NASCAR is an annual season which gets Americans fired up each year. It is one of the many popular motor sports of our time. They may only be going round in a ring but it does not mean it is easy to do! There are many cars on the track at one time and you have to make sure you get your car out of the scrum and make sure you are number one!
Read on to find out the lowdown on this year's NASCAR season and what's making it so popular with motor sport fans.
This season's NASCAR has witnessed adrenalin-pumping manoeuvres, frantic pit stops and monumental pile-ups. The second most watched sport in the country, for decades its stock car events have been seen as the natural habitat of blue-collar Americans and those who like their racing fierce. And what a year they have been treated to so far.
With the first third of the season already complete, the 2013 series has seen a return of the iconic bumper-to-bumper racing which made NASCAR Sprint Cup so popular in the previous decades. Read on to find out how things stand in the drivers' championship and what is making this year such a classic for race fans across the country.
With everything still to play for, it's Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson who has taken an early lead in the Sprint Cup standings. After coming third overall in the 2012 season, the Californian driver has already notched up two victories including the prestigious Daytona 500.
However, close on his heels is Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing's highest placed driver. The 2011 runner-up has already notched up a victory at Subway Fresh Fit 500, with Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jnr, Clint Bowyer and last year's champion Brad Keselowski all chasing down the top spot.
Success of the Gen-6
Much of the excitement of the current season has been credited to the newly introduced Gen-6 car. Just over 150 pounds lighter than last year's model, it has allowed driver's to attempt more daring overtaking manoeuvres and push on-tracks limits. This has been facilitated by the designers, who set the safety specifications for every team, eliminating aerodynamic push issues and improving downforce and the grip of the rear tyres to inspire more confidence in the handling of the race cars.
And the facts speak for themselves. Last season, which was criticised for its lack of excitement, saw average winning margins of 1.759 seconds whilst in 2013 it has been a mere 0.634 seconds. Improved reliability and a lack of auto glass repair issues has also resulted in three per cent more cars finishing each race this season.
The NASCAR season culminates on 17th November at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, and there are guaranteed to be some enthralling twist and turns before the series winner is decided. Prior to this thrilling climax, the Sprint Cup will visit the world-famous Talladega Superspeedway, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway and many more of America's exhilarating stock car tracks.
Have you been watching this year's Sprint cup Series? Who do you think will win the championship?
Chris Mustaine is a freelance writer, often writing about cars, racing and motor sports.