What Would Happen if NASCAR Tried Right Turns?

Photo: mnapoleon

With the exception of a few road course races, most of the NASCAR races are held on ovals. The cars always race counter-clockwise on the ovals, meaning the cars only turn left.

Given all the attention that learning and expertise has been getting, I’m deeply curious as to what would happen if for one race NASCAR went in the opposite direction, so that it was all right turns. I understand that they would probably have to do a lot of work to the cars, because the cars must be optimized for left turns, but put that aside. Would lap times be appreciably worse because the drivers would have trouble cornering? Would there be more crashes? Would the same drivers excel?

I think NASCAR should give it a shot. It would generate a lot of interest. I suspect, both among hardcore NASCAR fans and more casual sports fans.

I’ve even got the obvious name for the race: The Rite Aid 400.


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  1. VB in NV says:

    Shouldn’t it be the “Rite Aid 180″?

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  2. Dave says:

    Seems to me one of the biggest problems would be that most (all?) pit areas are set up for the cars to enter with the drivers side closest to the wall. This would turn that completely upside down.

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    • Cory says:

      At Watkins Glen (where they are racing next) the pit wall is on the passenger’s side. They do just fine.

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  3. Zack says:

    Sitting on the outside of the turn rather than the inside would probably trouble the drivers getting on their preferred lines and slow lap times (of course this is just my guess).

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  4. boomer says:

    Demolition. Derby.

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  5. Eric M Jones says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Brian says:

      This is not true, the torque cannot “flip” a car.

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      • Chris says:

        You are only correct in that torque alone can not flip a car. But if the major speedway cars were sent down the the track the wrong way with their current design, the other forces in play along with the torque would be more than enough to get cars airborne. Those cars are design to counter balance everything to the left to keep the vehicle on line through a banked curve. Reversing the bank without reversing the design (the scenario I described) would be tragic.

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  6. b says:

    Obviously, you have never watched a race in your life. Otherwise, you would know that most of the drivers were hired from other series like Sprint cars, dirt cars, etc. Also, most of them participate Rolex 24 at Daytona road course and yes they do have the road courses every year. Lastly, they use different cars for each track so the teams would build a car that was optimized for right handed turns.

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  7. Mike says:

    Twice a year NASCAR does road races, which ostensibly involve right and left turns.

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  8. cjc says:

    Isn’t this how Australian NASCAR works?

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