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How Long Do NASCAR Races Last? 3 – 4 hours and 210 – 600 miles

American motorsports like IndyCar and NASCAR are no strangers to long races, with some events in the season lasting more than 3 hours – which if you’d not before experienced the magic of a prestigious race like the Daytona 500, you might be fooled into thinking it could get a little boring to watch such a long race. Rather that’s far from the case.

Part of what makes the longer Super Speedway races so electrifying to watch is the fight for survival and dominance over such a long duration, where teams and drivers have to keep it cool and stay out of trouble in order to have a shot at victory.

Find it hard to sit still for 3 hours? Imagine what it’s like for the drivers when they feel the urge to pee…

Las Vegas NASCAR track

The NASCAR race season consists of several types of circuit, from Super Speedway tracks like Talladega and Nashville, which tend to be the longer races of the year, to Road Courses like Road America. Not only does this help keep the energy of the race season fresh and dynamic, but it also gives the opportunity for different drivers and teams to thrive at events that suit them, just think of hometown advantage.

Generally, NASCAR Cup Series races last anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, as the total race distance can vary greatly from a measly 210 miles at Martinsville to a colossal 600 miles at the Coca-Cola World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which this year will take place May 29th.

Which NASCAR race is the longest of the season?

There are many races scheduled for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season with 500-mile distances, these races are known to last 3 and-a-half hours, but which NASCAR race is the longest of the season?

The crown goes to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 1.5-mile (2.42 km) lap sees drivers averaging speeds of up to 150mph, with the total race length from the 2021 race clocking in at an impressive 3 hours, 58 minutes, and 45 seconds.

When you consider all of the races on the NASCAR Cup Series calendar, there’s one race that really stands out as “the Big One” – The Daytona 500.

Adored by up to 10-million viewers every year, the coveted 200-lap duel around the Daytona International Speedway always guarantees to provide us with fantastic entertainment, from enthralling rivalries, nail-biting overtakes, and the ever-present potential for jaw-dropping calamities to flip the tables upside down, up to the last lap.

Victory at the 500 is elusive, many NASCAR greats have come and gone without winning at Daytona, on the flip side it has been the race that has given some drivers their very first win, just as Michael McDowell did on his 358th race start, securing an unforgettable victory at the 2021 Daytona 500.

Now before you get all worked up that I missed a very important event on the NASCAR calendar, let’s give a worthy mention to the year’s race that many consider producing the closest, most exciting racing – Talladega.

Is Talladega the best NASCAR race?

Talladega Super Speedway, formerly named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS), is a 2.66-mile tri-oval speedway in Lincoln, Alabama that every year since the 1970s has hosted some truly sensational moments in the sport’s history.

For many, the “Dega” is, and will always be their favorite stop of the season, why? The configuration of Talladega allows drivers to reach arguably the highest speeds of the season, it was here after all that legend Buddy Baker first saw over 200 mph (320 km/h) from a stock car, with an insane 200.447 mph (322.588 km/h) during a test session on March 24, 1970. Bill Elliott also set a record at Talladega that still remains to this day, with a pole lap for the Winston 500 clocking an ungodly 212.809 mph (342.483 km/h).

The circuit is not without its dangers, however, as since the track’s construction in 1969, numerous bizarre and tragic occurrences have taken place, leading some to speculate the track itself could be haunted, no can be sure but it certainly adds an extra element of challenge for those who might be superstitious.

How do drivers “go to the toilet” during a race?

NASCAR on track racing

Knowing they have a 3+ hour race ahead of them on race day, we can assume that drivers will have their own ritual when it comes to eating, using the restroom, and other ways to prepare themselves for such a physically demanding event. So it’s probable that they at least get the “number 2” out of the way either before or after the race, although it’s not unheard of that a driver had to make such a “deposit” in their race suit during a race, I mean you wouldn’t sacrifice your leading position in the race JUST to use the restroom, would you?

But what about all the niggling reasons that often cause us to feel the urge to pee, knowing that we can’t easily use the toilet is one of them, another might be feeling nervous as tensions rise prior to the race starting.

The truth is, with the cockpit, or “greenhouse” (as its often nicknamed) often reaching sweltering temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit all race-long and drivers concentrating intensely, the sheer amount of sweat produced, even with the ability to drink water on the go, would most likely counteract the need to urinate.

As many of us can probably relate to when you’re taking part in physical activity under warm weather and you’re doing your best to stay hydrated, there’s seldom the sudden urge to pee. Worst case scenario: you just have to pee in your pants!

Sure, you might be a little difficult to stand next come to the end of the race, but if the result at stake is a glorious one, it’s just one of the many sacrifices required from NASCAR racers competing at the top level.

How long is the Daytona 500?

Often, there are several events held at the Daytona Internation Speedway throughout the season, like the Coke Zero Sugar 400, and Bluegreen Vacations Duels, however, it is the almighty “500” that is the main feature. The name refers to the total number of miles covered during the race, 500 (805km). A lap of the 4-turn oval measures at 2.5-miles (4km) and is 40-feet wide, allowing drivers just enough room to duke it out in some classic door-to-door action, with last year’s 2021 race lasting some 3 hours, 27 minutes, and 44 seconds.

What is the best way to watch a NASCAR race?

Michigan speedway

If you’re watching the race from home, then without a doubt NASCAR is best watched with friends, family, or by yourself if that’s the way you prefer. Maybe your pet is the only company you need. Whoever you choose to watch it with, here are some tips we recommend to really get the best NASCAR experience in 2022:

  • Get comfortable, kick off your shoes and slip into something comfortable, maybe any merchandise you like to wear if you’re a die-hard fan
  • Prepare your refreshments! A nice hot or cold beverage, some fresh water to keep you hydrated, and some of your favorite snacks to keep your concentration up.
  • Get up-to-date with the season standings and interesting bits of news while waiting for the race to begin
  • When they start their engines, crank up the volume and enjoy the cracking competition as it unfolds.

Get ready for it all to kick off!

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series and X-Infinity seasons look to be the most diverse and intensely fought yet, who will you be rooting for as the most anticipated races of the season edge ever closer to our circuits and our screens?

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