Retirements, Replacements and Rookies
Retirement He didn’t use the word ‘retirement’, but the sad news last week was that Matt Kenseth won’t have a Cup ride in 2018. It’s partly his choice. He could have done a Kasey Kahne and taken a ride with a lower-level team, but Matt said he wouldn’t race if […]
The Secrets of PJ1 TrackBite
That sounds like the title for a Young Adult book, doesn’t it? What the Heck IS PJ1 TrackBite? NASCAR announced that they are again going to treat the corners of the track at New Hampshire International Speedway with a magic liquid called PJ1 Track Bite. The track enhancer has been […]
Pocono Raceway Solar Farm: Sheep Power
People often point to NASCAR as being an environmentally unredeemable sport because it involves cars burning gasoline. For some reason, people looking for an easy answer like to suggest that NASCAR turn to electric cars and that would make everything better. But the cars on track are a very (very) small part […]
Reverse Engineering NASCAR Stage Lengths
Stage Racing The 2017 NASCAR season brought us stage racing: Segmenting a race into three parts, each of which has a winner (and point reward). If you’re me, the first thing you wondered was not how stage racing would play out. It was “how the heck did they decide on the […]
Driving Concussed This week brings the return of Jeff Gordon to the track, but under conditions I’m sure all of us wish were otherwise. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is out again (and will be next week) with “concussion-like” symptoms. Concussion, like many medical problems, is a chronic injury — meaning that it can […]
When is a Tire Test Not a Tire Test?
Ch…Ch… Ch… Ch….Changes! If you were going to pick an icon for the upcoming race at Kentucky, it would be a giant question mark. It’s almost like coming to a brand new track. This is the first race of the year in Kentucky, so we’re dealing with the new 2016 […]
NASCAR’s Goldilocks Problem: How much Downforce is “Just Right”?
The Problem The current racecar handles badly when its aerodynamics are disturbed by another car. This makes it very difficult to pass. The advantage of having clean air become insurmountable, which makes for less exciting racing. Why? A word once relegated to engineers, but now you hear everywhere :downforce There […]
Can You Really “Run Better than you Finish”?
“He ran better than he finished” is one of those things you hear and don’t think too much about. Unless, of course, you’re me. I wondered if it was really possible to tell mathematically (or graphically) whether that was true. That raises the question, of course, of how you characterize […]
Can Science Shorten (or Eliminate) Rain Delays?
While we were waiting for the track to dry at Texas last Saturday, I tweeted a link to my post on why track drying takes so long and how high humidity extends drying time — even with track dryers as powerful as the Air Titan. The short version is that drying a […]
Conservation of Energy in a Crash
Last week on SiriusXM Speedway, we talked about how the kinetic energy of a race car (at 190 mph) is approximately equal to the caloric energy contained in two dark chocolate Easter bunny rabbits. The serious fact is that when a car comes to a stop, all of the kinetic […]