What Does a Pace Car Do In NASCAR?

Published 04/24/2021, 2:25 PM EDT
RICHMOND, VA – APRIL 18: Pace car entering turn 3 prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 on April 18, 2021, at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A Pace vehicle in NASCAR is a car that restricts the speed of contending vehicles on a circuit on account of a caution period like an obstruction on the track or bad weather.

The point of the Pace car is to empower the clearance of any deterrent under secure conditions, particularly for marshals and for favorable track conditions weather-wise.

Pace Car is a car that is an altered high-performance production car. During an alert, the Pace car enters the track in front of the race leader. Depending upon the guidelines, contenders are not permitted to pass the Pace car or different contenders during a caution period.


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The Pace Car drives the field at a pre-decided safe speed, which may differ by arrangement and circuit. Toward the finish of the alert time frame, the Pace car leaves the track and the contenders continue. The 1st Pace Car happened during the debut Indianapolis 500 out of 1911.

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 26: The General Tires 150 pace car drives through turn 1 during the General Tires 150 ARCA Menards Series West race on Sept. 26, 2020 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In all NASCAR arrangements, if the alert is out, the flagman shows the yellow alert, and the pace car comes out of the pits. The vehicle at that point turns on the yellow lights on top or behind the vehicle. At the point when race authorities are prepared to open the pit lane, green light blinks on the of the car. One lap before a green flag, the pace car stops its lights so that drivers can line up.

Since NASCAR doesn’t permit speedometers, the pace car circles the track at pit lane speed. This permits every driver to take note of the RPM. Drivers surpassing that speed on pit lane are punished, commonly a “drive-through” or “stop and go” penalty. It costs the driver significant track positions.


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Cars used as NASCAR Pace Cars

Depending on NASCAR’s short-tracks, each track ordinarily offers its own pace car, normally from the producer. Tracks that use a Toyota Pace car will utilize a Toyota Camry Hybrid. While Ford tracks will utilize a Ford Mustang, while Chevrolet tracks utilize a Chevrolet Camaro. Most Dodge tracks utilize a Dodge Challenger. In the event that a maker is promoting another vehicle, they will frequently utilize the new vehicle rather than the standard Pace Car.


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For the 2021 Daytona 500 race, a blue Corvette was used as the Pace Car.


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For the Truck Series, which races pickup trucks, the Pace car is regularly a pickup. Tracks subsidiary with a nearby or local Chevrolet business will utilize a Chevrolet Silverado, while Chrysler vendor associated tracks will utilize a Ram 1500. Ford subsidiary tracks regularly use the F-Series and Toyota-partnered tracks are more averse to use the Toyota Tundra.

Notwithstanding, Ford and Toyota maker-supported tracks will lean toward the Mustang and Camry, separately, rather than a truck. Sometimes, pickup trucks have been utilized as Pace cars for Cup Series and Xfinity races.



Abhay Aggarwal

421 articles

Abhay Aggarwal is sports analyst at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in early 2020, he has over 300 NASCAR, Formula 1, and Tennis articles to his name. Abhay has been an avid motorsports fan for over a decade, and he even attended the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2011.