Nothing beats the excitement of NASCAR®! From the moment the first car flashes by you to when it crosses the chequered flag, it’s pure adrenalin. But how much do you know about NASCAR®’s history? What makes NASCAR® cars so special? What can you expect at a NASCAR® weekend? How do the points add up? And what are the different championships?
Since its first race over 70 years ago, NASCAR® has grown into the premier motorsport in the world, and one of the top sports in the USA, alongside the NFL and NBA. Each year there are over 1,200 NASCAR® races worldwide, supported by over 75 million passionate fans in just the USA alone. Since its launch in 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ has grown into the sport’s fast growing series, attracting over 150,000 fans each year and broadcast in 190 countries. Will you be watching the next European race?
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ cars
With the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™, it all comes down to the skill of the driver and crew chief. How do you know that? Well, each driver has an almost identical NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ car – either a Chevrolet, Ford or a Toyota – with a V8, 5.7 litre engine, for 400 horsepower. Each car has rear-wheel drive, weighs 1,210kg and has a top speed of 250km/h. The same parts are used on every car, with the major components sealed. In other words, the only major differences are the driver and his or her skill, and how the crew chief sets up the car.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ weekend
A NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ weekend is excitement from beginning to end. The fun starts on Friday, with car inspections and a two practice session for the drivers. Saturday begins with qualifying and superpole sessions to determine the starting position on the start grid, followed by Race 1 for Elite 1 and Race 1 for Elite 2 (both 65km long). And on Sunday it’s Race 2 for Elite 1 and Elite 2 (again 65km long). In between the races, there are grid-walks and pit-walks, a unique NASCAR® atmosphere with entertainment around the track, an open paddock for the fans to meet drivers and teams, see the cars and heroes up close, autograph sessions and 2-seater co-drive experiences.
In each NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™, the driver who comes first receives 40 points, the driver who comes second receives 35, third gets 34 points, fourth gets 33 points and all the way down to the driver who comes last who receives just 1 point. These points accrue over the series to determine the final position of both the drivers and the teams. The last two events of the calendar constitute the playoffs with double points available (80 for the winner, 70 for second place, 68 for third and so on), making for the most exciting race of the year in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™. Four additional points (8 in the playoffs) go to the driver who climbs the most positions in each race, putting a premium on overtaking and on the driver’s will to win.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ races are divided into two championship levels – Elite 1 and Elite 2 – plus the team championship and several trophies and cups. Winning a title or a trophy in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™ is the best chance for European drivers to compete in NASCAR® in the US.
When they enter the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™, drivers are divided by a council into three categories – gold, silver and bronze – based on their resume and experience. The NASCAR® Elite 1 championship is open to all drivers. Within the Elite 1 division, there are two trophies to win:
- Junior Trophy – for all drivers aged 25 and under
- Challenger Trophy – for non-professional drivers
The NASCAR® Elite 2 championship is restricted to silver and bronze drivers only. Just as in the Elite 1 division, there are also several trophies to win in the Elite 2 championship:
- Legend Trophy – for drivers aged 40 and over
- Rookie Cup – for young drivers making their debut in the Series
- Lady Cup – for all female drivers
The teams championship is based on the points collected by each car in the Elite 1 and Elite 2 divisions.
New for the 2018 season, the Nations Cup aims to celebrate the large variety of home countries represented by the NASCAR Whelen Euro SeriesTM drivers. In the 2018 season opener in Valencia, Spain, over 60 drivers from 19 countries competed in the European series. The Nations Cup will present gold, silver and bronze medals to the three countries with the highest point total each weekend.
NASCAR® and MOOG®
NASCAR® demands the highest quality components. Did you know that since 1966, it’s no coincidence that all 22 championship-winning drivers have had one thing in common – their Steering & Suspension brand MOOG. With proven durability and superior performance, one brand has carried every NASCAR® champion. And you can experience MOOG premium quality components in your car. MOOG offers a complete range of easy to install, long-lasting components that are engineered, manufactured, tested and validated to OEM standards for optimal performance. Discover more here.