NOV 06th 2015

Video: Flat‑Out and Fearless ‑ 8 NASCARs covered by 0.145 seconds

What could you do in 0.145 seconds? Sneeze? Blink? Perform a couple of quick hand claps? At the Talladega Aaron’s 499 race in 2011 it was enough time for the leading eight NASCARs to cross the finishing line, at which point they were all travelling at more than 200mph. You want close racing? Right this way please …

BJ Baldwin on road promo

There’s much to say about the whole NASCAR spectacle. Detractors might opine that they ‘don’t get it’ and that they can’t understand the apparent distaste for right-handed corners and so on. However, one thing that may not be levelled against NASCAR is that more often than not it is feverishly exciting.

Today’s Flat-Out and Fearless… comes from Talladega in 2011 and illustrates NASCAR’s ability to thrill spectators in a way that few other formulas can. As the last lap begins, Jimmie Johnson in the number 48 Chevrolet Impala is sat in fifth and with a wall of cars in front of him. Even with around a quarter of a mile to go Johnson still has four cars ahead of him. However, what’s ahead of him is less important than who was behind him.

NASCAR Talledega

Team mate Dale Earnhardt Jr was glued to Johnson’s rear bumper. For reason’s we won’t pretend to fully understand, it is a fact that two NASCARs circulating as one will go faster than one car on its own. So as the leading four cars jockey for position going into the final run to the flag, Dale Jr understands that as long as he’s close enough to read the instruments on Johnson’s dashboard then his team mate should be going faster than the others. 

As the finish line approaches the leading eight cars fan out and are four-wide, with Johnson taking the win from Clint Boyer by 0.002 of a second. What’s even more incredible is that, had the race been about 100 metres longer then the Ford Taurus of Carl Edwards would have won, having been even further back than Johnson! As it is he was sixth.

Gotta love NASCAR …

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