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 […]
The Zen of Brake Bias
With all the talk about giving the drivers the ability to change aspects of the setup from within the car, I thought some comments on what types of changes they can make would be appropriate. Since the only control they have right now is brake bias, let’s start there. The […]
The Virtual Reality of Racing Simulators
You are hurtling down the frontstretch at Michigan, your speed approaching 215 mph. Your seat moves up and down as you hit the seams, but your focus is squarely on getting into Turn 1 losing as little speed as possible. You squeeze the brakes and feel yourself moving forward, only to realize that you’re still moving too quickly. As the car starts to head toward the wall, you panic and squeeze the brake even harder.
The car snaps loose and the next thing you feel… is an engineer’s hand on your shoulder. You turn around to see her barely suppressing a smile.
Camber Angle and Tire Wear
We’ve heard a lot, especially this week at Richmond, about tire wear. A lot of right front tires were wearing excessively. As seems to be usual at this point, teams would like Goodyear to use a stronger tire and Goodyear would like teams to dial back their setups, especially their camber.
The Arguments for Slowing Down the Gen-6 Car
It’s got to be a little frustrating that there are less than 90 days left before the start of the 2014 season and the rules package for the car isn’t set. Teams hope for a little more clarity following the open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway Monday. NASCAR’s put a […]
Tungsten vs. Lead in the Snowball Derby
Chase Elliott won, then lost the Snowball Derby last weekend. His car was disqualified for having tungsten ballast instead of the mandated lead ballast. Ballast is weight added to the car in strategic locations to help the car handle better. A number of news reports have noted that ‘tungsten is […]
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 […]
What Does the Trackbar Do?
Thanks to a suggestion by reader Anthony Bardoll, I’m happy to present the first in a series of articles on car adjustments. Anthony mentioned that a lot of people do iRacing and have the ability to make the same types of adjustments in their cars that non-virtual race engineers can […]
NASCAR issues rules change on Wednesday – one of which extends an earlier rule change to try to improve aerodynamics at intermediate tracks. The other is designed to cut off an entirely new direction of research before it starts.
When Oil Pans Put On a Little Weight…
According to @tomjensen100, the oil pans confiscated from the Joe Gibbs Racing cars weighed between 20-30 lbs. Lee Spencer posted some nice pictures of them. A normal oil pan weighs about 4-5 lbs. Why in the world would you make your car heavier? It’s not always the weight of the […]