The NASCAR Playoffs and Preordination

Preordination (n): The action of determining an outcome or course of action in advance; The fact of being determined in advance. The Oxford Living Dictionary You’d think with my interest in data that I’d be the type of person who loved brackets, right? While scientists usually have some idea of how…

Sciencing Out NASCAR Rules Changes

Rules changes in NASCAR are tricky.  There’s really no way to test them before implementing them. You’re relying on the judgement and experience of the NASCAR team, with input from race teams, drivers, Goodyear and tracks. How to Test Rules Packages? Robert Gauthier (@yetticrg) tweeted a question to me (You…

How NASCAR’s “Enhanced Schedule” Affects the Race Teams

NASCAR’s enhanced schedule compresses three days on on-track activity into two. It’s designed to save teams time and money, but how will it affect the racing? What is an “Enhanced Schedule”? If you’re wondering why NASCAR used the moniker ‘enhanced’ for compressing what used to be three days of Monster…

Fire: A Motorsports Safety Challenge

While NASCAR has made significant advances in protecting drivers from crashes, protecting them from fire is a much different — and much more scientifically challenging — problem. I was reminded of that by how Ryan Blaney’s night ended at the Coca Cola 600. Fire Safety and Racecars: A Brief History…

Jumping the (Air) Gun

(Air) Gun Control A lot’s changed on Pit Road this year. In addition to cutting the over-the-wall crew to five people, NASCAR decided (by majority vote of the Team Owners’ Council) that they would provide air guns to all teams. Not everyone was in favor of this. Rob Kauffman tweeted that Chip…

Early-Season Predictions Require Caution

Predictions: The Peril of the Early-Season Off-Week I can post only when I have something to contribute. The professionals who cover NASCAR don’t have the luxury of waiting until there’s news. The content monster remains perpetually hungry. That need to fill space is probably why, every year about this time, we see…

Data Sharing: Fact and Fiction

New for 2018: Data Sharing NASCAR announced (in a somewhat roundabout way) they would share the data collected by each car during races, qualifying and practice with all teams in the 2018 season. This produced a mixed reaction in the garage. Newer drivers and those driving for smaller teams seemed to…

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