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 […]
Can NASCAR Stop Secondary Accidents?
January is named after the Roman God Janus, who is the god of beginning, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages and endings. How’s that for a job description? Janus is usually portrayed as having two faces: one looks forward and one looks backward. So I thought January might be a good […]
Driving Concussed This week brings the return of Jeff Gordon to the track, but under conditions I’m sure all of us wish were otherwise. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is out again (and will be next week) with “concussion-like” symptoms. Concussion, like many medical problems, is a chronic injury — meaning that it can […]
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 […]
NASCAR Drivers’ Risky Behavior and the Peltzman Effect
The introduction of automotive safety innovations is usually accompanied by concern about the side-effects of those innovations. For example, when seat belts were introduced, people worried that the belts would keep them from getting out of a car quickly enough if they needed to. When HANS devices first became available, […]
Running Tracks Backward
The All Star Race, let’s face it, is a series of gimmicks strung together in the cause of entertainment. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. It’s what every sport does. People like home runs? Then let’s have an ‘event’ in which people just try to hit home runs. People […]
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 […]
Did Drivers Drive Differently During the Chase? I: Lead Changes
The primary motivation for all the changes to the Chase format was to up the excitement factor – the “game seven moments” as NASCAR brass put it. While the fact of the matter is that you can’t guarantee excitement, all the machinations put in place definitely increased the stakes of […]