How Fast do NASCAR Cars Go?

How Fast do NASCAR Cars Go?

So, a question that came up a lot watching the race last weekend, was how fast do NASCAR cars go? The average speed of a NASCAR car is 200 MPH (321 km/hr). Indcar cars are a bit faster on average at 236 mph (380 km/hr). In the late 1980’s, NASCAR purposely started requiring slower overall speeds to improve driver safety. Of course, the speed that you see on TV for the races depends on the type of track, whether or not the car is drafting, on a straight away, and more. We’ll go over some of the different top speeds for cars and more for you below. 

How Fast do NASCAR Cars Go? 

How fast do NASCAR Cars Go?Top lap speedAverage Race Speed
Dirt Track89.9 mph46.3 mph
Road Course92.7 mph70.2 mph
Half-mile oval100.2 mph82.2 mph
1 mile oval166.9 mph136.7 mph
Superspeedway212.8 mph188.3 mph
NASCAR Car Speeds

What Type of Engines does NASCAR use for the Cars? 

So, if you are watching NASCAR this weekend, you will see cars using EFI V8 engines. They are limited to a 5.9 L / 358 cubic inch displacement. The Next Gen NASCAR engines are rated at 670 horsepower and 510 HP for restrictor plate racing. These are the cars that you see racing in the Cup Series races that fall on Sunday for most of the NASCAR season. 

Does a NASCAR Car’s Weight Impact the Top Speed? 

The short answer is yes it does. The cars weigh approximately 3,000 lbs. Based on the V-8 engine size, they can go zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds. Indy Cars weigh more which helps them exceed the top speed of a NASCAR car

Which is the Fastest NASCAR Track? 

Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway is known as the fastest track in NASCAR.

The Michigan International Speedway is the fastest track in NASCAR today. The top speed there was set in 1987 by Bill Elliott. He got up to 212.8 MPH. The track record for top average speed is held by Jeff Gordon. He was able to maintain an average speed of 206.5 MPH. There is no restrictor plate requirement when racing at Michigan either. This makes it a bit more fun with the higher speeds compared to other tracks. 

Will we see NASCAR Increase the Overall Speed of Cars Anytime Soon? 

While technology continues to improve, it’s not very likely that we’ll see NASCAR lift any of the current rules that limit speeds. There is just too much risk with increasing the odds of a fatality by doing so. They continue to implement initiatives and changes targeted to driver safety. If we get wind of any big changes coming, we’ll keep you posted. 

NASCAR’s Fastest Moments

Here’s a cool highlight video of some of NASCAR’s fastest moments for you to enjoy. 

Will Lewis

Have been covering sports of all types for more than 18 years. March Madness is my favorite time of year before we hit the NBA and NHL playoffs. Will is a lifelong Kentucky Wildcats fan and rooted for the Bengals way back when Joe Montana dashed our hopes and dreams. Now a Padres fan as well. He covers all sports here at Sports Brackets.

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