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It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume most of you remember Pimp My Ride, or Need for Speed: Underground. Media like that made underglow neon seem cool (at least on TV), and it was the thing to have if you wanted to get some extra attention at car meets. Well, LEDs have made it a whole lot easier to get into the underglow game, and it seems like NASCAR is finally catching on. For its All-Star Cup race, the organization apparently plans to mount LEDs around the fuel cell on the back of each race car, giving manufacturers their own unique luminescent signature.
We know this because of a post on the NASCAR subreddit, and a thread on Twitter started by auto sleuth extraordinaire Bozi Tatarevic. Tatarevic tells us that while his sources are not within the NASCAR organization itself, they are team employees.
According to Tatarevic’s sources, different colors will be associated with different brands of cars. Ford will be blue, Chevy will be amber, and Toyota will be red. Since this year’s All-Star race is going to be held at night, the underglow lighting should look pretty sharp. That is if it’s not washed out by the powerful lights already illuminating the track.
And don’t think that these added lights will affect the performance of the cars in any way. NASCAR is using conventional lightweight LED strips, so the total added weight will be less than six ounces, according to Tatarevic. The strips will also be secured every four inches with foil tape so they don’t fly off into another car.
The All-Star Cup race will feature 15 drivers from the Cup Series and last for 140 laps. You can tune in to see this 2000s-era underglow glory at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15. Unlike previous All-Star events, this year’s will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway, as opposed to the usual Charlottesville venue. That’s great, because short track racing is usually way more entertaining.
Spectators will be allowed in-person to see the under-glow for themselves; however, the stadium will be at 20 percent capacity to encourage social distancing. That’s still 30,000 seats available for anyone who wants to come and watch, though.