How NASCAR creates the closest racing on the planet

How NASCAR creates the closest racing on the planet

AUTOSPORT visited NASCAR's Research and Development Centre, the place where the tight set of rules that creates the series' uniquely competitive environment comes together.

The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rulebook is a small, pocket-size 166-page publication, which comprises 20 different sections. Most of them relate to the sporting regulations and only the last one enters the technical domain and is referred to as 'NASCAR Sprint Cup Series specifications'. However, it spreads through 117 pages, which equates to seventy per cent of the book.

Through hundreds of lines, the rules set dimensional limits for almost every component of the car. There's an index at the end of Section 20, where almost 200 items are listed, most of them specific parts that range from a ball-joint to an engine. Many have a specific part number from vendors who supply approved spoilers, carburettors, fuel cells, brake ducts or shock absorbers.

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