Bristol Motor Speedway
Will Tire Limits Improve Racing?
Will 2017 Tire Limit Rules Require Harder Tires? Back in the day, the only thing that limited how many sets of tires you could use in Cup-level racing was your budget. It was different in the lower level series, because Cup teams that also ran XFINITY (for example) had much […]
How is a NASCAR Driver at Bristol like an Astronaut?
The Unique Challenges of Bristol Many drivers will tell you that, despite not having the highest speeds or a unique shape, or a long race time, Bristol is one of the most exhausting stops on the schedule. Laps take about 15 seconds, with about 60% of each lap being turns. […]
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.
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 […]
Why Turning is Hard
Why Turning Fast is Hard If Isaac Newton had been a racing fan (which I’m sure Sir Isaac would have been if had cars been invented in the 1600’s), he might have stated one of his laws this way: A race car going straight down the backstretch at 180 mph […]
Dover: Why Concrete Races Differently than Asphalt
One of the questions you’ll hear drivers and crew chiefs asked a lot this weekend at Dover is how the concrete track affects the racing. Here’s how:
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?
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.
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 […]
Can You Really Bring Back the “Same” Car? (Or the Same Track?)
Every week we hear at least one driver say that they are bringing back “the same car we raced at…”. This is a little misleading because — unlike Indy or ALMS racing — each shop builds multiple cars, each specialized for a specific track. Let’s start by examining the anatomy […]