The acceleration Cup gyeongju at Atlanta motor Speedway this weekend will proceed a legacy of NASCAR racing on job Day weekend.

You are watching: How many hours is a nascar race

Though the tradition was developed at Darlington Raceway in southern Carolina, the is now earlier in the South, with Atlanta hosting its 2nd straight job Day weekend event.

It also will continue one more tradition – both in ~ Atlanta and on job Day weekend. A 500-mile race, which method fans will need to collection aside 4 hours or more to clock the whole event.

The March gyeongju at Atlanta – likewise a 500-miler – took 4 hours to finish (3 hours, 59 minutes, 59 secs to it is in exact). Aside from the Coca-Cola 600 (4 hours, 8 minutes), it was the longest race this season, edging Darlington’s southerly 500 by two minutes.

Though NASCAR has actually trended toward an ext 400- and 300-mile Cup gyeongju in recent years, it still has 16 500-mile events, through almost all of them taking at the very least three-and-a-half hrs to complete.

In today’s short-attention-span world, many think that’s lot too long – both in terms of distance and also the time it takes to run.

Of the season’s an initial 14 races, 11 take it at least three hours and 20 minute to complete.

In the second fifty percent of the season, eight the the past 10 races have been run in less than 3 hours, to the joy of drivers, teams and fans.

The recent streak of shorter races – including a tidy 2-hour, 41-minute, 500-lap affair in ~ Bristol – has helped fuel the conflict over whether most Sprint Cup races are too long.

“NASCAR has actually a tremendous entertainment value, but things room going to have to change,” industry consultant and former gyeongju promoter Humpy Wheeler said columnist Erik Spanberg. “Races are too long.”

Of NASCAR’s 36 acceleration Cup races – excluding the classic Coca-Cola 600 – 16 space 500 miles, and also 12 the them room run on huge speedways the take longer to run. That the 19 events that room 400 mile or shorter, 13 space run on speedways.

NASCAR’s new overtime rule – which permit for a best of 3 green-white-checkered restarts – also has increased the time-of-race numbers, which would certainly be even higher on mean if they reflected red-flag periods.

NASCAR tracks are start to take an alert and considering shortening their events. Auto club Speedway in California, which traditionally has run 500-mile races, has actually shortened the Oct. 10 race to 400 miles. That lone Cup race next year will certainly be 400 miles. The gyeongju it is shedding will move to Kansas Speedway, which runs 400-mile races.

California’s two 500-mile events last year were run in 3:40 and 3:28. Through comparison, the 2 400-milers in ~ Michigan international Speedway – which is the same size as Auto club – were both run in less than three hrs this year.

Atlanta, which has actually run all 500-mile Cup races because 1967, will shed one the its races next year. It will be replaced by Kentucky Speedway, which will run a 400-mile event.

Phoenix, i beg your pardon ran a 600k, or 378-mile, race in 3:48 in April, will reduced its feather event back to the traditional 312 laps next year.

Driver Jeff Burton, for one, is happy to view NASCAR monitor reducing the size of your events.

"I think it"s the ideal thing,” Burton said. “I love the fact that our gyeongju aren"t acceleration races; they"re endurance races. Yet I"m not certain that a 400-mile race is a acceleration race. So, it"s still a plenty long race.”

Burton states that four-hour races are simply too lengthy for many fans, an especially younger ones.

“From the view of the younger audience, I have actually a 9-year old that loves racing but struggles watching a four-hour race. Hell, I battle doing a four-hour race. Maybe it"s a household thing,” he says.

“It really depends on the race track. You could have a 1,000-lap gyeongju and it would certainly be a great race. Ns don"t know why girlfriend would desire a two-mile race track to run a 500-mile race. I love come race and also I choose the truth that they"re long, yet … I just think for the city hall audience, a little much shorter time structure may not be a negative thing.”

Burton and also others likewise believe the quality of racing is far better in shorter races. The shorter the event, the much more action during the final laps.

See more: Mary Tyler Moore: How Many Kids Did Mary Tyler Moore Have, Mary Tyler Moore

"It simply seems to me that when you obtain to the point where you"re starting to obtain closer come the end of the race, ingredient picks up. I don"t think it"s a simultaneously that us have an ext cautions in the last part of the race than we carry out in the an initial part,” the said.

“The quicker we can obtain the chauffeurs into the position of, ‘Now"s the moment to go,’ the much better the racing is going come be. less opportunity for the long, long, long green-flag runs and all those type of things. Shorter races have tendency to have actually a little much more action.”