NASCAR’s Laser Inspection Process: Confidence and Accuracy

There Will Be Rules… The last time I was at the R&D Center, I was given a copy of the official NASCAR rule book for 1948. It was about a quarter of a page. Now there’s a thick booklet filled with detailed specifications, part numbers, measurements, tolerances and AutoCad drawings. Weekly…

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…

Why Six Points is About Right for What Used to be a 25-Point Penalty

I was watching the movie A Clockwork Orange the other night.  There is a scene where Malcolm McDowell, having been “rehabilitated” and returned to society incapable of defending himself, is being beat up by an old man.  He can’t even defend himself.  For some reason, it made me think of…

Breaking News: A Scientific Interpretation of the Upholding of the 33-Car Penalities

Here’s the fast analysis of the statement from NASCAR upholding the penalties on the 33-car from New Hampshire. More will follow after proper digestion and reflection. This is an interpretation of the penalty upholding statement (as reported by Jeff Gluck) because that’s the first tweet I saw. The panel’s statements are in italics and my interpretation in non-italics.

Overpressured Shocks on the 5-Car: How Does that Create an Advantage?

The 5 car got sent to the back for the start of the race last Sunday at Dover after qualifying third when their shocks didn’t clear post-qualifying inspection. Shocks and springs work together to control the rate at which the body of the car moves. The ideal attitude is the hound dog position: nose down, tail up, as demonstrated in the photo at right by my capable assistant Darwin. That position prevents air from getting underneath the car and it sticks the spoiler up in the air as much as possible, which means that more air hits it and creates more downforce.

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