Data Sharing: Fact and Fiction

New for 2018: Data Sharing NASCAR announced (in a somewhat roundabout way) they would share the data collected by each car during races, qualifying and practice with all teams in the 2018 season. This produced a mixed reaction in the garage. Newer drivers and those driving for smaller teams seemed to…

Are Posted Lap Speeds Really Accurate?

After every practice and qualifying session, NASCAR puts out one or more sheets of paper that look like this: This tells you who went how fast qualifying at Atlanta a couple weeks ago. I only included the first 12 lines because I think you get the idea from here. You can look…

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…

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…

The Digital Dashboard

Those of you of a certain age may remember these odd looking flat black vinyl things called ‘records’. Records are analog devices. A groove is cut into the vinyl. A stylus rides along the groove and translates the wiggles in the groove into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted to a speaker, which turns it into a vibration (which, when pleasant, we call “music”.)

Opinion: NASCAR’s Restart Problem – What Would Einstein Do?

Sigh. So instead of talking about a couple great races this week, we’re focusing on restarts.  Again.  Everyone, from pundits to drivers, is questioning  NASCAR’s decisions to not call penalties on the critical restarts of both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races. The rule is that the leader of…

Is More Data Always Better?

Saturday’s race in Richmond was a festival of miscues. Carl Edwards mistakenly thought he was leading, then he jumped the restart, although he wasn’t the one to lead the restart because he wasn’t the leader. One would think we have the data that could prevent incidents like this. We probably do. But do we want to use it?

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