Aerodynamics

NASCAR and Electric Cars: A Response to Bill Nye

Bill Nye is getting a lot of press lately by suggesting NASCAR ought to be racing electric cars.  I was rather disappointed with the reaction from NASCAR fans, as many dismissed the suggestion offhand, or offered ad hominem attacks on Nye. Firing off Twitter insults only reinforces the stereotype of NASCAR fans as […]

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2015 Rules Changes: Testing

One of the biggest changes NASCAR has instituted for the 2015 season is eliminating individual team testing at any tracks. In 2014, teams were limited to four tests and were not allowed to test at tracks that were included in the schedule. NASCAR may run some limited tests, but they won’t be having the week-long marathon that was Daytona Speedweeks.

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The Virtual Reality of Racing Simulators

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.

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Are Cautions Really Going Down?

I honestly cannot help it – scientists are naturally skeptical. If you make an assertion, I will have to question you on what data you have that supports it. This is second nature to the people I work with, but I realize it is damned irritating to non-scientists (aka “normal”) people.

So when I started reading everywhere that “cautions were down 35%”, I had to go look into it. This is a preliminary post – more detailed analysis will follow as soon as I’ve read my students’ final projects and gotten comments back to them.

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Fancy Gadgets and Short Attention Spans: Is Motorsports Doomed?

Straddling the fields of science and motorsports as I do, members of one community often email me articles about the other community. It’s interesting to see what ‘outsiders’ think is interesting about the other world. Last week, it was a series of articles about how NASCAR’s popularity is waning because kids are too busy playing video games.

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