What does the name NASCAR actually stand for?

NASCAR (Photo Credit: Arizona Republic)
NASCAR (Photo Credit: Arizona Republic) /

Contrary to popular belief, the company name NASCAR is an acronym, and the race cars are not NASCARs. What does NASCAR actually stand for?

NASCAR has been around for more than three quarters of a century, with this past season marking the 75th season of Cup Series competition.

The sport has grown drastically over the years and is viewed as one of the top motorsports organizations in the world.

Despite its own decline and recent popularity spikes in Formula 1 and IndyCar, it remains the most watched racing series in the United States on a consistent basis.

But there is one thing about the name NASCAR that many fans remain unaware of.

We’ve all seen fans write out “Nascar” or even call the cars on the race track “Nascars”. But the word is capitalized for a reason, and likewise, the cars on the race track are not “Nascars” (or even NASCARs).

No, the word is not capitalized for press release purposes like other company names (such as, on occasion, INDYCAR) are. It is capitalized because NASCAR is an acronym, not an actual name.

It is actually an acronym that stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC.

And the cars themselves are simply stock cars, as NASCAR is a stock car auto racing association, implied by its full name. If the cars themselves were called NASCARs, you’d really be calling each individual race car a “national association for stock car auto racing”.

Isn’t stock car — or even Next Gen car — a whole lot easier to remember?

To put it in perspective, there was actually another association, CASCAR, which stood for Canadian Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, and there theoretically could end up being others. So it’s not as if NASCAR has always been the only one of its kind.

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The only two actual words that end in “ascar” (notice no caps) are Madagascar and the dated Indian term lascar. Neither has anything to do with racing.