Kansas Wrap Up: What Caused all the Engine Failures?

The defining characteristic of the Kansas race was the surprising number of engine problems. Many of those problems can be attributed to the change in rear gear from a 3.89 to a 4.00. At 190 mph at a track like Kansas, your wheels make 2270 revolutions per minute (rpm). If you watch the telemetry on the television broadcast, you know that the engine is rotating around 9500-9900 rpm. Since the engine is attached to the wheels, there has to be something to change the rotation rate between the engine and the gears.

Kansas: Temperature and Horsepower

There were a lot of engine problems at the Kansas race last Sunday — and a lot of theories as to why there were a lot of engine problems.  Let’s start with the cooler-than-expected temperatures on Sunday. When the air temperature changes, so does the number of air molecules heading…

Behind the Science of Speed

The Science of Speed video series is now up at www.science360.gov. We did a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway Friday April 3rd afternoon announcing the series. If you told me three years ago I’d be sitting at a racetrack in-between a real racecar driver and an official from the…

Is More Horsepower Always Better?

A number of drivers and owners have said that Toyota engines have more horsepower. “I think everybody in the garage is down on horsepower compared to what the Toyotas are.” Kevin Harvick One report of dyno tests after the 150’s at Daytona last February said that the #20 had at…

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