Do you remember as kid growing up that un-profound love that you had for stickers? You would put them anywhere there was an open spot, on your school books, lunchboxes, bikes, lockers, and they even showed up on your dad and mom’s new car.
Stickers have always played some sort of role in our everyday lives, with one of the most common uses being they are a great way to advertise. You see them on phone booths advertising taxi companies; you see them at colleges advertising rooms for rent, and you even see them on boarded up storefronts.
But the classic is on the back windows of motor homes or R.V.’s letting the whole world know where you have vacationed at.
America has always had a love for stickers, and NASCAR is not immune from that love with the way they have utilized them for the sport.
We already know how important sponsorship is to the sport, because this is where the teams get their money from to able to race week after week.
The sponsors needed a way to advertise their products so that the public knows who they are, and NASCAR needed a way to give them as much exposure as possible. So what better way than to utilize these stickers which are not only durable, but they are also a lot cheaper to make than to actually paint the sponsors logo on the car which is very time consuming as well as expensive.
Stickers can be made in any shape, size, or color depending on what the sponsor’s logo is, and they can be made in just a few minutes once the pattern is designed.
Stickermania has taken NASCAR by storm, and it’s evident because we see them on every race car as well as the transporters that carry our favorite driver’s cars around the country week after week.
The placement of each sticker also plays a very significant role, because they just can’t be put anywhere on the car.
Every sponsor has their own individual spot on the car that they paid for; examples such as Sunoco, Hurst, AutoMeter, Goodyear, as well as the other major sponsors pay big bucks to have their stickers put in prime locations on the car.
Along with the sponsors, NASCAR has also mandated that their own stickers be put on select areas as well.
As each car goes through tech inspection, NASCAR makes sure that each sticker is exactly where it belongs such as Goodyear which will always be placed over the front tires, and if not the car fails until each sticker is properly placed.
NASCAR also pays out contingency money to the drivers that can bring in extra revenue through sponsorship, which is why the more popular drivers will have additional stickers that might not be found on a less popular driver’s car.
Along with the sponsorship stickers that adorn the hood, trunk and sides of the car, there are also the big numbers that are not only positioned on both sides of the car but the roof as well. The roof number faces inward towards pit row so that as the car is going down the backstretch, the NASCAR officials who were in charge of counting laps could easily tell where the car was that they were assigned to.
NASCAR now uses electronic scoring via a box called a transponder, which is actually a device that sits next to the fuel cell with electronic wires that are embedded in the track.
Whenever a car runs over those wires, the transponder picks up the signal sending back to a computer letting the scoring official know exactly when they ran it over.
This system of scoring also helps whenever a caution comes out and the field is frozen, by letting the scorer know exactly how to realign the cars before the green is waved again.
NASCAR still has scorers that count each lap that a car completes, just in case of a power failure to the system or some unseen occurrence happens that doesn’t allow the transponders to do their job.
Modern technology sure has changed our sport that derived from the use of a simple sticker, to having the luxury of just pushing a few buttons to get any kind of information from who has led the most laps, to the race leader, and all the way to who is running the fastest laps.
It’s hard to imagine all the trouble the scorers had as each car pitted, or when the yellow came out and they had to realign the field by using a set of binoculars, and relying on a piece of paper with a number glued to the top of the roof.
Something as simple as a sticker, but yet it is one of the most important tools that NASCAR makes the most of even in today’s modern world. .