The Science of …Fuel Intake Problems

Drew Donnelli asks: Can you offer any insight into the problems JGR seems to have with fuel supply? Thanks for the question, Drew. As usual, with the help of a couple incredibly patient friends, I can provide a little information on the possible causes of the fuel intake problems that…

The Science of …Oil Tank Pressures

A slight errata: This doesn’t change anything about the science surrouding the oil tank box cover and how it could provide an aerodynamic advantage, but it does clarify the situation with how the oil system is pressurized. Dan pointed out my error some time ago in the comments section to…

The Science of …Tony Stewart vs. Goodyear

We’ve established in Part I and Part II of this series that there are many factors that go into tire performance, some of which Goodyear has control over and others of which they don’t. Goodyear has to determine the combination of tire compound and construction that will make for the…

The Science of …Tires, Part II

Tires: What Goodyear Can’t Control I’ve reproduced the figure from yesterday to reiterate that there are two factors that determine grip: the interaction between the track and the tire, and the force pushing down on the tire. In part I, we covered the interaction between the tire and the track….

The Science of …Tires (Part I)

Let’s start by pointing out that tire performance is a really, really complicated issue. There are a lot of variables involved. This post ended up getting way too long, so I’m going to address the issue in two (or three, depending on how part two goes) parts. The first part…

The Science of …Tires (Coming Soon)

Hey y’all from New Orleans. I’m at the American Physical Society meeting, where I gave a talk today to a bunch of physicists about NASCAR. It was part of a great session that included the physics of motorcycles, steroids in baseball and the physics of superheroes. I daresay it was…

The Science of …Vibration Harmonics

Roush Fenway Racing came out with a statement about the missing oil tank lid on Wednesday that just begs to be deconstructed scientifically. “The bolt holding the lid in place failed in its purpose as a result of vibration harmonics generated by the car and the race track during the…

The Science of …Missing Oil Tank Covers

Danny LaDue asks: Can you explain the location of a NASCAR oil tank reservoir and how the lack of one could improve aerodynamics? Thanks for the question, Danny. I can–with a little help from Josh Browne, Chief Race Engineer at Red Bull Racing, who helped me disentangle a couple of…

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