Do NASCAR tracks really have four turns?

It’s been 13 years since I covered my first NASCAR race, but there’s something I’ve never understood about the sport.

Why does everyone say there are four turns at most tracks when there really seem to be two?

I get it at Indianapolis — there are four distinct turns separated by straightaways. But at Daytona? It seems like there are two giant turns (maybe three if you count the trioval).

And if that seems like a stretch, can you really say Martinsville has four turns? It’s two drag strips connected by a pair of turns.

Anyway, Daytona 500 Media Day seemed like a good time to try and get to the bottom of this. I’m not sure I did, but I hope you enjoy the video below:

11 Replies to “Do NASCAR tracks really have four turns?”

  1. Randy LaJoie had a great answer to the question of how many turns Nazareth had (I forget, but it was somewhere between 5 and 10).

  2. Great creative question on a day when most drivers are answering the same questions from every reporter. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. That was great Jeff. Btw I’m really enjoying your new concept of NASCAR coverage

  4. Oh my gosh….. I love it. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one to ponder is mystery. I also question the road courses. Why doesn’t Watkins Glen have 14 turns or Sonoma 24?? By the way my favorite was Spencer Gallagher, he so reminds me of Brenda Gaughan, maybe even funnier.

    1. Watkins Glen is a tricky one, because I remember first learning of it as an eleven-turn track. Turn one is easy, 2-4 are the esses, the chicane was treated as FOUR turns, making the original turn five Turn Nine, sweeping around to 10 (the left-hander) and 11 (the final right onto the frontstretch). But I believe it’s been unofficially renumbered since then. At least at road courses, you can often find a feature to name a corner after (“The Hairpin,” “Big Bend”).

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