Archive for Month: May 2013

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On Falling Cameras

An overhead camera rope snapped and fell onto the track during the Coca Cola 600 Sunday evening.  FOX Sports released the following statement: “Everyone at FOX Sports is relieved and thankful to know that the injuries to fans caused when CAMCAT malfunctioned Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway were minor, and […]

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Next-Gen Tires: Chewy on the Outside, Crunchy on the Inside

Listen to SiriusXM NASCAR radio, or peruse any of the racing websites and you will find a lot of theories about how races should be changed to make them ‘more exciting’. To try to amp up the All-Star Race, NASCAR went with four 20-lap segments, followed by a realignment (the cars were ordered in rank of average finish over the first four segments) and a 10-lap shootout. With no series points on the line, that should have made for an exciting evening of hard driving and competitive racing.

Or not.

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Keeping Racecars on the Racetrack

Ryan Newman escaped NASCAR sanctions for his comments immediately after being discharged from the infield care center at Talladega.

“They can build safer racecars, they can build safer walls, but they can’t get their heads out of their asses far enough to keep them on the race track and that’s pretty disappointing, and I wanted to make sure I get that point across,” he said. “You all can figure out who ‘they’ is.”

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A Quick Post on Why Cars Go Airborne

A quick post for my friend, @TheOrangeCone that I’ll expand on later (I have theater tickets tonight!)

@TheOrangeCone asked why Kurt Busch went airborne in the Talladega crash. The answer is the same for all the cars that end up in the air: when a car rotates (so that its side or its back is leading instead of its front), it looks an awful lot like an airplane wing — a shape that is optimized to generate lift.

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Air Titan: It Sucks and Blows

Water is critical to the existence of human life. Why do you think we spend so much time looking for it on other planets?

It is, however, less than desirable on a racetrack. Water gets between the tires and the track, which decreases friction. Decreased friction means lower speeds and higher probability of crashing.

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Why Drying Tracks Takes So Long

Why does it takes so long for a track to dry? Why does humid weather make track drying take even longer?

Air is a mix of gas molecules: mostly (78%) nitrogen, about 21% oxygen, the rest misc. gases. The composition is pretty uniform with the exception of how much water is in the air. The absolute humidity is the amount of water in some chosen volume of air, for example, how much water vapor is in one cubic meter of air. Air can only hold so much water vapor and that amount depends on the temperature and pressure. Dry air would be no ounces of water in a cubic foot of air. If the vapor is saturated at 30 degrees centigrade (86 degrees Fahrenheit), then the amount of water could be up to three one-hundredths of an ounce of water per cubic foot.

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