Will you be brave enough to push the race car to 200 mph on a track? What if you don’t have a speedometer to tell you how fast you are? NASCAR Drivers, who are not allowed to speedometers, do exactly this every weekend. But some NASCAR drivers are asking NASCAR to allow their speedometers.
Do NASCAR Cup cars have a speedometer?
NASCAR does not allow speedometers in Cup Cars. Drivers use the gear they are in and the speed of their engine to judge their overall speed. But with the increasing number of speeding violations in the garage lane, some drivers may want to use the speedometer.
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NASCAR has stuck to the analog metrics for several seasons more than Formula 1. Because a NASCAR race car driver has a tachometer, drivers use engine rpm and the knowledge of their transmission gear to judge their overall speed. Drivers choose the most appropriate gear for each section of the track and then push their cars as fast as they can.
By 2016, NASCAR had begun converting to digital dashboards. These new units contain multiple pages of data and drivers can choose what their dashboards display. The NASCAR Next Generation race car benefits from the McLaren PCU-500N digital dashboard.
The tachometer page remains the most important metric for drivers. They also closely monitor the water and oil temperatures. Keeping these two degrees five degrees from each other ensures that they remove as much power as possible from their engine, without overheating it.
Developed with Formula 1 technology, the new digital dashboard can display a speedometer like Formula 1 drivers, but NASCAR rules still prohibit speedometers.
Can a NASCAR driver get a speeding ticket?
NASCAR Race Tracks post a speed limit on the race lane. These speed limits vary by route. If officials detect a driver speeding in a traffic lane, the penalty could result in a loss of the race.
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The pit lane can be a dangerous place. Crews jump over the wall to service their car and send the driver on their way. Each team is at a different point in their stopping routine. Meanwhile, cars are traveling inches apart, sometimes at 50 mph.
For this reason, NASCAR imposes severe penalties on drivers caught speeding down the pit lane. For years, officials monitored passing drivers and clocked them with stopwatches. according to The New York TimesNASCAR switched from this stopwatch system to an electronic timing system in 2005. The result was that several drivers were caught pushing the speed limit on a pit road.
During the memorable 2009 Indy 500, Juan Pablo Montoya drove 116 laps before being flagged for driving 60.06 mph on a pit road. The penalty kick put him back in the middle of the set. After a similar incident at Brickyard that year, he revealed, “It’s really devastating when you have one of the races of your life slip through your fingers.”
Why do NASCAR drivers want a speedometer?
Most race car drivers like to know their engine rpm for their overall speed while racing. But NASCAR’s lane speed limit, and severe speeding penalties, cause drivers to demand an in-vehicle speedometer.
During the age of the analog gauge, NASCAR considered speedometers both redundant and heavy, and thus outlawed them. The first lap behind the speed car is usually completed at the speed limit in the podium lane. Drivers take this opportunity to note the tachometer reading in any relevant gears. At the end of the analog era, teams developed a colorful lighting system that drivers could adjust to the speed of a local pot road. The lights glow yellow, then red when the driver exceeds the maximum rpm on the pit lane.
But with the McLaren PCU-500N digital dashboard, this system is completely unnecessary. NASCAR can ask McLaren to create a speedometer page that is only displayed on a pothole road, or displayed automatically when driving under 100mph. Such a system would give drivers the same exact data that NASCAR authorities use to issue speeding tickets.
When a NASCAR fan asked redditDriver Chase Briscoe joked, “Why don’t drivers get a speedometer” Back in 2018, “That would make the road easy.”
Next, discover the top speed of the NASCAR Cup Car or watch how NASCAR drivers use their digital dashboard in the video below: