aerodynamics: Feel the wind in your hairp. 188
Wind tunnels: Laboratories for race carsp. 189
Testing at the racetrackp. 191
Short Tracksp. 192
Short tracks create short tempersp. 192
Short tracks mean big headachesp. 193
Short tracks are NASCAR's rootsp. 194
Intermediate Tracks Are Middle-of-the-Roadp. 194
The Dreaded Road Coursesp. 195
Night Racing Under the Lightsp. 196
Who Owns the Tracks?p. 198
A Snapshot of Each NASCAR Winston Cup Series Trackp. 199
Atlanta Motor Speedwayp. 199
Bristol Motor Speedwayp. 201
California Speedwayp. 203
Darlington Racewayp. 204
Daytona International Speedwayp. 206
Dover Downs International Speedwayp. 209
Homestead Miami Speedwayp. 211
Indianapolis Motor Speedwayp. 212
Las Vegas Motor Speedwayp. 214
Lowe's Motor Speedwayp. 216
Martinsville Speedwayp. 218
Michigan Speedwayp. 220
New Hampshire International Speedwayp. 221
North Carolina Speedwayp. 223
Phoenix International Racewayp. 225
Pocono Racewayp. 226
Richmond International Racewayp. 228
Sears Point Racewayp. 229
Talladega Superspeedwayp. 231
Texas Motor Speedwayp. 233
Watkins Glen Internationalp. 234
Chapter 14 Going to a Racep. 237
Buying Tickets for a Racep. 238
Grandstands or infield?p. 240
Finding Lodging Well in Advancep. 241
Leaving Early to Make the Racep. 242
The Do's and Don'tsp. 243
Fitting Into the Crowdp. 244
Going Behind the Scenesp. 245
Following the rulesp. 246
Getting autographs in the garagep. 247
Riding Along with the Driverp. 248
Leaving with Souvenirsp. 250
Chapter 15 Tracking NASCAR Eventsp. 251
Watching on TVp. 251
Getting insightp. 253
TV racing broadcastsp. 253
Daily and weekly showsp. 254
Radio Broadcastsp. 255
Racing radio networksp. 255
Radio racing showsp. 256
Following NASCAR in Printp. 256
Staying in Touch with Your Favorite Driverp. 257
Driver Web sitesp. 257
Driver fan clubsp. 258
Race shop addressesp. 261
Part V The Part of Tensp. 263
Chapter 16 The Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Timep. 265
Bobby Allisonp. 265
Dale Earnhardtp. 266
Jeff Gordonp. 266
Alan Kulwickip. 267
David Pearsonp. 267
Richard Pettyp. 267
Rusty Wallacep. 268
Darrell Waltripp. 268
Cale Yarboroughp. 269
Chapter 17 Ten Can't-Miss Races of the Yearp. 271
Daytona 500p. 271
Coca-Cola 600p. 272
Pepsi 400 at Daytonap. 272
Brickyard 400p. 272
Goody's 500p. 273
Winston 500p. 273
Texas 500p. 273
The Winston All-Star Racep. 274
Southern 500p. 274
NAPA 500p. 274
Chapter 18 NASCAR's Future Starsp. 277
Casey Atwoodp. 277
Greg Bifflep. 277
Dave Blaneyp. 278
Dale Earnhardt Jr.p. 278
Matt Kensethp. 279
Adam Pettyp. 279
Elliott Sadlerp. 280
Tony Stewartp. 280
Appendix A NASCAR Jargonp. 281
Appendix B NASCAR Statisticsp. 297
Appendix C Race Car Numbersp. 305
Indexp. 307
Book Registration Information