Chad Knaus

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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.

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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.”

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