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 […]
Someone asked in the comments how much kinetic energy Austin Dillon had when he hit the catchfence at Daytona. I don’t know exactly how fast he was going (probably was somewhere around 180 to 200 mph), so […]
Track barriers originally were erected to keep cars separated from spectators. In addition to concrete walls to prevent the cars from driving off track, debris-spewing accidents necessitated fencing to contain airborne objects.
Catchfences should have the same properties as walls, but they can’t block the view. Chain link fence is a good compromise: It’s cheap, plentiful, easy to put up and surprisingly strong given its high visibility.
Chain-link fabric is an elastic metal mesh. It can give in two ways: gentle forces cause the mesh to deform. The diamonds stretch out of shape, but when the force is removed, the fabric springs back to its original shape. The fence can also deform by stretching the wires that make up the mesh. A large-enough force will break the wire entirely. […]
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 […]