A normal production car, the type you see driving to work every day, takes hours - sometimes a manner of minutes - to build. Many large car manufacturing plants can turn out 100-vehicles per hour.
A NASCAR Sprint Cup car is much different from your daily commuter. It's a 3,400-pound rocket designed to go 400 miles or more at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.
Built for safety and speed, every car is one-of-a-kind.
"We are starting literally from scratch and they are hand made," Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager, said.
To keep drivers safe, there are strict NASCAR rules. Each pipe, each piece of sheet metal, every panel and frame, are custom made and must be measured within a thousandth of an inch.
"These guys - they know every ounce of metal they're putting in this car - where it goes and what it's doing," Regan Smith said.
Smith is the driver for Furniture Row, and lives in Evergreen with his wife, Meagan, when he's not racing the Sprint Cup circuit.
The cars must be so exact, there are templates for everything.
"Two years ago, one of the cars that we share information with, got busted with a quarter panel that was a quarter width too low," Smith said. "So if you take a quarter out of your pocket and see how thin it is, that's how low it was. Well, after 400 miles of racing, things bend and tweak and NASCAR said, 'Nope, it's illegal,' and they got a big penalty and fine for it."
Furniture Row Racing, the only NASCAR team based west of the Mississippi, will go through more than a dozen cars this season. Creature comforts, such as heated leather seats and power windows don't exist. And these cars are not cheap. Each Sprint Cup car costs as much as five times as the cars on the road.
"There is just a lot of man hours that go into these racecars and a lot of loving care goes into 'em. When you see them crash on the TV, it's like, 'Oh, they just crashed.' But the fabricators that build 'em, they're at home, crying when they see these cars crash," Garone said.
Attention to detail matters. Depending on the track, even the decals on the car get special treatment.
"We put clear over the decals, sand it, and make it to where you can't touch them so that the air is nice and smooth over the body and creates less drag," Garone explained.
That is why thousandths of an inch can mean Victory Lane or second place.
"By the time I see it, it's like magic. They've built these incredible race cars. When you see where they start at and where they go to, it's pretty impressive," Smith said.
Furniture Row sends two cars to every race: a primary and a back-up.
Each weekend, their racecar could go through inspection half a dozen times. It is all to make sure the drivers are safe and no one is cheating.
The owner of Furniture Row sponsors the number 78 Chevrolet because he's a former racer himself and has a passion for the sport. He also sees it as an effective way to advertise: research indicates NASCAR fans are likely to buy products advertised on the cars, recommend them and be loyal to them more than any other sports fan.
Regan Smith finished 12th in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Smith, along with all of the other Sprint Cup teams, will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday for Coca-Cola 600 practice and a night qualifying session. The traditional Memorial Day weekend 400-lap, 600-mile race will be run on Sunday, May 27, starting at 4 p.m. MT.
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