While some trackside photographers might spend hours waiting for a NASCAR race to begin, you can be sure you’ll get your money’s worth if you use this method. These stock car races are so quick there’s really no excuse for not being ready at the end of each one. Depending on race distance, the end of these events is often determined by the amount of points accumulated by the winning team. For example, the 2016 season was the first where teams scored on a 1-9 scale, so it was all the more important to rack up as much as possible in order to determine the race winner. In this article, we’ll answer the question: How long do Speedway points last?
Short Track Races
Unlike at the Grand Prix level, where races can go for 20 or more laps, the majority of NASCAR events are restricted to a few laps. Still, even those few laps can feel like an eternity when you’re waiting for the race to start. After all, there are several cameras focused on that starting grid, and you’ve probably got a couple hundred extras in your vicinity, all hoping for a glimpse of the action.
As a result, if you’re watching a short track race and your attention starts drifting, you might find yourself distracted by something that catches your attention. Maybe a fan comes up and asks you for an autograph or another driver makes an appearance and waves at you from the sidelines. If you find yourself not focused on the track, you might miss something important, like the countdown to the start of the race or an upcoming caution flag. It’s a good idea to focus solely on the race, especially at short tracks, where every lap feels like an eternity and you need all the help you can get to stay focused. Besides, many of these races are held at night, so it’s important to stay awake and alert.
Long Track Races
If you’ve ever been to one of NASCAR’s mega-stores, you might have noticed that a good portion of their inventory is dedicated to their championship trophies. Even if you aren’t into racing, you might still be curious as to how these trophies are awarded. Typically, races at least a mile and a quarter in length are contested between two drivers or teams, with the winning team being determined by the amount of points accumulated. While the action doesn’t always come to a decisive end during these races, it’s not uncommon for them to go the distance and, as a result, last for several hours.
A long track race presents its own unique challenges. First off, it’s a lot longer than a short track race, which means you’ve got more time to be distracted. Also, due to the length of these races, you’ll usually have to wait an inordinately long time between segments. For example, during a NASCAR Cup Series telecast, there will usually be a short break after the first two or three laps, followed by another short break after the fourth or fifth. While this might not seem like a long break to you or I, considering the average race lasts several hours, it can feel like a lifetime. Finally, because these races are so long, it’s important to stay hydrated and well-fed, especially during the early stages, when the action is often frantic and you might not catch your breath for a while. Even the drivers tend to eat and drink during these races, so be sure to bring a snack and drink with you, just in case.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand a little better the unique challenges that come with following NASCAR races from a photographer’s perspective. Being a fan and/or a photographer of NASCAR is a great way to get an inside look at the sport you love, as well as earn some extra money. You can connect with NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.