Comparing NASCAR Cup Cars to Their Street-Legal Counterparts

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Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500/Image Credit: Ford

Who didn’t want to own a race car growing up? Even as adults, something about the revving power of a sportscar brings out the giddy five-year-old in all of us. Though the reality of owning a vehicle fit for NASCAR often seems like nothing more than a fantasy, obtaining the street-legal variants of Gen-7 racers is far more achievable than you might realize. Here’s how the current branded street models compare to NASCAR’s Next Gen performance models.

NASCAR’s Gen 7 Models

Next Gen Cup series race cars are the latest specs and upgrades that NASCAR has rolled out for their competitors to abide by. Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota are the main players and have been given the ability to mimic the exterior body (particularly the grill) of the Camaro, Mustang, and Camry respectively. This means that the race cars in question will be distinctly familiar to their street counterparts, but with the twist of having a lower and wider profile to create the maximum amount of downforce reducing drag. The racers can pack up to 550 horsepower for restrictor-plate racing and 670 hp for all other tracks. Don’t fret though, because their street counterparts can still pack a powerful punch and are all equipped with forged aluminum wheels, just like the ones on the track. Here’s what you can expect out of the hotrods available at your local dealership.

Chevrolet: Camaro

Camaro ZL1/Image Credit: Chevrolet

The Camaro is easily one of the most recognizable cars on the road. You know it from the Transformers franchise, with Bumblebee turning into an iconic yellow Camaro. It has also earned plenty of racing cred helping Chevrolet become the winningest automaker in the NASCAR circuit. The beefiest version Chevy mass produces is a V8 that gets 650hp, making it a formidable speedster in its own right. To pick up one of your own, check our listings here.

Ford: Mustang Shelby GT500

Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500/Image Credit: Ford

The Shelby lives up to its racehorse status. This new car has gone through a two-year makeover and shares an uncanny resemblance with the racers on the track. A Shelby can get up to 760hp and fulfills the promise of being able to burn rubber while looking good for years to come. Get your own Mustang here.

Toyota: Camry TRD

Toyota Camry TRD/Image Credit: Toyota

Currently being the only powerhouse on the NASCAR circuit that’s not a US manufacturer, Toyota always has a chip on its shoulder, and the Camry speaks for itself. The street-legal variant also has a 301-hp 3.5 Liter V6, making it a much more approachable family vehicle for the layman. Find a Toyota Camry in your area.

While only a handful of us will ever be behind the wheel of NASCAR’s Gen 7 chassis, there are still plenty of opportunities to get your kicks in their street-legal cousins. Want a chance to get behind the wheel of one of these racers? Find yours at

Tyler Domecq

Tyler Domecq

From the Rocky Mountain blizzards of Wyoming to the desert sandstorms of Phoenix, Tyler has seen it all on the road. He has worked specifically within the automotive industry for two years. An avid fan of, and occasional actor in, the film industry, Tyler took an initial interest in cars after seeing the 1928 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Phantom and Aston Martin DB5 on the big screen.