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” […]
Does Grass Pose a Danger to Racecar Drivers?
Now that most tracks have put SAFER barriers on any possible surface, it might seem like racetrack safety is a done deal. That’s not what we’ve heard this week at Daytona, though. Some of the drivers have some strong opinions about grass. “Grass belongs on golf courses. We need asphalt around here […]
A Band Aid for NASCAR’s Tire Bleeding Problem
There are three things you don’t mess with in NASCAR: engines, fuel and tires.
Tuesday, NASCAR handed down a P5 penalty – the penultimate penalty on the books – to Ryan Newman’s 31 team. Crew Chief Luke Lambert was suspended six races, fined $125,000, and Newman and his owner Richard Childress were each docked 75 points. The tire specialist and team engineer were suspended for six races as well. RCR is appealing the penalty, but I wager they’ve got an uphill battle.
NASCAR’s made its stand loud and clear in the last few weeks. Tire bleeding will not be allowed. If you persist in trying, they’ll come down hard on you.
Do Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
When winning means a few hundredths of a second, nothing is too small to be ignored. I’ve talked a lot about energy and the importance of using it as efficiently as possible in racing. Gasoline provides a certain amount of stored (a.k.a. potential) energy. Everyone gets the same amount of energy. Winning lies […]
Required vs. Recommended Tire Pressures
Running on underinflated tires can be dangerous. Underinflated tires they create more friction and more heat, which leads to not only bad handling, but also can produce structural problems.
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 […]
The Arguments for Slowing Down the Gen-6 Car
It’s got to be a little frustrating that there are less than 90 days left before the start of the 2014 season and the rules package for the car isn’t set. Teams hope for a little more clarity following the open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway Monday. NASCAR’s put a […]
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.