I’m curious as to why the rear cars are offsetting to the right, when offsetting to the left would let the rear driver see what is happening ahead of them and keep the radiator in cooler air, since the exhaust on these cars is on the right. I know that all those drivers and crew chiefs are smarter than I am, so I must be missing something.
Thanks for the question, Jack. Give yourself a little more credit: you bring up some really good points that I bet a lot of people didn’t see.
Drafting at Daytona has become more important than ever, with the two-car draft being the most effective means of getting speed. The problem is that this mode of drafting completely blocks the front grille, and that limits how much air gets in to cool the engine. The trailing car has to back off to let air into the grill when the engine gets warm.
Jack noticed that everyone was shifting to the right. I think it’s a matter of simple geometry and the fact that NASCAR is chiral. Chiral means simply that something twists one way. All of your DNA twists in one direction. NASCAR drivers turn (with two exceptions a year)
right left. (Note: Thanks to the commenter. What WAS I thinking there?)
When cars turn left, a natural gap opens up on the right-hand side between the cars. Moving to the right takes advantage of the gap and makes it slightly larger. If the trailing car moves to the left, I don’t think it’s going to get as much air. So despite the possibility of being able to see better, going to the left doesn’t look as effective to me as shifting to the right is if the goal is to get the most air into the engine.
Thanks for asking the question, Jack! I always read the comments, so if you have a question you’d like answered, please leave it in the comments for me.