Both NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and Formula One are motor-car racing competitions with a huge fan following. Indeed, the total fan following generated by these two leagues are comparable to that of International soccer, Tennis and Athletics. But the two competitions differ in three key areas, namely, 1 – rules and set-up of the competition; 2 – the technical differences in the build of race-cars; and 3 – the reach and fan following of the sport. The following paragraphs will expand on these points.
Firstly, Formula One is authorized by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and is the more lucrative of the two. But motor-race connoisseurs have found NASCAR to be more appealing in certain aspects. For example, competition for pole position tends to be more open in a NASCAR race compared to a F1 race. In the latter, whoever starts at the pole position ends up winning the race most times, making the field of competition less-egalitarian than NASCAR. NASCAR is also noted for testing drivers’ core racing skills, whereas in Formula One, strategies, tactics and other team considerations bear upon the outcome. As a result both these circuits have developed their own niche fan following. NASCAR races are usually 400-500 miles long and are run on oval tracks, whereas Formula One races are run on uniquely constructed circuits and last about 2-3 hrs.
Secondly, NASCAR racers use ‘stock’ cars, which weighs 2.5 times more than a Formula One car. Hence NASCAR racing is closer in reality to ordinary cars as their maximum speeds are decidedly lesser than Formula One cars. While Formula One teams employ special engineering and design to make their cars the best in business, NASCAR racers used improvised versions of cars available in American showrooms.
And thirdly, another key difference between the two circuits is that while NASCAR has an international fan following, it is primarily an American championship, with all races conducted within the country. In the case of Formula One, it is truly international and races are conducted all across the world. Formula One teams are owned by international car manufacturers like Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, etc. NASCAR, on the other hand is exclusively based on American manufacturers such as Chevrolet, Red Bull, Dodge, etc. Manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota were recently included after they set up manufacturing plants in American soil.
Hence, in conclusion, both NASCAR and Formula One have their own unique features and specialities. Both have gained reputation for providing entertainment and thrill to the fans.
Jones, Bruce (1997). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One. Hodder & Stoughton.
Fielden, Greg (2005). “The National Championship Stock Car Circuit”. In Editors of Consumer Guide. NASCAR: A Fast History. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Ltd.. p.15