Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2004, 11:17 AM
smootman smootman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Clermont, FL
Posts: 133
Why do all NASCAR races run counter-clockwise?

Why only left turns? Are right turns too dangerous? Has it always been this way?
Old 02-08-2004, 12:10 PM
DarrenS DarrenS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,204
From here - no idea how trustworthy this site is.
Q: Why is it that on on racetracks almost all races go in a counterclockwise direction?

A: That's a great question and it has several answers. The USA track and field organization tells us that in 1912 the international governing body of track and field made an arbitrary decision that runners would run counterclockwise and it's been that way ever since.

NASCAR tells us auto racetracks were set up counterclockwise in the tradition of horse racing, and the thoroughbred racing association says american racetracks were first set counterclockwise in 1780 because American breeders were still angry at the British, whose horse racing tracks ran clockwise.
Old 02-08-2004, 12:21 PM
spingears spingears is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: KNOXTN
Posts: 4,334
From Where The Driver Sits...........

Whatever the history, etc. it seems to me that the driver has a better view of the track ahead curving to the left.

If I were in a Europian race with a RH driver's positionI would think a track curving to the right would be freferred.
Do nothing simply if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful
Old 02-08-2004, 12:22 PM
Bruce_Daddy Bruce_Daddy is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Greenvegas, SC
Posts: 3,412
FWIW, the races at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glenn (road courses) are run clockwise.
Old 02-08-2004, 12:29 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portman Road
Posts: 17,369
Most European short and long track racing, and Formula 1, runs clockwise. Anyone know about European horse racing, and if there's any correlation?
Old 02-08-2004, 12:39 PM
Mr. Goofballz Mr. Goofballz is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 20
During one of the races last year an announcer brought this up. He said it was because the driver is the farthest away from a side impact to the wall. It makes sense in that respect but I don't know if thats the historical answer. Just relaying what he said.
Old 02-08-2004, 01:20 PM
mike1dog mike1dog is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 771
You're right Mr. Goofballz, I saw a race taped at an Australian oval and the cars ran clockwise because the cars were right hand drive.
Old 02-08-2004, 01:23 PM
mike1dog mike1dog is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 771
Actually this question has been answered before by Cecil.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017