A half-mile oval represents one of the toughest tasks for stock car brakes. Consider that a NASCAR Winston Cup race at short tracks (like Martinsville) is often 500 miles, which means the car goes under hard braking about 1,000 times in about three hours-and that doesn't include braking due to traffic. Building brakes that can handle this punishing environment, and provide the lightest weight, and remain consistent, and outbrake the other guy require superior design and production.

To see how it's done, we went to Wilwood Brakes in Camarillo, California, to understand the meticulous process of building calipers and rotors for race cars. The company builds high-performance brake systems for nearly all major motorsports, from drag cars to Sprint Cars to all types of Stock cars. The company is also a major supplier to many Winston Cup, Busch Grand National, and Craftsman Truck series teams. The company has been producing brakes since 1977 and has evolved into one of the leaders in race-brake manufacturing. Follow along as we trace their popular Prolite caliper from a chunk of aluminum to a finished caliper in a box. The folks at Wilwood make it look easy, but it's really not.

ManufacturersBrembo North AmericaDept. CT021585 Sunflower Ave.Costa Mesa, CA 92626714/641-0104www.brembo.com

Outlaw BrakesReb-Co Racing EnterprisesDept. CT02P.O. Box 150Cumming, GA 30028800/331-6855www.outlawbrakes.com

Sierra Racing ProductsDept. CT021558 Forrest WayCarson City, NV 89706775/882-2502www.sierraracing.com

4700 Calle Bolero, Dept. SC
Camarillo, CA 93012