How is a NASCAR Driver at Bristol like an Astronaut?
The Unique Challenges of Bristol Many drivers will tell you that, despite not having the highest speeds or a unique shape, or a long race time, Bristol is one of the most exhausting stops on the schedule. Laps take about 15 seconds, with about 60% of each lap being turns. […]
Did Jeff Gordon Really Start NASCAR’s “Youth Movement”?
Admit it. You (like me) have sat in front of the television watching pre-race interviews for a Camping World Truck Series race and asked yourself “Is that kid even old enough to drive?” I thought maybe it was just me getting old, but the numbers bear me out. NASCAR drivers […]
Age and the NASCAR Driver: Can They Still Compete?
Jeff Gordon’s decision to step away from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup racing has resulted in a lot of discussion about aging drivers. We’re on the verge of a turnover as a number of drivers (Johnson, Stewart, Junior, Harvick among others) reach their forties. And what an appropriate topic for this week […]
Can You Predict a Driver’s Success from their Rookie Year Stats?
Now that the season is over, it’s time to look through the statistics from the year. One big story this year was Danica Patrick’s rookie season in Sprint Cup. She didn’t set the world on fire: One top ten, one pole, five laps led and only thirteen lead lap finishes […]
Do Drivers Slow Down When They Get Older?
There are a lot of things people say in NASCAR that have been said for so long that nobody really thinks about where they came from – or if they’re true. As you get older, you get more and more sensitive to generalizations people make about getting old. I can’t […]
Is There Really a Second-Place Curse?
One of the commentators after the final race in Homestead mentioned that Jimmie Johnson should be happy he finished in third because it allows him to avoid the “dreaded second-place curse”.
Anytime someone says something like that, it makes me wonder whether there really is a curse, or whether that person had just been talking to Carl Edwards. So I analyzed a little data and guess what… there really IS a second place curse.
Why was Michigan so hard on Motors?
The Hendrick engine shop had four failures at Michigan. The 24 and the 14 reportedly both had valve spring failures. The worst was the 48, whose engine went south while leading with only six laps remaining. Jimmie Johnson drove the car up to the hauler and walked back to his […]
Infographic: Current Drivers’ Rookie Years
Just out of curiosity, I pulled up some data from racing-reference.info on different drivers’ rookie years in the Cup series. The data are from each driver’s first full year as a Cup driver. I picked out some drivers who have gone on to become series champions, some that will likely […]
Yaw Envy – Repost
Apparently, Jeff Gordon has a slight case of yaw envy. David Newton reports on ESPN.com that Gordon asked NASCAR to take a look at the No. 99 car of Carl Edwards because he thinks that yaw is the reason Carl’s been so competitive this season.
The Science of …G-Forces
UPDATE 4/18/08: NASCAR.com has a very nice interview with Dr. Dean Sicking of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about the SAFER barriers and how they functioned during the McDowell crash discussed below. As the FedEx commercials say, “The questions keep rolling in…” Tim King asks, “One thing I have been trying […]