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5 Questions Every NASCAR Fan Has Asked At Least Once

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Picture of Becky Greiner

Becky Greiner

A Kevin Harvick fan since 2001, Becky grew up in a NASCAR family and still finds time to catch up on the Cup Series standings in between raising two Tuxedo cats and a senior dog.
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Let’s face it – NASCAR is an easy sport to follow, but it still raises many questions about the drivers, race setup, and more. Here are five questions we know everyone’s asked before – out loud, into a search engine, or both. 

Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Do NASCAR vehicles have air conditioning?

Although temperatures inside a race car exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, no air conditioning exists. Air conditioning units would add extra weight inside the car, which is not ideal while trying to maximize speed. 

However, it’s important for drivers to at least get a little relief during a race, but different drivers have different preferences, including:

  • Built-in ventilation systems that blow cool air on their seats and feet
  • Helmets with attachments for pumping in cool air
  • Racing suits or clothing that is specifically designed with cooling gel

Without air conditioning, drivers can only cool down the inside of their cars by about 10 degrees, but during a long afternoon of racing, every little bit of relief helps.

How do NASCAR drivers go to the bathroom during a race?

Face it; every NASCAR fan has probably thought about this question at least once, especially after you watch a few races and realize that a pit stop has nothing to do with taking a bathroom break.

As for what drivers do when they feel the urge, typically, one of these two scenarios occurs:

  • They hold it. Having to be well-hydrated and sit in a fast car for three to four hours don’t always go hand-in-hand, but focusing so much on how the car is driving and what the other drivers are doing often helps distract drivers from having full bladders. The amount that drivers sweat during a race also helps them from having to “go” as often.
  • They just go. When drivers feel that urge to the point of distraction, and their firesuits are wet with sweat anyway, many have admitted to simply letting it go. 

HPhoto by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

What do NASCAR drivers eat before a race?

Like all athletes, NASCAR drivers must eat a protein-rich meal to keep them full and comfortable during a race. But they also have to be cognizant of a meal weighing them down too much so they can stay at peak performance.

All drivers have their go-to’s for pre-race meals, but some common foods are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs and bacon
  • Avocado toast
  • Poached eggs and tomatoes
  • Grilled chicken and salad
  • Bland foods, such as turkey, rice, and corn

Bonus question: Do drivers eat or drink during a race?

It’s critical for drivers to stay hydrated during a race, so although it’s not convenient, drinking during a race is a must. But with the focus they have to maintain while driving, they have to be careful about how they take in their liquids. Some helmets are equipped with hydration devices, and other drivers will quickly ask for a quick snack or beverage during a pit stop.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Is there a reason why NASCAR races run counterclockwise?

The old joke that NASCAR drivers “can only turn left” isn’t entirely true. Race cars are designed to turn both ways, but the counterclockwise direction of NASCAR races is in place for a few different reasons:

  • The driver’s seat being on the left side
  • The oval design of the track
  • Racing counterclockwise has a long history going back to horse races

With all of this in mind, it made logical sense to have the drivers only turn left during races, but they could still turn right if they wanted to.

Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images

What state has the most NASCAR fans?

Currently, NASCAR holds races at 42 tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada, but search engine data shows North Carolina as having the highest concentration of NASCAR fans. The state has a search volume of 1,457 per 100,000, reflecting the NASCAR culture in North Carolina and the love of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Other states with high numbers of NASCAR fans are:

  • West Virginia
  • South Carolina

NASCAR is particularly popular in the Southeast United States because this area is where the first races were held – the first NASCAR race was held in Daytona Beach in 1948, and the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race ran in North Carolina in 1949.

Check out the latest insights and guides for NASCAR race fans here at the Daily Downforce!

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Picture of Becky Greiner

Becky Greiner

A Kevin Harvick fan since 2001, Becky grew up in a NASCAR family and still finds time to catch up on the Cup Series standings in between raising two Tuxedo cats and a senior dog.
All Posts