Changing Manufacturers: More than just Decals?
I’d Rather Fight Than Switch If you remember what commercial that was from, then congrats. You are — like me — old. It used to be that an owner was loyal to his manufacturer to the death, but the last few years have seen some big switches in manufacturer affiliations. […]
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 […]
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 […]
Skirting the Issue
Flared side skirts became an issue when social media started noticing them somewhere around Kansas. The fact that the most obvious example of this was on the 2 car and Brad Keselowski is rapidly taking over from Kyle Busch as most-love-to-hate driver in NASCAR may have brought the issue to the fore faster.
America’s Motorsports Engineering Pool
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.”
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 […]
NASCAR’s Concussion Policy
Concussions were big news in a week where no one actually got one. NASCAR announced a new policy on concussions : Starting in 2014, all drivers will be required to have a baseline test at the start of the season. NASCAR will be using the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Test) […]
The Science of Speed: Week Ending 10/31/13
My weekly roundup of math, statistics and science-related motorsports stories… and a few things that maybe are more notable for their lack of speed. Racecar Engineering has a lovely series of videos on how to make an F1 car from R&D to putting the whole thing together. Fascinating to compare […]
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.
The Truth about Cell Phones, ECUs and Car Control
It didn’t take long after Brad Kezelowski pulled out his cellphone during the 2-hour-long Daytona red flag for the conspiracy theorists to leap into action.
The argument goes like this: Cellphones should be banned from the car because a driver could use his specially prepared cellphone to a) change the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and/or b) transmit data from the car back to his crew chief during a race. We will not address the suggestions that the driver could use the cellphone to talk secretly to the crew chief during a race because anyone who has been in a race car or worn a helmet knows that’s just plain dopey.