The answer to how many laps are in a NASCAR race may depend on which series you’re watching. For the top-level NASCAR Cup Series, most races are 500 miles (804 kilometers) long. That said, there are also quite a few 400-mile (643-kilometer) races, and a few 600-mile (966-kilometer) events too.
How Long is a NASCAR Race in Miles?
The number of laps also varies depending on the track. The shortest race on the NASCAR circuit is 60 laps at Martinsville Speedway, while the longest is 188 laps at Talladega Superspeedway. Again, most tracks fall somewhere in between those two extremes. The Daytona 500, for example, is 200 laps long.
The vast majority of NASCAR Cup Series races are 500 miles (804 kilometers) in length. There are, however, several 400-mile (643-kilometer) races, as well as a handful of 600-mile (966-kilometer) events.
In addition to the NASCAR Cup Series, there are also the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. The races in these two lower-level series are generally shorter than those in the Cup Series. For example, most Xfinity Series races are 300 miles (482 kilometers) long, while Truck Series races are 200 miles (322 kilometers) in length.
Why Are Some Races Shorter or Longer Than Others?
The main reason why the race distance varies from one event to the next is because different tracks have different lengths.
For instance, the Daytona International Speedway—one of the most famous tracks on the NASCAR circuit—is a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) oval. This means that it would take drivers 200 laps to complete a 500-mile race at Daytona.
On the other hand, Kentucky Speedway—another popular track—is only 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) long. Consequently, it would take drivers 333 laps to finish a 500-mile race at Kentucky Speedway.
In other words, even though both Daytona and Kentucky feature 500-mile races, the number of laps will be different because the tracks themselves have different lengths.
NASCAR races can range anywhere from 400 miles (643 kilometers) to 600 miles (966 kilometers) in length. The vast majority of races fall somewhere in between those two extremes, with 500 miles being the most common distance.
The reason why some races are shorter or longer than others has everything to do with track length; longer tracks require more laps to complete a given distance, while shorter tracks need fewer laps.