Retirements, Replacements and Rookies
Retirement He didn’t use the word ‘retirement’, but the sad news last week was that Matt Kenseth won’t have a Cup ride in 2018. It’s partly his choice. He could have done a Kasey Kahne and taken a ride with a lower-level team, but Matt said he wouldn’t race if […]
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 […]
The Science of Speed: Week Ending 11/14/13
Hard to believe it’s winter, but we got our first snow already. Here’s the news of the week. It’s holiday shopping time – great idea for your gearhead: magazine subscriptions. Racecar Enginering has some special rates A two-year digital subscription to Circle Track for under $15 Despite hoping for a […]
GearBrain Roundup: Week Ending 10/10/13
Caterham has over 500 sensors on their new F1 car – neat article on Gizmodo. They’ll make the engine about half the volume, but it will still produce the same 700 hp as the old version. And, it’ll take a third less fuel to do it. Formula E is considering […]
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 […]
Can You Really Bring Back the “Same” Car? (Or the Same Track?)
Every week we hear at least one driver say that they are bringing back “the same car we raced at…”. This is a little misleading because — unlike Indy or ALMS racing — each shop builds multiple cars, each specialized for a specific track. Let’s start by examining the anatomy […]
NASCAR is losing their tolerance
Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out. Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530) Tolerance. In the immortal words of Matha Stewart, “It’s a good thing”. In this case, we’re actually talking about engineering tolerance, although tolerance of other things — like […]