Safety vs. Speed: 2017 Changes to the Chassis
The Evolution of the Stock Car While many fans decried the look of the Car of Tomorrow, the most significant thing about the COT was a part you couldn’t see: The Chassis. The first time I was around a stock car, I was surprised at how flimsy the sheet metal on it actually […]
Can NASCAR Stop Secondary Accidents?
January is named after the Roman God Janus, who is the god of beginning, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages and endings. How’s that for a job description? Janus is usually portrayed as having two faces: one looks forward and one looks backward. So I thought January might be a good […]
How NASA Research could end NASCAR Engine Failures Due to Trash on the Grille
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle […]
NASCAR’s Laser Inspection Process: Confidence and Accuracy
There Will Be Rules… The last time I was at the R&D Center, I was given a copy of the official NASCAR rule book for 1948. It was about a quarter of a page. Now there’s a thick booklet filled with detailed specifications, part numbers, measurements, tolerances and AutoCad drawings. Weekly […]
Is Stricter Enforcement of Pit Road Speed Limits Making Pit Road Less Safe?
The Purpose of Pit Road Speed Limits NASCAR implemented pit road speeding rules in 1991. The year before, Mike Rich, a tire changer for Bill Elliott, had been pinned between Elliott’s car and the car of Ricky Rudd when Rudd came into the pits fast and locked his brakes. Rich died in surgery. To […]
NASCAR is very clear about what teams can and can not do to the tires. Teams may not use any chemical or physical means of altering the tires, which means no siping (cutting grooves into the tires), no chemical softening, not even heat blankets to pre-warm the tires are allowed. Basically, you can’t do anything to the tires. This means that when a tire blows out, it’s the tire’s fault. Right?
Estimating Fuel Mileage
Last week at New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick easily had the most dominant car, but failed to win the race. They ran out of fuel with three laps to go and finished 21st. The #4 team wasn’t the only team that gambled on gas, but they were probably the team that […]
How Can Changing Horsepower for Everyone Make Racing More Competitive?
I get this question a lot: If NASCAR decreases horsepower for everyone, how does that make it easier to pass? You’re basically taking everyone down by the same amount, right? To explain this, we have to touch on a couple concepts. Moody asked me this a couple weeks ago and I […]
The Digital Dashboard
Those of you of a certain age may remember these odd looking flat black vinyl things called ‘records’. Records are analog devices. A groove is cut into the vinyl. A stylus rides along the groove and translates the wiggles in the groove into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted to a speaker, which turns it into a vibration (which, when pleasant, we call “music”.)
Using Drag and Downforce to Tailor Stock Cars to Different Tracks
Aerodynamics is complicated. Let’s just get that out of the way. But it’s not so complicated that we can’t understand what’s going on with just a little patience. Why 3D? Every wonder why they call it three dimensions? The reason it’s three is because I (or you) can denote any […]