The Nerf Bar’s Role in Modern Racing

The Nerf Bar’s Role in Modern Racing

First appearing over 50 years ago, nerf bars were originally designed to be used as a battering ram (or for more conservative drivers, as a shield against aggressive drivers) in the old time racing days.
Modded race car

But what kind of role do nerf bars play in today’s modern and technologically driven racing scene? Well, you might be surprised by the answer.

Nerf Bars on the NASCAR Modified Circuit

Some may be surprised to hear that nerf bars are still a prominent fixture in one of today’s most competitive, aggressive, and dangerous racing communities: the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series. In fact, every driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series considers the nerf bar to be a vital part of their success.

Driver Spencer Davis— 2014’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year— recently commented on just how much more grueling it is to battle on the modified car circuit with nerf bars.
Truck with nerf bars

After a race at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire, Davis said, “It was definitely intense. You can feel a lot more pressure racing around you and you’re going faster. On the Southern tour, you just kind of ride like you would at Pensacola Five Flags Speedway. Here it was all out from the start, sideways, beatin’ ‘n banging, and using those nerf bars the way they were intended to be used for.”

Davis then went on to say that his experience in the nerf bar-heavy modified circuit has taught him a great deal about driving in general. “I learned a lot about the cars and what more you can do. I learned a lot about how to get people out of my way without spinning or wrecking them.”

Nerf Bars for Commercial Use

Obviously, out on the streets, drivers will not be using nerf bars for the same reasons as these highly trained drivers. However, nerf bars are available to everyday truck and Jeep drivers. These nerf bars come in a variety of styles including retractable, single side-steps, and another dozen or so variations.
Old school race

These nerf bars, of course, are intended more for aesthetics and to help riders in and out of their vehicles. Of course, if you wanted to use them as a battering weapon, well, we’re not here to try and stop you. Just don’t expect too much success because you’ll probably smash up your ride and/or end up spending a night or two in the pen.

By: Tim Snyder
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