The world of NASCAR traces its roots far back in the history of America, and since its inception has been woven into the very fiber and identity of US culture. Having gained majorly in popularity in America, it has grown into worldwide popularity. With good reason too, as these cars go fast, go hard, and crash hard.
NASCAR began with simple crime, moving illegal product. Yes, in the era of the prohibition, people would modify their cars to go fast and get away from cops with their bootleg liquor, known as moonshine. This slowly evolved to more and more specialized cars, and by the end of the prohibition, people still loved racing their cars, and so NASCAR began to take on a recognizable form.
The cars of NASCAR racing have grown and evolved quite a bit over the years, and the modern incarnation of a race car doesn't look much of anything like the old ones. Indeed, the history of NASCAR is storied and rich, filled with all kinds of changes, problems, drama, and good fun. Let's take a look at the abandoned side of this history, by looking at 24 photos of abandoned NASCAR race cars. Enjoy the article folks and like always make sure to share it with a friend. Start your engines!
24 Busted Up Wrangler
This old race car has most definitely seen some better days in its time. Once upon a time, these headlights were both pointed forward, that bumper was some semblance of straight, and it did indeed have a windshield. No more is that the case as time has taken its toll on this one.
NASCAR race cars have seen some pretty intense developments over the years, and some serious evolution into the cars that we see today. It's clear that this one is close, as it does have painted on headlights, not real ones.
23 Rusty No 3
Rusty number three here has found itself on a property somewhere back behind everything else, tucked with some other old cars behind the trees in the far corner. They're uncovered and exposed to the elements, so the task of salvaging these potential restores becomes more and more difficult with each storm that passes.
Alas, it still has a taste of that history, and demonstrates just how much time has passed since this particular era of NASCAR had its glory days. The colors are more prominent and the sponsors are far more difficult to see. Before it was all run by money, in other words.
22 Beautiful History In Ruin
This is a pretty old example of what is still a fairly common set up these days, to have a truck hauler that is specifically designed for one thing: hauling your personal, specifically engineered and designed race car. Talk about a specialized setup.
I like the looks of this old car, too, because these are mostly remembered nowadays as restores, classic cars you take on a Sunday cruise, and nothing more. But, back in the day, they were used as race cars, and that is pretty cool.
21 Dethroned Pizza King
The Pizza King was perhaps never the best racer out there, maybe he never won a single race. And while that sounds sad, it's not, and that's because he never claimed to be anything but the king of pizza. Though in all likelihood he was a very good racer.
But this is all in the past now, the racer is no more, nor is his car, save the empty blue shell rotting away in the forest. And no more is the Pizza King, perhaps the saddest of them all. Dethroned and forgotten, we can only hope his heirs know how to make a good pie.
20 Empty Plastic Shells
This is a photo of a truly extensive graveyard of forgotten and broken down NASCAR race cars. The empty plastic shells litter the scene in rows, with a Camry labeled Tupperware bowl on wheels set in the foreground, front, and center.
While there isn't much about this that's actually like a Camry at all, that really is just because of the need for sponsors. Napa has the biggest spot claimed, too, with a massive decal covering the front hood.
19 Expired Nesquik
Of all the sponsors to have covering your entire NASCAR race car, perhaps one of the best out there is the Nesquik one. How could you not be drinking Nesquik every time you race, too? Talk about a perfect excuse to get in some more product placement.
Though the sad fact is that this Nesquik is long expired, and you can't drink it anymore. This race car shell is a sad and lonely remnant of a time when it really was in its glory days, though nowadays it remains in an empty forest, covered with leaves every fall.
18 Far From The Race Track
This race car has never been further from the race track than it is right now, buried in this forest, surrounded by dense emerald foliage and trees and debris. It's particularly lost in the landscape because of the log hiding it from view, along with the foliage.
Once this thing raced on smooth tarmac every day, reaching speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour, and apart from the pit stops and the trailer, didn't know much else. Now it's a hard lonely retirement for this one.
17 Forested Forty Two
Most of these race cars that have been abandoned in the forest around the property of a certain Dale Earnhardt Jr have been acquired by him because they were in some pretty significant crashes while racing.
With this one, it's quite clear, as both the front end and tieback end have been pretty smashed up, to the point of no recognition, even. This backside is torn up, ravaged, likely in a pretty bad racing accident. Now it can rest in the peace and loneliness of the forest.
16 Ghostly Rusted Remains
These ghostly rusted remains of a race car are scattered haphazardly throughout the forest floor as an ode to a forgotten era. The bluebird coloring highlights the focus, with the decals and sponsors still visible through the rust and decay.
Merely empty shells anymore, soon the paint will dissolve as rust takes over and soon the shells will have dissolved completely into the soil itself, where the iron-rich soil will promote more new growth, in the place of where this car once rested and decayed.
15 Ghosts Of North Wilkesboro
NASCAR has a lot of important history and often plays a large part in the history of many small towns, and big ones, across America. Here in North Wilkesboro, this old NASCAR race car has its place outside of a convenience store, on display for all to see.
It clearly has its place in the community and in the history of the town, and that's a really awesome thing to see, a group of people sharing a commonality, brought together by NASCAR, by racing, and indeed by cars.
14 Left To Fade In The Forest
These empty metal shells of race cars have been crushed and dilapidated, left to fade in the forest, disappearing into nothing but rust and a shadow, a fleeting thought. These are pretty old race cars, too, judging by the amount of metal.
The shells are all painted with bright colors and now faded decals, though the one in the middle has been caused quite badly, and the blue one behind it seems to be missing some serious parts, like a front end.
13 Lonely Car And A Lonely Track
This photo was taken at one of the very first race track loops in America and can be considered the virtual origin of NASCAR as we know it today. The stands can be seen in the background, where many people came to watch the races.
Nowadays, the tracks are even bigger, and so are the crowds. But this points to a perhaps simpler time, or at least a more intimate time in racing history when it was a small community, and they raced not only for the sport but for the camaraderie as well.
12 Mad Max Type Race Car
This old racer harks back to the very beginnings of racing in America, and you can tell by not only the body styling but also the state of the rust and age of it. Having seen the better half of almost an entire century, this 99x racer looks a little worse for wear, though it's at least still in one piece.
These would be pretty fun to drive around, I know I would have a seriously fun time. They have a certain desert Mad Max type of styling that fits the role perfectly.
11 Mangled Number 73
Barely visible through the patina of time, the light of the forest, and the mangled remains of the crash this car went through, is the decal number 73, the numbering of this vintage abandoned NASCAR racer.
All that's left of this is the bent and dilapidated panels piled on top of a ruined engine bay, sans engine, and the frame of a car that once was much more than it is today. All of the abandoned cars here reflect the forest itself, as they've decayed along with the forest for many years.
10 Nestled Away In Silence
The trees here stand tall and straight, gnarled bark showing through bare branches, cut through with a leaf strewn dirt track. It must be winter. Either side of the dirt track is littered with empty shells of the past.
These shells come from the annals of history. Not an oral history, nor a written one, but rather a direct physical history, the remnants of a forgotten era of NASCAR, skeletons of racers that once won races. Fate consigned, they remain in this silent winter forest.
9 New Shells To Soon Be Forgotten
These frames left over as remains from an entire functional vehicle are lined up in rows, collected as part of a massive NASCAR race car graveyard on the property of Dale Earnhardt Jr, one of NASCAR's most prominent and successful racers. These old shells have been collected in large numbers.
Soon they will be taken into the graveyard, to be memorialized temporarily. But nothing lasts, and just like the older ones these too will become almost entirely forgotten, to be only remembered in written history.
8 Rusted Out Guts
This snapshot was taken with flash and up close and personal with an old abandoned NASCAR race car, one from an era that has long since been left behind and almost entirely forgotten.
It's clear that it's quite old from all of the metal accessories, the metal seat as well as the metal grill across the windshield. Things nowadays in NASCAR are all made of plastic or fiberglass, with metal avoided as much as possible to save weight and increase speed.
7 Scraped Up National Guard Decals
This race car has seen some better days, that much is clearly seen within a matter of a few seconds. The rear end is missing almost all of its components, and the side decals are really scraped up in quite a bad way.
It's clear that this one was in a crash of some kind, perhaps not too serious, but needed to be scrapped either way. And here it lays, a ghost of an echo of a race that ended badly while the rest of the world moved on.
6 Secret Earnhardt Graveyard
Number 88 here, coated to the teeth with all kinds of sponsors, ads, and decals all in the name of money is part of a certain famous NASCAR driver's personal collection of race cars.
That person is known as Dale Earnhardt Junior, and he has a massive graveyard of old and crashed NASCAR race cars on his property, and it's a bit of a mystery to most where exactly this graveyard is, as he's quite private about the whole thing. But there's some serious history here.
5 Snowdrifts Ablaze In Sunset
The sunset of this photo is quite spectacular, especially with the winter scene that it's illuminating in golden and orange rays of fire. The foreground is a pretty awesome scene, too, an old NASCAR racer surrounded and encased in snowdrifts.
The old racer looks rusted and dilapidated, but it would be fun to restore one of these. Perhaps this one was past the point of no return, and that's why whoever owns it decided to use it as yard decoration, and put string lights on it.
4 Stripped To The Bone
There's really not that much left of this NASCAR race car, despite the fact that it looks like it's in pretty good shape otherwise. All that's left of this is that bright red outer shell, and the internal frame and roll cage.
There's no chassis or engine, likely salvaged and repurposed for parts and reuse. The end result is a rather surreal look at an almost new race car that's been stripped to the bone and left for dead, like a carcass, bones left to bleach in the sun and quietly get buried in leaves.
3 The Hidden Pink Panther
A lot of old relics from history and forgotten cars from the past lie in ruin in garages across the world, and in America, it seems that at least a few have been garaged and hidden away, then forgotten about for who knows how long.
This 99 numbered race car looks to be in pretty poor shape, not taken care of at all, but the hidden pink panther decal is a nice touch and a flashback to the time of his immense popularity.
2 The Only Driving It'll Ever Do
This empty shell of a race car actually belongs to Danica Patrick, alas it seems that it's been returned to its most basic state, finished with its driving days for good. The lack of an engine and engine bay may be indicative of that fact, as well as a distinct lack of wheels.
Indeed, on the back of this trailer being hauled from one place to the next is about all of the driving that it will see for the rest of its days, likely consigned to a place that will soon be completely forgotten.
1 Trees Through The Hood
As each year and each decade passes, things that have been left behind and forgotten get further and further away from collective memory, and find themselves further removed from humanity each season they fall apart more and more.
This old race car from the glory days of NASCAR is covered in a layer of leaves, with foliage encroaching all around, and even beginning to grow inside the car. The hood and engine bay area is filling up with small trees and foliage. Soon a massive trunk will be growing out of the hood. Wordplay intended.
Sources: The Drive, Sporting News & Tops Images