Bristol Motor Speedway

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Turning at Bristol: A Weighty Matter

A lot of drivers cite Bristol as one of their favorite tracks. It’s a great exhibit for the argument that racing is more than just pure speed. High banks (which we know mean speed!) and a short track, which means tight racing. But a lot of drivers will tell you that Bristol is one of the most exhausting, physically demanding tracks on the circuit. Add to that the inherent stress of short-track racing, where 43 cars are operating in a limited (half-mile) track.

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Turning, G-Forces and Banked Tracks.

Dover is a fascinating track – twenty-four degrees of banking, but only a mile in length.  A student approached me with a question:  Higher-banked tracks generate higher centripetal forces – so why doesn’t the track banking appear in the equation for centripetal force? I’ve talked about centripetal forces in detail […]

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The Reason for Decreasing Cautions

This was the first year that most people noticed a decrease in the number of cautions, but (as I’ve pointed out), 2012 is merely the latest in a six-year trend of decreasing cautions. The same downward trend is evident in the Nationwide Series. This year is perhaps notable for it being so extreme.

The data clearly shows the trend: The question, of course, is why?

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Infographic: Bristol: Old, New and Newer

In response to requests about how the ‘new new Bristol’ compares with the ‘new Bristol’ and the ‘old Bristol’, here’s a comparison. For more on the changes, see my earlier post. The light blue triangle shows the constant 36-degree banking of the ‘old Bristol’. The black line shows the progressive banking (24-30 degrees) that was introduced in 2007 and the red line shows how (I think) they are modifying the highest groove only. Note that there seems to be some disagreement about the actual banking values. I’m using the values the track uses.

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Bristol: Banking vs. Distance

Bristol Motor Speedway announced that they are grinding down the upper groove of the track to decrease the progressive banking.  My (to-scale!) sketch of what I think they are doing from the press conference and the tweets (thank you so much Nate Ryan!) is below.  The 2007 re-do introduced progressive […]

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