The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, in other words, NASCAR, is a staple of the culture of the United States. So what exactly is it? Nascar is mostly known for stock-car racing and is one of the most popular forms of car racing in the country. In fact, Nascar is so big, that it currently sanctions over 1,500 races at over a whopping 100 tracks in 48 US states. And if that wasn't enough, it also presents races in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Yes, it really is that huge. However, although it might be popular, it still regularly receives criticism, mainly due to various safety precautions.
And for those who don't like Nascar? Formula One is on the other end of the car racing spectrum and is seen as a much more glamorous type of racing. That's right, Formula 1 (or simply just F1) consists of a series race known as Grands Prix. The races appear all over the world, on some of the most beautiful tracks and circuits ever created. Again, the sport has often been criticized, mostly due to safety, as well as some negative responses to the ridiculous amounts of money involved.
Both sports are hugely successful, with fans appearing all over the world. However, although they might be popular, they can also be extremely weird, especially with regards to the rules involved. Yes, each sport has some strange and interesting rules attached, so let's take a look at 10 of the weirdest Nascar rules (and 10 from Formula 1).
20 NASCAR: You Can't Go Below The Yellow Line
The strange yellow line rule is a controversial subject in Nascar, with everyone and anyone sharing their opinion on it. In the real world, highway drivers are allowed to cross single white lines to pass but are forbidden from crossing a yellow line. The same rules apply to Nascar. However, over the years, a number of cars have steered across the line only to then overtake the car in front. This has been extremely controversial, with many Nascar fans confused to what the rule is even supposed to cover. It seems the meaning of the yellow line depends on the day, causing fans to often get angry.
19 NASCAR: No Swearing Rule
Any sport can cause friction, especially with the competitive elements attached. Therefore, swearing seems like a natural reaction and something that shouldn't really be punished, with drivers just making a slip of the tongue. However, Nascar officials seem to think the opposite and have started reducing points for behavior. That's right, swearing is officially a no-go, with Dale Earnhardt Jr feeling the brunt of it in 2014. Yes, during an interview after winning at Talladega, Earnhardt Jr shouted a swear word. Earnhardt Jr was immediately reprimanded with a whopping 25 championship points taken away. Ouch!
18 NASCAR: Track Scuffles Are Often Allowed
Let's get this straight, swearing is not allowed but dust-ups are actively couraged? Yes, it seems so, with driver confrontations seemingly what Nascar is all about. That's right, throughout the years, driver brawls have attracted a lot of attention, so much so that Nascar officials have decided to be lenient on those involved due to an increase in viewers and tickets. Postrace fisticuffs are a common occurrence, and in some cases, the real reasons why fans turn up in the first place. The rivalry between players and throwdowns at the end of a race are often just as exciting as the race itself. Therefore, Nascar silently encourages those to do so.
17 NASCAR: Green-And-White Checkered Flag
Nascar is full of strange and weird rules, especially with regards to overtime and stage racing. The green-and-white checkered flag, which has now become infamous with Nascar, is one of the weirdest rules in the game with most people not really understanding what it does. That's right, even the drivers seem a little confused, with the flag seemingly useless. Sadly, the flag is just there to fix something that doesn't actually exist, much like the majority of rules circling around the sport. So what does it do? The green-and-white flag is usually waved on the restart to indicate that there are two laps remaining in the race. Yes, it's useless.
16 NASCAR: The Biggest Race Is First
For some reason, Nascar officials are adamant on holding the biggest race of the season first on the schedule. But why? Apparently, due to the freshness of both cars and players, it makes sense for them to race the most exhilarating track at the beginning. That's right, the Daytona 500, a 500-mile long race first held in 1959, has been the season opener since 1982 and one of the most highly anticipated races in the calendar. However, some fans disagree and have continuously voiced their opinions with regards to the positioning of races. In fact, a number of fans claim that they only tune in for the first race and then drift in and out throughout the season.
15 NASCAR: The Confusing Point System
Since the very beginning, the Nascar point system has been shrouded in mystery. Yes, it really is that confusing, with spectators, fans, and audiences continually baffled. However, in 2017, Nascar decided to try and make the whole process easier to understand but, instead, only managed to confuse fans even more. That's right, from different stages, bonus points and restricted scales, to postseasons, rewards and playoffs, the point system seems to change on a daily basis, with fans usually having no idea what on Earth is going on. Nevertheless, fans don't seem too angry and mostly tune in for the thrills anyway.
14 NASCAR: Drivers License
The rules of Nascar are stranger but the rules for the Nascar drivers are even stranger. That's right, rules state that Nascar drivers must have an annual license from the sanctioning body—costing over $2,420, I might add. However, Nascar drivers don't need a valid state driver's license, in case it conflicts with their races. So, what's the deal? Imagine if one of the drivers was suddenly caught speeding in their hometown or across the state and then had their license revoked? They then wouldn't be able to compete in any of the season races. Yes, Nascar drivers do not need a street license to race, just a nice special one provided by Nascar.
13 NASCAR: Nascar Picks The Numbers
Often, a driver can get attached to their number, so much so that they get pretty upset when someone else takes it. Unfortunately for the driver, it's not up to them, with Nascar providing all drivers with numbers on an annual basis. Yes, Nascar reserves the right to transfer or, in extreme cases, revoke numbers to other owners and teams. Afterward, teams can resubmit their request for a particular number but at the end of the day, it is up to Nascar officials. Furthermore, the numbering of cars is not up for debate nor are they up for sale, leaving those who might be a little superstitious extremely angry.
12 NASCAR: The Races Are Too Long
Racing can be extremely fun to watch, especially when the cars hit high speeds. However, although Nascar is one of the most intense sports to watch in person or on TV, it can sometimes get a little repetitive. After all, they are driving around in a circle all day, which can be a little boring. Fans have recently stated that the races are far too long and that Nascar should shorten them to keep people watching. Furthermore, fans claim that by shortening the races, the racing will become better, especially now that new rule changes and the focus on safety awareness have somewhat changed the sport.
11 NASCAR: It's All About The Car
When it comes to Nascar, the sole focus is on the car, not the driver. That's right, with drivers receiving a lot of attention in most other racing sports, Nascar is renowned for caring more about the vehicles than those who drive them. For instance, when a driver wrecks his car, the main goal is to get the damaged vehicle back to the garage, rather than check that the driver is ok. That's right, if the driver can walk, or at least show some signs of movement, they are deterred from receiving medical help and should instead attempt to drive the damaged car back to their garage.
10 Formula 1: Grooved Tires
Formula 1 tires have generated a lot of heat over the last few decades, especially in recent years. However, it was the introduction of groove tires that really started grinding the gears of many. That's right, in 1998, grooved tires were introduced for the first time. The tires had three grooves on the front tire and four on the rear. Then, in 1999, a fourth groove was added, with the sole intention of slowing the cars down. After a number of other rules, the tire situation just got silly, with tire situation affecting the excitement of the races. Thankfully, grooved tires were eventually replaced with slick tires, allowing the cars to go faster once again.
9 Double Points For The Last Race
Formula 1 has undergone many changes over the years. However, the double points awarded at the end of the final race seem to be the most ridiculous. Yes, in 2014, a new rule was created to award double points to whoever finished first in the final race of the season. The rule was implemented to make it more difficult for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull, who had previously won both the drivers and manufacturer championship with four races to go. The idea was immediately unpopular with teams and fans extremely angry over the decision. Thankfully, the rule was scrapped after just one year.
8 Aggregate Qualifying
Qualifying rules seemingly irritate the best of us, especially hardcore race fans. Formula 1 has a torrid history with qualifying and has implemented and scrapped a number of crazy and ridiculous rules over the years. Aggregate qualifying was one of them and certainly rocked the boat with both drivers and teams. The rule was first introduced in 2005 and was designed to fix a problem that didn't actually exist. (It's a common theme.) The rule meant that drivers did two one-shot laps (one on low fuel and one with their required race fuel load), with an aggregate time taken from both. However, it did not work (obviously) and the idea was scrapped before the season even ended.
7 Elimination Qualifying
Will they ever just leave the qualifying process alone? The answer is no, proven here by the introduction of the elimination qualifying in 2016. Yes, after the disaster that was the aggregate qualifying experiment, the bosses at Formula 1 seemingly wanted to do something even more ridiculous. Elimination qualifying was similar to the original three-part system, except that in each stage, the slowest car would be eliminated every 90 seconds. However, drivers and teams alike realized that this would be extremely boring, especially as there would be hardly any drivers on the track. Thankfully, the whole thing was scrapped, mostly thanks to protests from the drivers. I mean, they know best, right?
6 Fuel-Credit Qualifying
Qualifying again! For some reason, Formula 1 officials are desperate to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Yes, the act of qualifying has seemingly irritated Formula one bosses for years. However, drivers and fans don't seem to really see the problem. Fuel-credit qualifying was first introduced in 2006 and was immediately hated. So what exactly was it? The rule stated that the top ten fastest drivers would go into Q3 only to spend another 15 minutes burning fuel before setting their lap times, only to then get their fule back before the race. Sound strange and confusing? It is.
5 Closed Pit Lane For Safety Car
For some reason, the safety car has always been somewhat of a problem for Formula 1 officials, even if its sole purpose is to protect. However, things really took a turn in 2007, when the rules of the safety car changed yet again. That's right, the rule stated that when the safety car was to be released, the pit lane was to be immediately closed and the cars ordered to line up behind one another. After the cars had done so, the pit lane could open again but the exit was to be remained shut. Sound weird? You're right, it is—and it was this that caused the infamous crash between Hamilton and Raikkonen in 2008.
4 Narrow Cars
Sadly, the year 1998 was a bad one for Formula 1 and a year that saw a lot of strange rules. That's right, not only did Formula 1 officials introduce grooved tires but they also decided to make the cars worse. Yes, in 1998, it was decided that the cars should be made narrower, a rule that made it extremely difficult to drive. And, if that wasn't bad enough, the cars also looked awful, strange and a far cry from the glamorous monsters that fans had been accustomed to. The rule was in place for years, with Formula 1 enthusiasts continually shouting their disgust about the narrow vehicles. Thankfully, in 2017 they were replaced and made wider again.
The issue of DRS has divided Formula 1 fans for years, if not decades. However, it seems the majority are against the idea. So what exactly is it? DRS, which stands for drag reduction system, is a form of driver-adjustable bodywork aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag in order to increase speed and promote overtaking. Sure, it might sound thrilling, but several fans consider the maneuver to be akin to cheating. That's right, fans claim that DRS is a false way of overtaking and that there are other important things involved in Formula 1, not just overtaking. Whatever your view, it certainly causes a few arguments.
2 Fastest Lap Point
Some say that 1950s was the golden age of Formula 1, while some claim it was still finding its feet. Whatever the case, it was certainly interesting and without it, we wouldn't have the amazing technology and drivers that we have today. However, the era is also famous for introducing one of the strangest rules ever involved in Formula 1, a rule that still fascinates folks today. Yes, during the 1950s, drivers were each given an extra point for conducting the fastest lap of the race. The rule led to inaccurate timing systems, with one race famous for giving seven different drivers a single point for posting the fastest race lap. Thankfully, it was scrapped soon after.
1 V6 Hybrid Engines
In the wonderful world of motor racing, you just can't please everyone, even when it comes to engines. Yes, the topic of what engine to use has been a debate among Formula 1 enthusiasts for some time. And for good reason, of course. However, it seems that the majority of fans are in favor of ditching the V6 and leaning towards the monster that is the V10, an engine that seems a lot more at home on a Formula 1 race track. That's right, fans across the world regularly claim that the V6 engines just aren't roadworthy and instead compare them to a lawnmower engine. All hail the V10!
Sources: Drivetribe, Formula 1, and Wikipedia.