Safety vs. Speed: 2017 Changes to the Chassis
The Evolution of the Stock Car While many fans decried the look of the Car of Tomorrow, the most significant thing about the COT was a part you couldn’t see: The Chassis. The first time I was around a stock car, I was surprised at how flimsy the sheet metal on it actually […]
Will Tire Limits Improve Racing?
Will 2017 Tire Limit Rules Require Harder Tires? Back in the day, the only thing that limited how many sets of tires you could use in Cup-level racing was your budget. It was different in the lower level series, because Cup teams that also ran XFINITY (for example) had much […]
Is Stricter Enforcement of Pit Road Speed Limits Making Pit Road Less Safe?
The Purpose of Pit Road Speed Limits NASCAR implemented pit road speeding rules in 1991. The year before, Mike Rich, a tire changer for Bill Elliott, had been pinned between Elliott’s car and the car of Ricky Rudd when Rudd came into the pits fast and locked his brakes. Rich died in surgery. To […]
How is a NASCAR Driver at Bristol like an Astronaut?
The Unique Challenges of Bristol Many drivers will tell you that, despite not having the highest speeds or a unique shape, or a long race time, Bristol is one of the most exhausting stops on the schedule. Laps take about 15 seconds, with about 60% of each lap being turns. […]
Analyzing Chase Tracks
Every year about this time, someone grumbles that The Chase needs a road course. The frequently-cited rationale is that the regular NASCAR season has two, so a champion should prove he or she can perform on the same racetracks that make up the regular season. This seemed like one of […]
Does Less Downforce Mean More Lift?
Last Tuesday, NASCAR announced aerodynamic modifications to be implemented for the Kentucky Speedway Sprint Cup race on July 11th. While the changes are (right now) only for that race, there’s every expectation that if they help reduce the dreaded ‘aero push’ problem, they may be extended (or modified) for other 1.5 […]
Eight Things to Think About for 2010: Number Eight – Minimize Pit Road Speeding Penalties
OK, this is a minor one to start with, but one that I think could be pretty easily addressed. The Issue I’ve written two posts explaining how the drivers determine Pit Road speed (1 and 2), so I won’t repeat here why the cars have tachometers instead of speedometers, and […]
Pit Road Speeding Explained
The black helicopters were out over Indy on Sunday, or so suggest some Juan Pablo (a.k.a. Juablo) fans. This happens every time someone leading a race (or contending for the lead) gets a pit road penalty. On This Week in NASCAR, Micheal Waltrip opined that if NASCAR caught you speeding, […]
The Science of …Vibration Harmonics
Roush Fenway Racing came out with a statement about the missing oil tank lid on Wednesday that just begs to be deconstructed scientifically. “The bolt holding the lid in place failed in its purpose as a result of vibration harmonics generated by the car and the race track during the […]
The Science of …Missing Oil Tank Covers
Danny LaDue asks: Can you explain the location of a NASCAR oil tank reservoir and how the lack of one could improve aerodynamics? Thanks for the question, Danny. I can–with a little help from Josh Browne, Chief Race Engineer at Red Bull Racing, who helped me disentangle a couple of […]