Safety vs. Speed: 2017 Changes to the Chassis

The Evolution of the Stock Car ADDITION: If you are more comfortable with Portuguese, check out this translation by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos – and thanks to them for being interested enough in my work to do the tough job of translation. While many fans decried the look of…

NASCAR Science 101: The Center of Gravity, Part I

You hear engineers and crew chiefs talking a lot about the racecar’s “center of gravity”. There’s a reason for all the talk. The center of gravity really is the point around which everything else on the car rotates. Terminology: CG vs CM You will hear people in racing use the terms…

The Flap over Roof Flaps

Why Roof Flaps? Roof flaps (the invention of which I detail in my book The Physics of NASCAR) help keep cars on the ground.  This is necessary because of Bernoulli’s law, which says basically that: Faster-moving air exerts less pressure. Slower-moving air exerts more pressure. A wing develops lift because the…

Sprint Car Safety

NASCAR fans are used to having our drivers walk away from spectacular crashes.  Unfortunately, we are reminded all too often — like last night — that racing, regardless of all the technical improvements we’ve made, remains a dangerous sport.  As you move from the top-level Indy and NASCAR series, the…

More on the Red Bull Sheet Metal Penalties

After getting in late from Columbus, I made the mistake of listening to the radio as I attempted to sleep. Listening to the comments about the Red Bull Racing penalties got me slightly riled. NASCAR came down hard on Red Bull, including 150 driver/owner points, a $100 kilobuck fine and…

Acid Dipping to Shave Weight

The stock car science blog has been a little quiet lately, mostly because I’ve been working on a really exciting project I hope to be able to tell you all about in the very near future, but also because I’ve been traveling all over the country giving talks and because…

Treading Lightly: Tires at Indy

Tire problems again, but the issue here was different than the tire problems we saw in Atlanta earlier in the year. At Atlanta, the tire was too hard. The drivers complained that they didn’t have enough grip to race. That wasn’t the problem today. Let’s look at the anatomy of…

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