How to Make Grippier Racetracks Using Spy Technology
If PJ1 TrackBite isn’t the Solution, What is? Dale Earnhardt, Jr. suggested tracks stop using PJ1 Trackbite because it didn’t work well in Charlotte last weekend. He called for additional research to understand how the substance affects the track before continuing to use it. A couple of drivers expressed similar […]
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 […]
How Tracks Take and Lose Rubber
The two words we heard most frequently last week in Pocono (after “still raining”) were “green racetrack”. Rain doesn’t just delay racing. When the race is finally run after a rain delay, it’s run on a different racetrack. To get the details of how a racetrack changes from “rubbered up” […]
Are SAFER Barriers Everywhere the Solution?
TL;DR: No. As the extent of Kyle Busch’s injury Saturday evening at Daytona became evident, Twitter erupted in angry calls for SAFER barriers to be put up on every wall at every track. An interesting division of sides appeared. A small number of people cautioned that simply plastering every track with […]
Goodyear Tracking Change
Repaving is the last possible remedy a track wants to use, but when potholes (see: Daytona) show up, there is no choice but to tear up the old asphalt and replace it with new, fresh blacktop. In the last few years, Daytona, Phoenix, Michigan, Pocono and Kansas have all been […]
Whose Fault Is It? Tires or Track?
There were 15 cautions last week at Kansas Speedway and at least 15 drivers complaining that driving on the repaved track surface was like driving on ‘razor blades’. “The worst racetrack I’ve ever driven on.” said race winner Kevin Harvick. Normally when you have a lot of cautions, the drivers’ […]
In the Zone: Goodyear’s New Tire Design
Kansas marks the second appearance of Goodyear’s “Multi-Zone Tread Tire”, which was first used at Atlanta Motor Speedway over Labor Day weekend. Stop for a moment to appreciate the challenge Goodyear has to face each race. They must design a fast, durable and safe tire for each track on the […]
Can We Race Stockcars in the Rain?
In sports car racing, the only discernible change the viewer sees when it rains is that the normal “slicks” (which have no treads) are changed out for rain tires. Thus the calls for NASCAR to develop a rain tire good enough to allow us to continue races, even when it rains.
Dover: Why Concrete Races Differently than Asphalt
One of the questions you’ll hear drivers and crew chiefs asked a lot this weekend at Dover is how the concrete track affects the racing. Here’s how:
Hey Larry Mac! Cars Do Not Speed Up in the Grass!
Ever had one of those things that you never noticed before, but when someone brings it to your attention, you notice it and it drives you crazy? Frank Smith emailed me about an observation made by television commentators that was driving him nuts. Now that he mentioned it, I keep hearing it and it’s driving me nuts, too.
Not to denigrate Larry Mac and the other television commentators. I’ve learned a lot from Mr. McReynolds. There’s a perfectly good physics explanation for why he (and others) keep telling us that cars speed up when they get into the grass on a racetrack.
Assuming that the driver has the presence of mind to take his foot off the gas, this is impossible.