Engine Issues at Talladega: Vapor Lock, Gas Cans and Oil Coolers
An usual number of teams “ran out of gas” or had engine troubles during the Talladega race. The TV analysts had some ready answers for what might have caused these problems. Their extemporaneous theories tend to elicit sighs from engine builders, who know that problems can rarely be diagnosed at the track – and even more rarely by someone who hasn’t looked at the car.
A wonderful aspect of blogging is that we’re not called to have answers on the spot like the television broadcasters and we have the leisure of time. Let’s examine some of those theories.
Plate Racing Rules: Getting Ready for Talladega
Most of the issues we were talking about at the start of the year regarding the measures NASCAR has taken to eliminate or reduce the two-car draft are still in play, so I thought I’d put the most important in one place as you start getting ready for Talladega this weekend.
Why Does Bump Drafting Seem Much Harder in 2012?
Although there is a lot of science behind bump drafting, the act of bump drafting is an art. Even the experienced bump drafters are surprised by the touchiness of the cars this year.
What’s a Pop-Off Valve — and Why You Need to Know for the Daytona 500
One thing you will hear a lot as soon as coverage of practice starts Wednesday will be speculation about possible changes to the pop-off valve on the radiator. What is a pop-off valve and how will it affect the Daytona 500? Here’s the answer:
The Motorsports Science Minute Video: Radiators at Daytona
Thursday marks the first time we’ve had an open test at Daytona in a couple of years. With the myriad rules changes aimed at getting away from two-car drafting, the teams are going to need to make the most of these sessions — especially if NASCAR opts to make more […]
turning left, shifting right: why drivers move to the right to get air to the engine
Jack asks: “I’m curious as to why the rear cars are offsetting to the right, when offsetting to the left would let the rear driver see what is happening ahead of them and keep the radiator in cooler air, since the exhaust on these cars is on the right. I know that all those drivers and crew chiefs are smarter than I am, so I must be missing something.”
Popping Off: Breaking the Two-Car Draft by Heating up the Engines
In a NASCAR car, the pop-off valves open and route the escaping steam and/or water through a tube that passes up near the right-hand side of the car’s windshield. When you see a car “pushing water”, the maximum pressure has been exceeded and the pop-off valve opened.