Thermography: A New Weapon in the NASCAR Arsenal
What’s Wrong With this Cow? Can you tell? If you said the cow is the wrong color, you’re close. But there’s more to the story. And What’s That Got to Do with NASCAR? Competition in NASCAR is getting tighter and tighter. As NASCAR’s ramped up penalties for rulebook violations and […]
The Proposal to Muffle NASCAR Race Cars
Last week, Adam Stern broke a story that NASCAR is considering 15 to 20 potential changes that would help increase the fan base. They’ve already implemented race segments and we’ve heard talk about shortening race weekends from three to two days. Stern’s article says that one of the ideas on […]
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. […]
Did EFI Make NASCAR Engines More Reliable?
In 2012, NASCAR moved from carburetors to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). This made people like me happy because my friends who denigrated NASCAR as hopelessly outdated and behind the times have one less argument to use against me. There were many purposes for the switch to EFI: one was precisely as I note above: to be […]
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 […]
NASCAR and Energy Efficiency
It never fails. When I give a talk about The Science of Speed at a University science department (as opposed to a talk for the public), someone will ask “How can you advocate for NASCAR? They’re the biggest waste of gasoline.”
Or something similar.
I’m going to look at this in two ways. People often confuse how much energy is used with how efficiently energy is used. One way to cut back on energy usage is to use less energy, but it’s also possible to use less energy by using the energy more efficiently.
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 […]
Cooling Fuel: Safety or Performance Issue?
Temperatures at the Dover race were unseasonably high. Kurt Busch’s Stewart-Haas 41 team was told by NASCAR officials to remove “heat shields” from their fuel cans. The cans (shown at right) have an 11-gallon capacity. Not shown in the pictures is a tube that connects the nozzle at the top with the […]