Know Your Flags: The 8 Flags of NASCAR

When most people think of automobile racing, the checkered flag comes to mind. While this flag is undoubtedly one of the most iconic symbols associated with the sport, did you know that there are a total of 8 flags that wave throughout the course of a race? A flagman, the individual who sits high above the start/finish line, waves the appropriate flag when necessary. Here are the 8 flags you see during a race:
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Green Flag: This flag is waved at the start of a race and during re-starts. When the green flag is used, the first-place driver cannot be passed.

Yellow Flag: The yellow flag cautions drivers to potential dangers on the track, signaling them to slow down to a predetermined speed. This flag is often used when there is debris on the track from a wreck.

Red Flag: Just like a stop sign, the red flag notifies drivers to stop the race immediately. This flag is usually used for safety reasons, and drivers must stop no matter where they are on the track.

Black Flag: The black flag is shown to individual drivers that must respond to a concern from NASCAR. Some examples for receiving this flag are speeding on the pit road, dropping debris on the track, or failing to maintain the minimum track speed. Drivers have 5 laps to respond to the black flag.

Black Flag with Diagonal White Stripe: A driver who fails to respond to the black flab by pitting within 5 laps is shown this flag. As a result, the driver’s score is suspended until further notice.

Blue Flag with Diagonal Yellow Stripe: A courtesy flag shown to drivers not on the lead lap, it indicates that slower drivers should yield to faster drivers approaching them.

White Flag: This flag waves when the lead driver begins the final lap.

Checkered Flag: The most famous flag, this flag waves when the winner crosses the finish line.

Now that you know all the flags involved in NASCAR, keep an eye out for them the next time you watch a race. Root for your favorite driver and see how often each flag appears during the competition.

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