Weird Facts and Occurrences In NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing — better known as NASCAR — was founded was 1948, though the roots of stock car racing actually date to the Prohibition era. Daytona Beach, Florida, was a common location for setting land-speed records, with drivers gathering to compete in events to see which cars were the fastest. Race competitor and businessman William “Bill” France, Sr. saw that there was a need to promote and sanction racing. Since its formation, NASCAR has been a leader in producing and promoting races, and it has become the world’s largest governing body for stock car racing. Needless to say, NASCAR has always had its fair share of weird stories and interesting occurrences. Here are just a few of those odd happenings and fun tidbits you may not have known. 


  1. 1. Jeff Gordon admitted on the show Undeniable With Joe Buck in 2017 that in the late 1990 he was ordered by NASCAR to keep his leads to no more than 4 seconds so the race didn’t become boring. 
  2. 2. There's no rule stating that a car must be facing forward to receive service in the pit lane. A backwards-facing car can still be serviced, as long as all four tires are inside the box. 
  3. 3. During qualifying for the 1982 Daytona 500, Bill Dennis’ Pontiac was traveling at 180mph when, in the span of only 2 seconds, it snapped out and rammed the turn 4 wall at full speed. Dennis’ heart stopped, but he was successfully revived by doctors. He suffered a broken shoulder, severe internal injuries, and a damaged larynx, along with a broken foot from his attempt to slow down. Dennis was out of the hospital after a month, and despite attempting to return that summer, he never raced again. 
  4. 4. In 1987, Morgan Shepherd claimed that some teams had devices that could dump oil on the windshields of the cars behind him. He also claimed that there was a device that could produce fake smoke with the intention of making trailing drivers believe the car in front was about to blow up, causing them to hopefully back off. 
  5. 5. Alan Pruitt of Hickory, NC, had never run a race in his life before taking the green for the AC Spark Plug 150 ARCA race in 1990 at Pocono. He started at the back and lost the engine after 15 laps. 
  6. 6. Hickory Speedway in Newton, NC., is located across the street from a burial ground. If a burial procession is scheduled alongside a race, the race will be red flagged during the procession. 
  7. 7. The owners of Little Debbie are very religious, to the point that NASCAR teams sponsored by Little Debbie are contractually obligated to either remove or cover up any Little Debbie logos on the Sabbath.
  8. 8. Michigan International Raceway used to use helicopters to dry the track surface. During a Grand National race in 1969, a chopper crashed in turn 3 during a yellow flag after hitting a truck antenna. No one was hurt, but the practice was subsequently discontinued.