With the New Next Gen Nascar just around the corner, we thought it was time to reflect on some older generations of NASCAR. We also wanted to show you what they could do at the track. NASCAR speeds have retreated from their peak speeds of just a few years back, with some recent safety measures, as well as some not so recent. We take a look at the speed of the NASCAR Cars from previous decades.
With technological and engineering advancements, NASCAR cars have seen an increase in power and speed. This has led to an increase in average speeds of 130+ in the 1950s and 175+ in 1980s.
How Fast were 1950s NASCAR Cars Fast?
The term ‘stock car racing’ comes from the fact that the races were once ‘strictly stock’, with the teams only allowed to field mass-produced vehicles that were unmodified. An example of a car from this era, known as ‘Generation 1’, is the 1955 NASCAR Chevrolet, weighing 1410 kg and with 195 horsepower. This gave the car an average speed of 118 MPH. And the car took multiple victories. NASCAR’s most famous race, the Daytona 500, was first held in the last year of the 50s The average speed at which the winner was able to reach 135 miles an hour. This shows that the cars were initially slow to improve over time.
How Fast Were the 1960s NASCAR Cars!
Modified cars were possible at the end 1960s. The 1967 Ford Fairlane 500, piloted by Mario Andretti, was an example. It was lighter at 1398 kg and had 425 horsepower. It also had a faster top speed of 171 mph. This was the case in 1966 Daytona 500. It was won at 160 miles an hour.
What Speed Were 1970s NASCAR Cars?
As speeds rose rapidly in the 1970s, regulations were put in place to limit performance. In 1970, 18 races were won by the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. It had 425 horsepower, weighed in at 1536 kilograms, and could travel up to 200 mph.. The average speed at which the 1972 Daytona 500 was won was 161 miles per an hour. Buddy Barker, a NASCAR driver who averaged more than 200 miles an hour, completed the 70s’ first lap at 200.447 miles an hour on the Alabama International Speedway.
How Fast were 1980s NASCAR Cars Fast?
There were some other fast cars in the 1980s. The 1989 Chevrolet Lumina had 600 horsepower and weighed 1587kgs. It could reach speeds of 202 mph. In the 1980s, NASCAR also set the fastest lap time ever. This record still holds to this day. Bill Elliot set the record for Talladega at 212.809 miles an hour.. The Daytona 500 of 1980 was won with an average speed record of 177.602 mph, which still holds to this day.
How Fast were 1990s NASCAR Cars
With the introduction restrictor plates in some races, the 1990s saw a small plateau in speed gains. Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1997 was 650 horsepower heavy, weighed 1566 kg, and reached a top speed at 201 miles an hour. The average speed at which the Daytona 500 was won in 1998 was 173 miles per an hour.
How Fast were NASCAR Cars in 2000?
The 2000s saw the introduction of a new chassis, known as the ‘Car of Tomorrow’. It was the product of a five-year effort. Jimmie Johnson drove the 2008 Chevrolet Impala SS to win Sprint Cup Series. It weighed 1625 kgs. The engine had a power output of 770 horsepower and a top speed of 219 mph. Average speed of 161 miles an hour won the 2001 Daytona 500.
How Fast were 2010s NASCAR Cars
The 2010s saw the introduction of ‘Generation 6’. These cars were made to be street-legal while still maintaining safety and performance. Kyle Busch drove the 2018 Toyota Camry to eight wins in 2018. It weighed 1470 kg and had 750 horsepower. At 226 miles per hour, the top speed was The lap record was set by the generation 6 cars on 16 of the 23 tracks they were used.
|Decade||Rough Top Speed||Example Average Winning speed
(At Daytona as a reference point)
|1950s||120 MPH||135 miles per hour|
|1960s||170 MPH||160 miles an hour|
|1970s||200 MPH||161 miles an hour|
|1980s||202 MPH||177.6 miles an hour|
|1990s||205 MPH||173 miles per hour|
|2000s||218 MPH||161 miles an hour|
|2010s||226 MPH||161 miles an hour|
- Notable: Average winning speed includes caution laps (less cautions, higher average speeds).
How does the NEXT Gen NASCAR compare in Speed?
Why is NASCAR limited to three manufacturers?
NASCAR currently has only three manufacturers: Chevrolet Ford Toyota. NASCAR can be very costly to enter. The entry fee for a manufacturer would be likely to exceed nine figures.
NASCAR is also very focussed on the American market, and the three manufacturers produce and sell many cars in the USA, all that are affordable for middle-income earners, NASCAR’s target demographic. Because of their high prices, companies such as Mercedes will struggle to make an impression on the American market.
Chevrolet dominated the sport, winning the Manufacturers’ Cup every season between 2003 and 2015. After Ford won the 2018 Cup, Toyota won back-toback Cups in 2016 & 2017. Toyota reclaimed its crown in 2019. In 2020, Ford won, while Chevrolet took the crown in 2019.
NASCAR Restrictor Plates: Why were they introduced?
Before the introduction of Restrictor plates, NASCAR drivers were becoming faster. Bill Elliot’s flying qualifying lap of 212 miles an hour sent a warning to race officials. Bobby Allison’s crash at the same race affirmed their belief that speed control was needed.
Bobby Allison’s crash, which you can see hereIt occurred at Talladega Racetrack on May 9th 1987. He was traveling at 210 miles per hour when he spun and took off. The catch net stopped him from driving into the crowd. 5 people were severely injured in the collision.
After this, NASCAR began to restrict the use of Superspeedway cars in 1988. This practice continued into 2019.
What is a Restrictor Plate?
A restrictor plate is simply a small square of aluminum with four holes evenly spaced. The goal is to reduce fuel and airflow in NASCAR’s engines.. This means that cars will have less fuel to burn and more power, which in turn will result in slower speeds.
Rusty Wallace was a private lap driver who tested what NASCAR could do at Talladega. He was Recorded at 228 miles per hour on the straight That is 16 miles an hour more than the official , and barring change, unbeatable record of Bill Elliott’s NASCAR qualifying lap.
Although NASCAR has moved on from Restrictor plates to reduce the speed of NASCAR’s, speed controls didn’t disappear with them. NASCAR has replaced them with spacers. Although spacers still reduce fuel and air, they do so in a finer manner. They help reduce turbulence by allowing air flow more easily through. Learn more about aerodynamic differences between spacers and restrictors. here.
What is the Xfinity Series’ speed?
The NASCAR Xfinity Series (or the next step below the Cup Series) is where drivers can show their skills before moving on to the Cup Series. They have more horsepower than the Cup Series cars, but less downforce. They are therefore faster in straights but slower in corners. They are also more difficult to drive.. Daniel Hemric, the 2021 Xfinity Series champion, won the title by just five votes.
How fast can the Truck Series go?
NASCAR also runs the Camping World Truck Series, which is a series of pickup truck racing. In this series, the power limit is 450 horsepower. It can travel around 180 miles per an hour. This is a lot slower than modern technology. NASCAR Cup Series cars. Ben Rhodes was two points ahead Zane Smith in the 2021 Truck Series.
Is the ARCA Series fast?
The Automobile Racing Club of America hosts the ARCA Menards Series, which is a feeder series to NASCAR. IThe Ford car was able to travel an average speed around Daytona of 188 mph in 2014.. Ty Gibbs won 2021 Arca Series.
As you can see, whatever year NASCAR was in, it has always been fast. It was once faster than ever. However the racetrack’s were not changing, it takes a great deal of work to remodel a track, and these speeds were approaching what is can safely driven around them. NASCAR was awakened by the 1987 crash, and it set in motion many restrictions.
As technology improves and cars become more efficient, it is possible that these limitations will be lifted. However, the difference between 10 and 20 miles per hour to the spectacle that is nASCAR racing is minimal. It is better to have these cars racing at the track than flying through the air.
We believe that NASCAR is not given enough credit for its actions before a disaster. Do it before one.