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.
Infographic: Fuel Mileage Races
Well, it finally happened. They made it so easy to made an infographic, even I can do it. It’s not perfect – the tool I used doesn’t like graphs with fractions, so I couldn’t get it to give me any lines between 0 and 1. But hopefully you can get a relative idea of how much fuel you need to complete a lap at different tracks.
Using Drag and Downforce to Tailor Stock Cars to Different Tracks
Aerodynamics is complicated. Let’s just get that out of the way. But it’s not so complicated that we can’t understand what’s going on with just a little patience. Why 3D? Every wonder why they call it three dimensions? The reason it’s three is because I (or you) can denote any […]
Racing without Friction
Daytona is an enormous, sweeping track. Two-and-a-half miles, 31-degree banking and corner radii of a thousand feet. The infield by itself is 180 acres. If you’ve ever been there (or Talladega), it really does take your breath away when you first enter. Now, bigger tracks (or rather, tracks with bigger turns) automatically […]
Does Less Downforce Mean More Lift?
Last Tuesday, NASCAR announced aerodynamic modifications to be implemented for the Kentucky Speedway Sprint Cup race on July 11th. While the changes are (right now) only for that race, there’s every expectation that if they help reduce the dreaded ‘aero push’ problem, they may be extended (or modified) for other 1.5 […]
Cooling Fuel: Safety or Performance Issue?
Temperatures at the Dover race were unseasonably high. Kurt Busch’s Stewart-Haas 41 team was told by NASCAR officials to remove “heat shields” from their fuel cans. The cans (shown at right) have an 11-gallon capacity. Not shown in the pictures is a tube that connects the nozzle at the top with the […]
Running Tracks Backward
The All Star Race, let’s face it, is a series of gimmicks strung together in the cause of entertainment. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. It’s what every sport does. People like home runs? Then let’s have an ‘event’ in which people just try to hit home runs. People […]
A Band Aid for NASCAR’s Tire Bleeding Problem
There are three things you don’t mess with in NASCAR: engines, fuel and tires.
Tuesday, NASCAR handed down a P5 penalty – the penultimate penalty on the books – to Ryan Newman’s 31 team. Crew Chief Luke Lambert was suspended six races, fined $125,000, and Newman and his owner Richard Childress were each docked 75 points. The tire specialist and team engineer were suspended for six races as well. RCR is appealing the penalty, but I wager they’ve got an uphill battle.
NASCAR’s made its stand loud and clear in the last few weeks. Tire bleeding will not be allowed. If you persist in trying, they’ll come down hard on you.
Fired Up: The Science of Flames
If you were to poll racecar drivers about safety, I bet the majority of them would say the scariest situation isn’t a crash.
Two fears you have as a race car driver: one is being on fire and two is being T-boned in the driver door – everything else you sort of accept. –Elliott Sadler