Asphalt

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” […]

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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 […]

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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’ […]

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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.

How Many “Cookie Cutter Tracks” are There?

One of those phrases you tend to pick up as a NASCAR fan without thinking is “cookie cutter track”. That’s the accusation commonly directed at the one-and-a-half mile tracks (like Texas Motor Speedway, which we’re visiting this week). The complaint is that these tracks are so identical that it’s almost not worth bothering to watch. But are they really identical?

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Potholes in Atlanta?

There was an interesting comment during practice this morning from Jeff Hammond (channeling Darryl Waltrip) about dark spots on the track, which indicate (he said) the cars were “knocking off” asphalt.  I received a number of questions about this and whether it might indicate that Atlanta could have the same […]

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