The cars roar around the oval track at speeds up to 200 miles/hour. The victor is determined by who crosses the finish line first after a pre-determined number of laps have been driven. Speed is a major factor in winning, but there is also a heavy dose of strategy, driving skill, and some luck in avoiding crashes.
Drag racing involves one basic issue: who can get to the finish line the fastest. The strip is a quarter-mile in length and is straight. Driving skill is important and luck always plays a role. In drag racing the car with the fastest acceleration has an advantage, but top speed is also important. The Top Fuel category (running on nitromethane) record is over 330 miles per hour at the finish line (that’s from a standing start and a quarter-mile distance).
Speed is important both on the track and in the chemistry lab. We want to know how fast a reaction occurs for several reasons. The reaction rate can give us useful information about how the reaction occurs. In a manufacturing plant, if the speed of a reaction can be increased, the chemical product can be made in less time, which often means a lower manufacturing cost.
U.S. Air Force. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NASCAR_practice.jpg. Public Domain.
Flickr:50 Prime. www.flickr.com/photos/pernett/1629379219/. CC BY 2.0.