Do Nascar Cars Have Reverse?

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If you love motorsport as much as I do, you will know that races are won with the vehicles going forward at high speed. While watching Nascar the other day, a commentator spoke about the gearboxes of these cars. It made me realize that I have never seen one of these cars reverse. I couldn’t help but wonder: “Do Nascar cars have reverse?”

Nascar cars do have reverse. The old and new generation Nascar vehicles have a reverse gear seeing as the vehicles are moved between different locations. When the Nascar cars are offloaded, they are reversed from the trailer. Sometimes drivers also reverse when they pass their crew in the pitlane.

I wanted to get some answers about this topic; I asked experts in the motorsport circles and also did online research. I also found videos where Nascar cars are reversed from trailers and drivers, use reverse gear after celebrating a race win. I will share my research on whether a Nascar car has reverse gear.

Do Nascar Cars Have  A Reverse Gear?

If you want to call yourself a fan of a particular sport, especially Nascar, you will need to have extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations as well as the cars. This portion of the post will focus on the gearbox, especially the reverse gear of the old and the new generation of Nascar vehicles.

Transmission Of 1st Generation Nascar Cars

From 1948 to 1966, a Nascar car was stock. The racecar drivers in this era of Nascar raced in vehicles that could be acquired from the automobile manufacturer. The common transmission at this time was a three-speed transmission. The transmissions had three gears forward and one reverse gear.  

Most of the transmissions were automatic, although some Nascar teams also started to use manual transmissions during this time. Manual transmissions gained popularity, especially from the early 1950s.


Transmission Of 2nd To 6th Generation Nascar Cars

From the 1967 season to the 2021 season of Nascar, the cars have undergone many changes to their appearance and frames. The transmissions of these cars have remained unchanged, though. Since the 1950s, the H-shift transmissions remained stock. The H-shift transmissions are four speeds forward and a reverse gear.

The H-shift transmission was based on the four-speed transmission standard in Ford vehicles in the 1950s. Astonishingly, this design was the basic blueprint for so many years and so many generations of Nascar vehicles. Small changes and tweaks were made to change gears without using the clutch.

To make the process of not using a clutch possible, the mechanical teams used floating gears without synchronizers. Drivers change gears at certain revolutions to avoid overusing the clutch system. The clutch would still be utilized when selecting first gear or reverse gear.

Sequential Gearbox Of  7th Generation Nascar Cars

The six-speed sequential gearbox has been tested in some Nascar cars since 2021. This gearbox is an automatic gearbox with five speeds forward and one gear reverse. The 2022 season of Nascar started with all Nascar Cars having the same gearboxes.

The 2021 season of Nascar spelled the end of an era for the four-speed manual transmissions that have been used since the 1950s. The seventh generation of Nascar cars is called the NextGen, and the car’s bodies are now made completely of fiberglass. At least the one thing that remained in Nascar is the reverse gear.

Looking back in history through the previous six generations of Nascar cars, we can see why they call the new cars the NextGen. The cars have improved when it comes to the safety of the drivers. A 6-speed sequential gearbox with reverse is refreshing after decades of the 4-speed transmission.  

In the next section of the post, we will read about actual evidence of a Nascar car in reverse. Live footage from a Nascar event in May 2021 shows how a driver puts his car in reverse and goes over the finish line facing the opposite direction.

Do Stock Cars Have Reverse?

The wonderful world of stock car racing, which Nascar is part of, already started in the 1940s, and since the inception of Nascar, the cars had a reverse gear. Most stock cars have to have reverse gear for various reasons that we will discuss in further detail in the next section.

What Is Reverse Used For?

Nascar cars are offloaded from trailers when the cars are moved between different locations, and because of this process, the cars need to reverse off the trailer. They also need reverse gear when the drivers go into the pitlane; the driver sometimes passes their pit crew and then has to reverse back.

Brandon Brown Finishes A Nascar Race In Reverse

We always hear stories of Nascar drivers who cross the finish line in reverse, and if this incident was not captured on video, no one would have believed it. It was in 2021 at the Charlotte motor speedway. Some cars crashed on the last turn just before the finish line. Brandon loses control of his car but doesn’t give up.

He selects the reverse gear, and in a very uncontrolled and unorthodox way, he crosses the finish line facing the wrong way. He ended 22nd in the race but what matters is that he proved to everyone that winners don’t quit and that Nascar cars have reverse.

Of course, there are unconfirmed stories of another racecar driver that finished a race in reverse and won the race, but it can not hold a candle to this story because it was not captured on camera. One can only hope that if a situation like this occurs again, it will be captured for future fans of Nascar to see.

Are There Any Racing Cars That Don’t Have Reveres?

After extensive research, we found that even F1 racing cars, which some people believe not to have a reverse gear, do, in fact, have a reverse gear. If drivers find themselves in a difficult situation, they have to have the option of going forward and backward.


Reaching the end of this article, it is not hard to see that Nascar cars have reverse. Nascar has come far in the last few decades and since the 1940s, and the future of this great motorsport looks promising. The cars have gone through seven generations of changes since 1948, and the safety aspects and appearance have changed.

The Nascar cars have changed from a 3-speed transmission with a reverse to a 6-speed sequential gearbox even though the industry got stuck on a 4-speed transmission with reverse for a long time. If amazing footage is taken like the video of what Brandon Brown did, then this motorsport will surely get more fans in the future.



Al lifelong Motor Racing Fan, with a particular love of NASCAR and IndyCar racing. Been in and out of cars of varying speeds since i was a child and sharing what i have learnt here.

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