National Science Teaching Association: How Do NASCAR Race Cars Come to a Stop After Moving at Speeds Over 200 MPH?

While many NASCAR fans wonder how race cars can achieve speeds of more than 200 mph., middle school students consider how drivers are able to slow their cars from 200 mph. to 0 mph.!

In this lesson, students track the flow of energy from the moment the driver applies the brakes to the moment the car completely stops.


  • Toy cars, marbles, tennis balls, cylindrical blocks, and other rollable objects
  • Cardboard or other ramp materials
  • Books or blocks to prop up the ramp
  • Small wooden blocks.

Science Topics
Force (Applied & Normal), Physics, Speed & Velocity, Sports
Middle School, Educator
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
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