NASCAR for Dummies

My wife checked the NASCAR for Dummies book out of the library for me since I have continued to follow the “Race for the Chase” this fall.

A year ago, if you had said that I would be a NASCAR fan, I would’ve laughed in your face. It was the furthest thing from my mind.

But now, I confess that I’m hooked.

It actually took a while before I could get my hands on the book. Once my wife explained to ~D~ that “NASCAR for Dummies wasn’t actually referring to dumb people but people who wanted to know more about NASCAR, (~D~’s statement about the matter was: “I’m not a dummy!”) the book disappeared.

When I found ~D~ with it, I had to time share the book with him until he finished it.

Being a newbie to the subject, I found it quite helpful in answering some of my questions:

  • What is bump drafting?
  • Why do the drivers swerve back and forth during a caution?
  • What do all those flags mean?
  • What does it mean when a car is too loose or too tight?

I won’t answer all the questions here, but:

  • Drafting occurs on the faster tracks (like Daytona and Talladega) where the cars follow closely behind one another to benefit from the first car “breaking the wind”. You wouldn’t think this would have an effect, but it really does.
  • The drivers swerve back and forth after getting new tires to help warm them up so they “stick” to the track better.


  • A car is too loose when the rear tires won’t grip, causing it to fish-tail.
  • A car is too tight when the front tires don’t grip, causing the car to tend not to turn very well.

We’ve only got one more race to watch (it was run 2 weeks ago, but we’re behind) and the season will be over. We’ll find out who wins the NEXTEL cup. (I actually know who won it because I heard it on the news, but the kids don’t know and it will be fun to watch…hopefully this weekend.

I am already looking forward to next season…


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