This weekend, we learned that the real weather challenge for the NASCAR Nationwide Series isn’t rain. It’s not enough rain. It wasn’t raining hard enough to put on rain tires, but it wasn’t quite dry enough to safely race on slicks. (I’ve written before about why racing in the rain is hard.) But they managed to pull it off, put on a great show and @Brendan62 finally got that long-sought-after win.
Brad Keselowski, that never ending source of material on slow news days, had a few words about the state of American Motorsports Engineering. These quotes are from an article by Mike Pryson in Autoweek.com.
“It’s probably a larger story in itself that the American engineering pool is very shallow right now,” said Keselowski after he qualified sixth at Michigan International Speedway on Friday for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. “Penske is moving to any other country to find them. We’ve hired multiple engineers from Europe over the last three or four years and we’re pilfering everyone we can in the great country of Canada, so if you know any of them, send them our way.
“It’s just very hard to get engineers with the educational background and commitment that we need to be successful at this level from the United States. There’s certainly a shortage, not just at Penske, but throughout the garage.”
Equilibrium. It’s more than just a neat word. It’s the holy grail for a racecar driver.
You are hurtling down the frontstretch at Michigan, your speed approaching 215 mph. Your seat moves up and down as you hit the seams, but your focus is squarely on getting into Turn 1 losing as little speed as possible. You squeeze the brakes and feel yourself moving forward, only to realize that you’re still moving too quickly. As the car starts to head toward the wall, you panic and squeeze the brake even harder.
The car snaps loose and the next thing you feel… is an engineer’s hand on your shoulder. You turn around to see her barely suppressing a smile.
We lost a lot of racing people this week. Although I never knew him personally, Speedy Bill Smith was a big part of my racing education. …