NOTE: Some clarifications added 1:00 p.m. 4/30/12. Thanks to all the commenters, especially @nateryan! I think Dave Moody did a good job breaking things down. The situation is confounded because there were so many different […]
Saturday’s race in Richmond was a festival of miscues. Carl Edwards mistakenly thought he was leading, then he jumped the restart, although he wasn’t the one to lead the restart because he wasn’t the leader. One would think we have the data that could prevent incidents like this. We probably do. But do we want to use it? […]
The defining characteristic of the Kansas race was the surprising number of engine problems. Many of those problems can be attributed to the change in rear gear from a 3.89 to a 4.00. At 190 mph at a track like Kansas, your wheels make 2270 revolutions per minute (rpm). If you watch the telemetry on the television broadcast, you know that the engine is rotating around 9500-9900 rpm. Since the engine is attached to the wheels, there has to be something to change the rotation rate between the engine and the gears. […]
Bristol Motor Speedway made its name as a high-banked short track, but Bristol banking has changed over the years. Bristol Motor Speedway announced that they are grinding down the upper groove of the track to […]
Being the data geek that I am, I was really curious if the decreasing number of cautions was specific to this year. It’s not: Cautions have been decreasing since 2005,as the graph below shows. The squares are the cumulative number of cautions per 100 miles, obtained by adding up all the cautions in a season and dividing by the total number of miles in the races. (This is a more accurate number than total cautions, given rainouts, shortening races and different venues from year to year.) […]
I honestly cannot help it – scientists are naturally skeptical. If you make an assertion, I will have to question you on what data you have that supports it. This is second nature to the people I work with, but I realize it is damned irritating to non-scientists (aka “normal”) people.
So when I started reading everywhere that “cautions were down 35%”, I had to go look into it. This is a preliminary post – more detailed analysis will follow as soon as I’ve read my students’ final projects and gotten comments back to them. […]
There’s been an awful lot of talk recently about changing the layout at various track to make racing more exciting. Bristol is the most-talked-about track, with Bruton Smith planning a $1M revamp of the track to take it back to the way it was before he changed it in 2007. […]