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NASCAR Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2005-12-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | nascar | auto racing | racing: auto | texas | dale earnhardt |
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[NASCAR flag] image by Rick Wyatt

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NASCAR uses the same flags as formula one with few exceptions

  • Green Start the race, or Re-start after a caution period
  • Black Go immediately to the pit area
  • Red Stop. Race is halted for unsafe condition
  • Yellow Drive with caution and maintain position
  • Blue with Orange Stripe Car attempting to pass
  • White Beginning last lap, or service vehicle on track
  • Checkered Race has been completed

Winner's Checkered Flag

[NASCAR 2001 Daytona 500 Winner's flag] image by Randy Young, 5 April 2001

The checkered flag contains an orange circle with the numbers "76" in blue outlined in white, which is the official logo of 76 Gas, owned by UNOCAL, the official fuel-provider of NASCAR. NASCAR mandates that all cars use the exact same fuel, making sure that no driver has an unfair advantage over the others. Since 76 supplies that fuel, and has done so for the last 40 years, 76 gets the honor of having their logo on the official checkered flag.

A tradition has also developed in the past few years that the winner of each race is given a checkered flag featuring the 76 logo, the name of the race in orange above the logo, and the date of the race below the logo in orange. This example is from the 2001 Daytona 500.
Randy Young, 5 April 2001

Dale Earnhardt Sr. Tribute Flag

[Texas flag with Dale Earnhardt 3] image by Randy Young, 2 April 2001

While watching the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, I noticed an odd-looking flag. Normally when I watch the races I see a lot of Confederate battle flags, checkered flags, flags of race teams, and whichever state they happen to be racing in. Yesterday, flying over Victory Lane at the speedway was what I can only assume to be a Dale Earnhardt memorial flag.

Since NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was killed in the season-opening Daytona 500, tributes to him have been popping up everywhere. The flag I saw yesterday was based on the Texas state flag, with the blue bar replaced by black (the color of Earnhardt's car) and the star replaced by a white "3" (Earnhardt's car number).

Randy Young, 2 April 2001